After an officer recognized a vehicle tied to forgery suspects, Sherman Police located and arrested three people Tuesday night suspected of counterfeiting and passing off fake bills.
At about 8:45 p.m., Sherman Police were notified of a male suspect attempting to use five counterfeit $100 bills at the Walmart Neighborhood Market. Officers responded and examined the surveillance footage taken from the grocery store, according to a police news release.
A white Kia Sportage was identified as the suspect’s vehicle in the footage, which Sherman Police Officer Stephon Haywood recognized as possibly the same vehicle used in other forgery incidents. He later located that vehicle parked at the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison.
Sherman Police Sgt. D.M. Hampton said counterfeiting suspects typically travel around in order to use the bills. He said in doing so they obviously stay at hotels, pass off some bills then move to new locations. He said he didn’t know if Officer Haywood checked multiple hotels for the vehicle or happened upon it.
“The officer knew that that vehicle had been involved in other incidents, and I don’t know where or how many, or anything like that,” Hampton said.
The Criminal Investigation Division was contacted to assist with the investigation, and, as detectives responded to the hotel, two men and one woman entered the Kia. The three people were detained, and after they were identified, they were found to have active warrants out of Tarrant County for forgery.
Blake Deweese, 20, Jerimi Gene Thomas, 38, and Lindsay Kay Sowards, 39, were arrested on the active warrants. Police said Sowards allegedly provided false names and was found to be in possession of eight counterfeit $100 bills. Sowards is facing local charges of forgery of a financial instrument and failure to identify. She also has six active warrants against her.
All three suspects were booked into the Grayson County Jail. Thomas and Sowards are from the Fort Worth area, and jail records list Deweese under a Bonham address.
Police obtained search warrants for the hotel room and the car. The release notes that U.S. Secret Service assisted Sherman detectives in executing the warrants. Inside the room, police found a printer and paper allegedly used by the suspects to make the counterfeit bills, and they also discovered additional fake bills, drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The release states additional charges are expected to be filed at a later time, and the U.S. Secret Service could be taking over the investigation,
Hampton said information is shared between departments through fusion centers and intelligence offices, so police compare information on suspects from similar crimes in multiple areas. The information on these suspects was shared with Sherman Police.
“The important fact is that information was shared,” Hampton said. “It’s not uncommon for people that do this to stay in local hotels and that kinds of thing while they’re perpetrating these crimes. So the officer took it upon himself and ended up finding (the vehicle) there at the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison.”
From what Sherman Police gather, Hampton said that information will be shared, which may lead to more unsolved counterfeit cases tied to these suspects and possibly additional charges.