Clovis police say they have arrested six people so far while investigating area counterfeiting incidents, including a man they believe is responsible for producing the phony currency.
Terry Maes, 30, of Clovis has confessed to manufacturing at least $2,500 in counterfeit money, Detective Matthew Solari said.
“Basically through his confession he gave a detailed explanation of how he used real federal reserve notes, copied them, scanned them, lined them up,” Solari said. “It is a very long process to align front and back. He admitted that he never got it perfect but he got it close enough, (and) he printed off 20 sheets of three bills on each sheet of different denominations.”
Curry County Adult Detention Center records show Solari arrested Maes at 3:10 a.m. Thursday on 70 counts of forgery and related allegations. Maes remained in jail Thursday night in lieu of a $695,000 bond.
Although five others have been arrested on counterfeiting-related charges, Solari and Police Chief Bill Carey asked the Clovis News Journal to withhold those suspects’ names, citing an ongoing investigation and safety concerns.
“We’ve had reports of threats from unknown individuals toward the individuals we have already arrested, and to prevent any possible harm to the suspects who are cooperating, we don’t want to jeopardize their life,” Solari said.
Solari said counterfeiting creates serious economic risks.
“It is essential to the financial stability of Clovis that the counterfeit currency be found,” Solari said. “We would implore anyone who thinks they may have a counterfeit bill to bring it down to the police department with no fear of criminal charges being pressed. We need to account for every bill out there.”
Clovis police have assigned two detectives and six additional staff members to the case. Federal agents of the Secret Service have been assisting since Tuesday.
“We work three or four (counterfeiting) cases a year but usually they are small compared to this,” Carey said. “Over the years we’ve had a few twenties passed or a few fifties or hundreds but nothing of this magnitude to my recollection.”
Carey said the bogus money has already spread to other communities.
“There is money being passed in Roswell, and we had a woman come in saying she saw someone passing out money in Farwell,” Carey said. “There is still some of that money out there and the public needs to be aware of it and be careful.”