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Two charged with passing fake $20 bills
MEXICO -- Good work on the part of a Mexico business enabled two law enforcement agencies to charge two Bethel residents on Sept. 13 with passing counterfeit $20 bills in Mexico and Bethel.
Mexico Police Lt. Roy Hodsdon said Shannon Long, 18, and Jason Heath, 25, both of Bethel, were charged with aggravated forgery, which is a Class B offense punishable by five to 10 years in jail.
He said Long was released from the Oxford County Jail on $300 bail, and Heath was issued a summons.
Hodsdon said he started investigating following a complaint on Sept. 12 from Food Trend in Mexico about a bleached $5 bill passed as a twenty. The bank called the business after a normal deposit. The clerk recalled receiving a bill on Sept. 3 that didn't feel right but it had passed the marker.
They located the videotape of the transaction, which Hodsdon said was allegedly made by Long. The clerk believed she was from the Bethel area.
Officer Josh Aylward, who lives in Bethel, saw the tape and was then able to identify her vehicle.
Meanwhile, Oxford County Dep. Sheriff Dennis Ryder, who patrols around Bethel, was able to locate the vehicle.
Ryder, on that same Sept. 3 day, took a report of another bleached $5 bill that had been passed at a twenty at the Big Apple in Bethel. Ryder had no leads or suspects until Hodsdon notified him about the Mexico counterfeit bill. Both counterfeit bill carried the same serial number.
Hodsdon said there may a third person charged with possible pending charges.
Long and Heath are scheduled to appear in Oxford County Superior Court in So. Paris on Nov. 1. Hodsdon added that he will also be seeking restitution on behalf of the two businesses.
Shannon Long, 18. (Photo courtesy of the Mexico Police Dept.)