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Men under investigation for counterfeit money operation

What began as a simple burglary investigation has now turned into a case for the Secret Service after Decatur County Sheriff’s Office investigators found two men to be manufacturing counterfeit money in a local hotel room.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, DCSO Investigator Vincent Edmond, assisted by the DCSO Crime Scene Unit Investigator Terry Phillips, responded to Bell Farms on Pelham Road in Climax, Georgia in reference to a burglary. DCSO Investigators were told that several tools and other items were stolen from the business. Investigators located shoe prints, fingerprints, and a counterfeit $20 bill while processing the scene. Investigators Edmond, Adam Mobley and Phillips later responded to a burglary at Circle B Contracting the same morning.

Investigators also located shoe prints that were identical to the ones found at Bell Farms, fingerprints and security camera footage at the business. Investigators suspected that these two cases were related.

Later that afternoon, Edmond received information that items from both burglaries were located at a pawnshop in Thomasville, Georgia.

The following day, Edmond traveled to Thomasville, and retrieved items from several pawnshops that were stolen from both businesses.

There, Edmond discovered that Jonathan Craig Hughes pawned the items and was wanted from Dothan, Alabama for burglary and theft. Edmond contacted the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and was informed that Hughes was possibly with Kenneth Colby Moore, who was also wanted for burglary and theft. Edmond discovered through security footage from a local Bainbridge pawn shop that these subjects were driving a U-Haul truck. Edmond then put out a BOLO for the U-Haul and it was spotted by a Department of Transportation worker at the Walmart in Bainbridge.

Officers from Bainbridge Public Safety and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area, where Hughes and Moore were taken into custody. Methamphetamine and illegal pills were found on Moore during the arrest and counterfeit money was found on Hughes.

Edmond and Mobley later executed search warrants on the U-Haul and the suspect’s hotel room at the Glenn Oaks Motel.

Inside the U-Haul, investigators discovered items stolen from both Bell Farms and Circle B Contracting, narcotics, and large sums of counterfeit money in different denominations. Inside the suspect’s hotel room, investigators discovered more stolen items, more counterfeit money, and also the equipment used to manufacture the counterfeit money.

Later, Edmond and Mobley interviewed both suspects who confessed to burglary, theft by taking, entering auto, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, and manufacturing of counterfeit money. Edmond noted that the manufacturing of counterfeit money case is being turned over to the Secret Service and this investigation is ongoing and other arrests may be forthcoming.

Edmond is thankful for everyone who came forward to help make this operation a success.

“This case was a team effort and could not have been solved without tips and help from Decatur County citizens, local businesses, and other law enforcement agencies. Thank You!” he said.