An alleged counterfeiting ring was passing off funny money from a basic printer, Kilgore Police say, and four people face a felony charge of forgery after a raid on the operation Monday morning.
Witnesses described a caravan of KPD vehicles descending on 607 E. South Street about 7:45 a.m. Dec. 18 while a Champion EMS ambulance staged nearby. Ultimately, the medical backup was unnecessary: according to Det. Trae Portwood, there was no resistance when the department’s Special Tactics And Response (STAR) team executed a search warrant at the residence.
Two women and two men were in cuffs as the STAR personnel and numerous officers secured the site Monday, combing through the house and a car parked in the driveway.
A number of young children were removed from the scene to be passed into relatives’ care, Det. Trae Portwood said.
A dozen people or more were reportedly living in the home while the forgeries were underway.
“It was a pretty low-tech operation,” KPD Assistant Chief Roman Roberson said. “They were basically using copy machines to copy money, trying different types of papers to give it more of a realistic effect.
“We recovered over $2,000 in counterfeit. They were counterfeiting all types, $1s to $100s.”
Investigators also recovered drug paraphernalia from the residence, he added, indicating use of methamphetamine.
According to Roberson, Monday morning’s sting resulted in four arrests:
• Latrina Marie Jackson, 30, of Kilgore;
• Raeford Mumphrey, 44, of Kilgore
• Dquavion Darquez Newman, 21, of Kilgore;
• Mia Elizabeth Wheat, 25, of Kilgore.
All four face a third-degree felony for forgery, Roberson said.
According to Gregg County Judicial Records, Jackson and Wheat were booked into the county jail Monday, each facing $100,000 bond for forgery of a government or national instrument, money or security. Jackson faces three additional counts of parent or guardian contributing to nonattendance, with bonds totaling $1,500 from offenses that occurred Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
Newman and Mumphrey were booked into the jail on the forgery charge Tuesday, held on $25,000 bond.
According to Portwood, the investigation has been underway about two weeks.
Another recent arrest is linked to the operation, Roberson confirmed Tuesday: Kabreuntray Dewayne McMillion, 23, of Kilgore, was arrested the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 14, at the intersection of South Martin Street and Nolen.
McMillion was still incarcerated as of press time Tuesday, facing bonds totaling $132,500 for charges ranging from tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and unlawfully carrying a weapon to evading arrest or detention, possession of less than 1 gram of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance, credit card or debit abuse and forgery.
“We did have information he was associated with that group,” Roberson said. “That was one of the pieces that did lead us to that residence.
“There’s no doubt: they were printing the money and passing it, mostly at convenience stores. The money was not that great of quality.”
Anyone who comes across a suspect counterfeit should call KPD at 903-983-1559.
“Just contact us,” Roberson said, “and we’ll come out and take possession of it.”