The man police say manufactured counterfeit $50 bills and used them at at least two Columbus businesses appeared in Recorder’s Court Tuesday morning.
Brandon Turner entered an official not guilty plea to 21 counts of second-degree forgery and one count of tools in the commission of a crime, but he told the court he was guilty of the crime during the hearing.
He was ordered to return to the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $107,500.
Over the course of the past few months, the Columbus Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit has been investigating reports of counterfeit money being distributed in the area, Columbus Police Cpl. Jane Edenfield said.
Among the incident reports was the use of a counterfeit $50 bill at the Pizza Hut at 1702 Manchester Expressway on April 6 and another at the Marathon gas station at 2047 Warm Springs Road April 7, Edenfield said.
Video surveillance, a description of the suspect and photo lineup in which Turner was identified as the suspect has led police to believe he is the offender, according to the officer’s testimony.
A warrant was then issued for Turner’s arrest.
On Thursday, members of the CPD Financial Crimes Unit and Auto Theft Unit and the U.S. Secret Service went to an apartment on Warm Springs Road. With the consent of the owner, the agencies searched the residence, Edenfield said.
In the kitchen, officials found an unzipped bag in plain view that held used printer cartilages, chalk, a sketch of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson’s head, a journal and cut and uncut counterfeit notes, Edenfield said.
A desktop printer was found next to the bag with the same paper material hanging from it, the officer said. When officials lifted the lid, they found two $50 counterfeit bills on the glass of the printer, Edenfield added.
Police say the 21 counts of second-degree forgery stem from the bills found cut and uncut in the Warm Springs Road home Turner was residing in at the time.
Edenfield told the court that Turner claimed the counterfeit money and accepted responsibility for the incident at the Marathon gas station and Pizza Hut before they transported him to the Muscogee County Jail.
“He made a spontaneous utterance ‘All the stuff that you guys found was mine. I’ll take it all,’” Edenfield quoted.