Three people have been arrested in a "highly sophisticated" forgery and identity theft operation netting at least $12,500 in counterfeit bills and 12 ID cards, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office reported Friday.
Robert Gould, the suspected ringleader, was making counterfeit bills with holographic markings that passed the typical "marker test" used by businesses to identify fake bills, the office reported. He was arrested last week on suspicion of 125 counts of forgery, criminal possession of a financial device, criminal possession of tools for a forgery device, criminal possession of identity documents for multiple victims and theft.
Gould, 48, also was accused of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Deputies said they found 1.5 grams of heroin and a sawed-off shotgun during a search of a home in the 1700 block of North Ellicott Highway.
Two others arrested in the operation were Lance Williams, 31, and Michelle Liali, 35. Williams was arrested on suspicion of forgery, and Liali was arrested on suspicion of identity theft, criminal possession of tools for a forgery device and criminal possession of identity documents for multiple victims, the office said.
The three remain in the county jail, records show.
Authorities said they also arrested a third man during the search on an unrelated warrant, and they recovered a 13-year-old who had been listed as a runaway.
The Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority, Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence division and the U.S. Secret Service helped in the investigation.
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