A husband and wife from Nevada are accused in what Angels Camp Police are calling a counterfeit money and identity theft case that involves federal authorities.
According to the police, William T. Lewis, 49, and Lori M. Dahl, 48, both of Reno, were arrested Tuesday after Lewis allegedly tried to spend counterfeit cash at multiple Calaveras County businesses. After further investigation, police say they found more items allegedly owned by the couple implicating them in counterfeiting U.S. money and identity theft.
Police also accused them of possessing a stolen car and drug paraphernalia.
Lewis is charged with 10 felonies and three misdemeanors, including conspiracy to commit a crime, burglary, possession of stolen property, forgery, possessing forged currency, identity theft and possession of narcotic paraphernalia. Dahl is charged with eight felonies, including conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of stolen property, forgery, possessing forged currency and identity theft.
The Angels Camp Police Department also contacted the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates counterfeit cases, and agents have taken some of the evidence including a computer, according to the department. A federal indictment is possible, police said.
Angels Camp police said officers received a call at about 8:50 a.m. Tuesday that a man attempted to make a purchase at the South Main Street Save Mart with a fake $20 bill. Police located Lewis, who they say fit the description, shortly after and allegedly found three more fake $20 bills on him.
Police allege that Lewis also made purchases at Rite Aid and Altaville Market, as well as a previous purchase at Save Mart, with the funny money. Officers then searched the room at the Jumping Frog Motel where Lewis and Dahl were allegedly staying and the car they were driving.
Police say they found items including 10 more counterfeit bills, bleached dollar bills, printers, identification cards, credit cards that were not in their names, gift cards and other items “consistent with the counterfeiting of U.S. currency and identity theft” and that indicate the two are allegedly “involved in the international trade of identity theft related information,” according to a police statement.
Police also allegedly found hypodermic needles and a meth pipe.
According to the Angels Camp PD, investigators believe the couple made purchases around Northern California with fake currency and forged credit cards. Local merchants are asked to be “very vigilant” with their transactions, and police are asking people to call the department at 736-2567 if they find more counterfeit money.
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties