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Five people were arrested after counterfeit money made its way through Grant County.
he investigation began July 24 after Grant County Sheriff Deputy Scott Conrad responded to Dry Ridge Wal-Mart after a female suspect had attempted to Money Gram $500 in counterfeit $20 bills.
“(The store) had marked the money with a marker and discovered they were counterfeit bills,” Conrad said.
The deputy obtained a description of the suspect and their vehicle through surveillance video footage.
While Conrad was investigating the incident at Wal-Mart, a Kentucky State Police trooper was on a call at Coach Stop in Crittenden investigating a fake $20 bill that had been passed.
The description of the suspect and the vehicle were the same for both locations.
An attempt to pass counterfeit money also took place at Shell gas station in Crittenden.
“They were trying to turn the fake money over to real money,” Conrad said.
Later that night, Conrad spotted the vehicle in Dry Ridge and made a traffic stop.
After the driver consented to a search of the vehicle, Conrad located $480 in counterfeit $20 bills.
“It was very obviously fake money,” Conrad said.
Cassandra Lynn Anzalone, 22, of Florida, was charged with 22 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument first degree while Christopher Rene Crowell, 30, also of Florida, was charged with four counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument first degree.
“Through the investigation, we discovered that Mr. Crowell and an unknown male had traveled to Cincinnati to purchase heroin with the fake bills,” Conrad said. “Both the dealers they went to realized it was fake money. So, according to Mr. Crowell, they attempted to pass the money off at different gas stations between Cincinnati and Grant County.”
Investigators discovered that the suspects obtained the fake money after selling pills at Piddle Park in Dry Ridge.
Three subsequent arrests were made of the suspects who allegedly purchased the pills with the counterfeit money.
Larry Steven Ackerman, 40, of Cincinnati, his son, Steven Tyley Ackerman, 18, of Dry Ridge and Shayne Ryan McRoberts, 19, of Florence, each were charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument first degree.
Conrad said all three suspects had been staying in Grant County for several months.
“This gentleman (Larry Ackerman) estimated that since May he had printed $4,000 in fake $20s,” Conrad said. “He was using about six different serial numbers total. He was locating drug dealers and purchasing pills with the fake money and then turning around and reselling the pills or using them for personal use.”
Police confiscated a printer-scanner combination purchased at Office Depot that was used to make the counterfeit money, along with resume paper.
Secret Service agents from the Lexington office and Kentucky State Police assisted in the investigation.
All five suspects were lodged in the Grant County Detention Center.