Police: Man, woman spent at least $1,100 in counterfeit cash - Had $1,040 more unused
The man and woman booked Tuesday into the Yavapai County Jail on felony charges including forgery spent at least 55 counterfeit $20 bills that were recovered from businesses in Prescott and Cottonwood between Oct. 23 and Nov. 12, according to a Prescott Police Report.
Prescott police detectives allegedly also found 52 more unused counterfeit $20 bills in Edwin Manual Jaramillo and his fiancée Erica Shay Pimentel's Prescott Valley home, car, and in their possession.
Prescott police officers, with help from Prescott Valley officers, arrested Jaramillo, 47, and Pimentel, 29, who had allegedly been passing fake the $20 bills at several restaurants, grocery stores and Walmarts, Prescott Police Lt. Ken Morley said.
An officer booked Jaramillo into jail on felony charges of fraud, money laundering, forgery and several other charges related to illegal drugs found at his home. Pimentel was booked into jail on felony charges of fraud, money laundering, forgery and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license.
As the investigation continues, they may face more charges, Morley said.
Alert store clerks, police investigation and store video led detectives to identify Jaramillo and Pimentel as suspects, according to police reports.
On Nov. 9, a detective placed a GPS tracking device on the suspects' car after a judge had signed a warrant to do so two days earlier, according to a police report.
Later that afternoon, officers watched Jaramillo and Pimentel have lunch at a Prescott restaurant then go to a grocery store, where Jaramillo watched how cashiers handled cash then left.
When officers went to the restaurant they found a counterfeit $20 bill with a serial number that matched a counterfeit bill allegedly used by Pimentel in Cottonwood two days earlier.
A few days later, Prescott Valley Police officers stopped Pimentel for a traffic violation, learned she had a suspended Arizona driver's license, arrested her, and towed the car.
When officers searched the car, they found two counterfeit $20 bills in Pimentel's purse with the same serial number of counterfeits used at the Prescott restaurant and a Cottonwood store, a laptop computer, sheets of green/multicolored paper, and sheets of color copied $20 bills along with cutting and measuring materials, according to the police report.
Pimentel initially told the detective she didn't know the $20 bills in her purse were counterfeit, and later said she wanted to speak to an attorney.
Detectives executing a search warrant at the couple's home allegedly found 12 counterfeit $20 bills in a safe and several heroin soaked cotton tips.
Jaramillo initially told the detective a man in the Phoenix area gave him the counterfeit $20 bills, but later said he made 18 counterfeit bills, according to the police report.
Jaramillo allegedly said he and Pimentel didn't spend many counterfeits, that they had been going through "hard times," and recently decided not to do it anymore.