Traffic stop leads to counterfeit bills

Kimberly Culbreth and Tovaris Welborne

Kimberly Culbreth and Tovaris Welborne

LEESBURG -- An early morning traffic stop for an unlit license tag light led to the arrest of a man on charges of marijuana possession and currency forgery, stated a Lee County Sheriff's Office report.

Deputies arrested Tovaris Welborne, 26, (a.k.a. Stephen Jeffrey Shirley), the passenger in the car, for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and forgery on Friday, said Lee Sheriff's Office Maj. Butch Mathis.

"He has multiple aliases," Mathis said, "and he is wanted in Dougherty, Sumter, Douglas and Clayton counties."

The tan 1998 Mazda 626 driver, Kimberly Nicole Culbreth, 28, was charged with the tag-light violation, driving while her license was suspended and two counts of not having her 2-year-old and 1-month-old boys secured safely in the car, the report added.

The children were turned over to Natasha Brown at Culbreth's request, the report stated. Culbreth was released from jail on a $2,000 bond, Mathis said.

According to the reports, a sheriff's deputy on patrol spotted the Masada traveling on the 1800 block of Philema Road with no tag light and no passenger-side taillight working. The deputy stopped the car and smelled "a strong odor of green marijuana coming from the interior of the vehicle."

The reports continued to state that on a search of the car for marijuana, the deputy did not find any. On a pat-down search of Welborne, the deputy found $915 in cash. Five of the $100 bills had the same serial number, a $50 bill and a $20 bill had smudged ink, and the security threads in the bills read "five."

In the Mazda's trunk, deputies said they found an Epson printer. Billy Joe Powers, Secret Service resident agent in charge, said that $5 bills are often bleached and reprinted as higher denominations in forgery schemes.

On a strip search at the Lee County Jail, deputies found less than an ounce of marijuana on Welborne, the reports added.

Asked about the counterfeit cash, Welborne "advised that he buys the counterfeit bills from a guy in Atlanta," the reports stated. "The guy charges $400 for $1,000 in counterfeit bills."

Holding a $100 bill up to the light is one way to check authenticity, Powers said. The watermark on a $100 will have Benjamin Franklin's picture and match the printed picture, he added.


Sister_Ruby 3 years, 3 months ago

AWESOME!!! Great job, Leesburg Police Department!! Only about a Billion more felons out there so keep it up!!


chinaberry25 3 years, 3 months ago

Your fines will be off the charts even without the marijuana. Stay out of Lee County or you will do time. I just wonder if my light is on. Seems to be a very small reason to stop someone. I saw someone stopped because she did not use a blinker after she stopped then made a right turn. This is getting petty and Lee County will be put on the bad list. Agreed this got thugs, but not all do and we do not hear about them Get the Lee County Ledger and see the fines they are paying for petty crimes.


tywebb 3 years, 3 months ago

gotta have all lights working. you think it's petty, but i think it's a great way to get criminals that they normally wouldn't get. plus, this stop may have saved the lives of those unbuckled children! most people, who aren't criminals, would just get a warning for something "petty" like this.


USMCRetired 3 years, 3 months ago

I've lived in Lee County for over five years and never been stopped for anything. I don't think Lee County law enforcement write "petty" tickets. Unlike the Dougherty County officers that camp out on the where Lee County meets Dougherty County on Phelima just trying to find someone with a job to stop for going a bit fast on the way to work. Keep up the good work Lee County. Let the thugs know to take thier criminal ways elsewhere.


jglass 3 years, 3 months ago

Stopping someone for not having lights working or not using blinkers is not petty. Look at what they caught!!! Keep up the good work.


Jacob 3 years, 3 months ago

Tovoris- isn't that a mouthwash?


MRKIA 3 years, 3 months ago



VSU 3 years, 3 months ago

As Barney Fife would say...You give them 20, they go 25...you give them 25 they go 30...you give them 30 they go 35....With so many people driving with suspended license, no insurance etc. Things like this can keep more people on their toes. There have been many people caught with drugs,even some criminals caught on simple traffic stops.


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