Woman accused of passing bogus $20 bills

ALBANY -- Two cases of counterfeiting remain under investigation by the Albany Police Department this week.

Lakisha Carter, 29, is in the Dougherty County Jail facing two counts of forgery, a jail spokeswoman said. Her bail has been set at $5,000, but because the Worth County Sheriff's Office wants her, she cannot make bail and be released, the spokeswoman added.

Worth County sheriff's officials could not be reached Friday in regard to what charges Carter might be facing in that county.

"Carter tried to pay for shoes at the (Albany) Mall with five $20 bills Wednesday," said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman. "The cashier was alert and ran the pen over the bills. They came up black."

The special pens are commonly used by merchants to detect bogus bills. When the ink is applied to a real bill, the ink turns yellowish. A bad bill will turn the ink black.

Police confiscated another 62 bills, or $1,240 more in bad cash, from Carter's pocketbook, Banks said. As part of the case, investigators will see if Carter is linked to other possible counterfeiters in the area, Banks added.

One possible link is Jerome Montal Johnson, 22, who was arrested for forgery, possession of marijuana and possession of a gun in connection with another crime Tuesday.

Johnson remained in jail with no bond available Friday night.

Acting in cooperation with the secret service, Albany-Dougherty County Drug Unit officers arrested Johnson at a liquor store parking lot on the 300 block of Oakridge Drive. In the door pocket of Johnson's 2001 KIA Optima, police said they found $1,720 in bogus $20s, along with marijuana and a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.

Federal charges could follow for both accused forgers, officials said. As the investigations continue, law enforcement officials expect more arrests.

Bogus bills have been turning up in the city in denominations from $50 down to $10 in the past few months, police reports stated.

To show how to protect against counterfeit currency, the Secret Service offers information at its Web site, www.secretservice.gov/.