4 charged with counterfeiting in Elgin
From Staff Reports December 20, 2013 10:14AM
Charged with counterfeiting by the Secret Service Artaveus Lowe
Updated: December 23, 2013 9:30AM
ELGIN — Four people were charged with counterfeiting and other charges following a raid Wednesday by Elgin police and Secret Service agents at a west side home, police said Friday.
According to a release from Elgin police, officers and agents executed a search warrant at the home in the 1600 block of Mark Avenue as the result of a joint investigation by the two agencies into the counterfeiting of United States currency.
Elgin police became aware of the “funny money” through information from concerned individuals, said Elgin Police Sgt. Jim Lullo. The department’s Special Investigations Unit, including the gang and drug units, were part of the investigation, he said.
Lullo would not comment on what denominations were being passed or the amount of fake money found.
Police said that in addition to counterfeit currency, approximately 78 grams of cannabis individually packaged for sale and several other items of drug paraphernalia were seized during the raid.
Arrested and charged in the Northern District Federal Court with counterfeiting were George Cotton, 31, of Rockford; James “Rico” Williams, 35, of the 300 block of Raymond Street, Elgin; Genevieve Ortiz, 27, of the 1600 block of Mark Avenue, Elgin; and Artaveus Lowe, 35, of the 1600 block of Mark Avenue.
Police said that Lowe, who is a child sex offender, also was charged with violation of the Sex Offender Act, unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful possession with intent to deliver.
The sex offender violation was due to Lowe not registering his change of address, and at least one child lived in the home, Lullo said.
He reminded all residents to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills, particularly in $50 and $100 denominations, during the holiday season. It is often a time when counterfeiters try to pass the bills. If a resident or store clerk find the bills, they are encouraged to report them to police, he added.
“Be aware, in the holiday season, of credit card fraud, identity theft and counterfeit money. Use due diligence to be careful of that,” Lullo said.