Three suspects accused of making and using fake money were linked to a number of counterfeiting incidents leading up to their arrests last week by Sherman Police.
In the affidavit for a search warrant, which the Herald Democrat obtained this week, police took multiple reports related to the suspects’ alleged use of counterfeit money in Sherman that left a trail for police to follow. Police obtained and executed a search warrant for a room and a car at the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison on April 26 that led to the arrests of the three individuals.
Blake Austin Deweese, 20, Jerimi Gene Thomas, 38, and Lindsay Kay Thomas, 39 — who police also identified with the surname Sowards — were arrested for multiple warrants for forgery out of Tarrant County. All three were initially booked into the Grayson County Jail. Deweese and Jerimi Thomas were transferred to Tarrant County where they were booked into the local jail on Monday, according to jail records. Grayson County records show Lindsay Thomas was not transferred.
On April 19, the manager of Journeys at Midway Mall called Sherman Police reporting that a counterfeit $100 bill was passed at the store. According to the affidavit that was prepared by Sherman Police Det. Rob Ballew, the manager reported two men and a woman entered the store and purchased items with the fake bill.
One of the men identified himself as Adrian Tebia, and he told the manager he was an employee of the company in order to receive an employee discount. He provided an employee number that matched Tebia, according to the affidavit.
After the group made the purchase with a $100 bill and left the store, the man who identified himself as Tebia returned a few minutes later to buy socks with another $100 bill. The affidavit states the manager became suspicious and realized the bill was fake. She returned the bill, and the suspect left the store. The manager then examined the bill the group previously used and discovered that it too was counterfeit.
The affidavit states the manager then contacted her supervisor and learned that Adrian Tebia is a manger of a store in Fort Worth. The manager called Tebia, who told her about a former employee who was banned for allegedly using counterfeit money on multiple occasions. That former employee was identified as Blake Deweese, the affidavit states. The manager then looked on social media and found a photo of Deweese that matched the man who identified himself as Tebia in the Sherman store.
On the same day, police were notified of a man who attempted to use counterfeit money at a sports and outdoors store in Sherman. Police viewed surveillance footage and saw that the suspect matched the description of Deweese, according to the affidavit. The suspect was wearing the same clothing as what he wore inside Journeys. Store employees observed Deweese leave in a white Kia SUV with other people inside.
The next day, a U.S. Secret Service agent contacted Sherman Police as that agent was investigating other counterfeiting cases allegedly involving Deweese. The affidavit states the agent informed the officers that Deweese was believed to be traveling with a man and a woman in a rented white Kia Sportage. He gave the license plate number for the vehicle to officers.
Then on April 25, officers were notified of a man who attempted to use five fake $100 bills at the Sherman Walmart Neighborhood Market. Police examined the surveillance footage that showed the same suspect, according to the affidavit. Officers later found a white Kia Sportage parked at the Hilton Garden Inn with the license plate matching the rented Kia. Officers staked out the car and observed two men and a woman exit the hotel and enter the vehicle.
Officers detained the individuals and identified them as Deweese, Jerimi Thomas and Lindsay Thomas. Police found out what room they were staying in, and they obtained a warrant to search the hotel room and the car.
According to inventory on the warrant, police took into evidence several gift cards, a glass smoking pipe with white residue, multiple cellphones, a printer, paper, a box with a syringe and methamphetamine pipe, a small bag containing meth crystals, receipts and a counterfeit $100 bill.
Lindsay Thomas was arrested on local charges of forgery of a financial instrument and failure to identify as police said she gave false names and was found to be in possession of eight counterfeit $100 bills. She also had warrants out of Tarrant County. According to Tarrant County jail records, Deweese has two forgery charges and bond was set at $10,000. Jerimi Thomas was listed as having four forgery charges with bond set at $60,000.