Kingsport counterfeiter sentenced to prison

Matthew Lane • Feb 7, 2007 at 10:48 AM

GREENEVILLE - A Kingsport man arrested with more than $50,000 in fake $20 and $100 bills has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Rocky Renfro pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greeneville in August to one count of possession of counterfeit money. On Monday, Renfro was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Renfro faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Renfro's arrest dates back to a June 2006 incident at East Lawn Funeral Home where Sullivan County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to a family disturbance call.

Deputies responded to the scene and located Renfro's vehicle at a nearby gas station. Authorities found a .45-caliber handgun, which ran through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as being stolen in 1993. At that point, deputies placed Renfro under arrest on a charge of theft under $500.

Deputies impounded Renfro's 2000 Lexus, inventoried the vehicle's contents, and discovered several pages containing images of $20 and $100 bills, $4,900 in counterfeit notes, two paper cutters, counterfeit detector pens and a shrink wrap machine.

The total amount of counterfeit currency found in Renfro's vehicle was $51,600, court documents state.

Douglas Allen, a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, wrote in court records that the counterfeit detector pens were possibly used by Renfro to test the quality of the currency Renfro had in his possession.

Court records state the two paper cutters found in Renfro's vehicle are the same type U.S. Secret Service agents say have been utilized by counterfeiters in other counterfeit cases.

In an interview with federal agents in June, Renfro admitted possessing the counterfeit bills with the intent to defraud.

As part of the plea agreement, federal authorities seized Renfro's laptop computer, copier, scanner and assorted power cords.

In May 2006, Renfro shot Jeffrey Scott Bishop, 43, of Kingsport, after Bishop fired several shots at Renfro, who was visiting a friend at 1633 Newbern Road. The Kingsport Police Department ruled that Renfro acted in self-defense at the time of the shooting.

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