PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Secret Service is investigating after a search warrant led Port Richey Police to discover items used in counterfeit bill-making operations in a man’s vehicle.
Police said they were called to the WAWA on Ridge Road regarding a woman attempting to use a counterfeit bill for a purchase on Monday.
Port Richey Police Chief Cyrus Robinson said they arrived to locate the woman inside a minivan at the gas pumps, along with 49-year-old David Ford.
A search warrant for the vehicle was granted, which resulted in the discovery of various items.
“Four printers, approximately 50 counterfeit bills in various stages of the process, along with the bleaching agents and liquids needed to make these bills,” Robinson said.
A firearm that had been reported stolen in New York in 1988 was also discovered. According to police, Ford had several prior felony charges for possessing certain forged notes, bills, checks, or drafts.
One of the businesses impacted by Ford was Lily’s Tacos in Port Richey. Owner, Monique Wells, said Ford and two other people entered her business and used fake $50 bills.
Wells said the bills passed a market test, so she didn’t discover they were fake until she attempted to deposit the money in the bank.
“We are a small business, so it does kinda, it hurts us,” Wells said.
That prompted Wells to purchase a counterfeit money detector machine to keep her business safe from becoming a victim twice.
Chief Robinson said they have reason to believe Ford is involved in crimes in other counties, but police are still investigating.