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W.Va. residents face counterfeit charges

January 24, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Two Ranson, W.Va., residents were arrested over the weekend on counterfeit charges and an investigation into the case resulted in a search of Ranson home Sunday in which a bundle of counterfeit money and other materials were found, police said.

Police began looking into the case after counterfeit money was used Saturday at the New China Restaurant along North Mildred Street in Ranson, police said.

Michael Lee Powell, 40, of 400 W. Second Ave., and Christina Marie Clem, 23, of 205 E. 11th Ave., were charged with possession of counterfeit U.S. currency with intent to utter, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

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Powell was being held Monday in the Eastern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond and Clem was free on $5,000 bond.

The counterfeiting charge carries a punishment of one to five years in prison.

Clem was arrested Saturday after she allegedly used two counterfeit $50 bills at the New China Restaurant, according to court records.

Before Clem was arrested, she was interviewed by Cpl. V.C. Lupis of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and told Lupis that she received the counterfeit money from a man known as "Mike," who could often be found at a Roc's gas station in Ranson, records state.

On Sunday, Lupis and Deputy P.G. Smith went to 400 W. Second Ave. and met with Powell, Lupis said in a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court.

Powell said he gave Clem two counterfeit $50 bills but did not have more of the fake money, according to the complaint.

Powell allowed Lupis and Smith to search his home, and the officers found a bundle of counterfeit bills in an attic and "several pieces of printer paper with currency on them," the complaint states.

Lupis told Powell he was under arrest and Powell ran to a back door, the complaint alleges. Powell pushed Smith while trying to get out the door but Smith was able to grab Powell, the complaint states.

Powell was taken to the sheriff's department for processing, where he told police that he received the counterfeit money from a person in Warrenton, Va., the complaint states.

At the sheriff's department, Lupis separated the seized evidence and part of it was a bundle of 22 counterfeit $50 bills totaling $1,100, according to the complaint.

The other seized items included printer paper which contained printings of fronts and backs of various bill denominations, the complaint said.

The total of all the printed material was $3,284, the complaint said.

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