WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Three more suspects have been charged in connection with a counterfeit cash ring in Wayne County.
The charges are the result of a year-and-a-half long investigation conducted by the Secret Service, with assistance from the Wayne County Sheriff's Department.
Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley said the investigation uncovered a sophisticated operation to print and distribute fake U.S. currency.
An indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Hattiesburg charges Richard Bryan Crabtree, Richard Cochran, Katie Ashley Dubose Tate, Kimberly Lynn Hutchinson, Christopher Bishop and Tyler Janzen Perry.
- Richard Bryan Crabtree: One count of conspiracy and six counts of passing counterfeit obligations
- Richard Cochran: One count of conspiracy
- Katie Ashley Dubose Tate: One count of conspiracy and three counts of passing counterfeit obligations
- Kimberly Lynn Hutchinson: One count of conspiracy and one counts of passing counterfeit obligations
- Christopher Bishop: One count of conspiracy and one counts of passing counterfeit obligations
- Tyler Janzen Perry: One count of conspiracy and one counts of passing counterfeit obligations
Mugshots of Crabtree, Hutchinson and Perry have not been released at this time.
According to the indictment, the counterfeit bills were used in Puckett, Leakesville, Laurel, Waynesboro, Jones County, Greene County, Perry County and Wayne County.
Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley said Cochran, 45, was arrested Tuesday at a police checkpoint in Adams County. Cochran is currently being held at the Adams County Jail. According to Ashley, Cochran is the brother of Dubose, 37.
Dubose and Bishop, 45, were arrested Tuesday in Wayne County.
Ashley said Crabtree and Perry are in custody in another state for counterfeit activity there, and they will eventually be turned over to the U.S. Secret Service. Hutchinson, Ashley said, has made phone calls to authorities about turning herself but has not done so.
Ashley said as many as half of the businesses in Wayne County may have accepted counterfeit money from the ring.
Two of those businesses were Kelley's convenience stores and Gatlin Building Supply.
"These predators that I call these counterfeiters, predators, they prey on conveniences stores and other things like this because it's quick serve," said Glen Miller, district manager for Kelley Companies.
"(I'm) a little angry about it," said Vince Walley, general manager of Gatlin Building Supply. "The people that pass (counterfeit) money don't think about what it does to the businesses and they really don't care."
Ashley said other arrests are expected.