Three arrested in Kingsport in connection with fake $100 bills

Rain Smith • Dec 1, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Two men were arrested Monday in Kingsport for attempting to pass counterfeit $100 bills at several businesses, with one successfully obtaining $98.51 in change for two doughnuts.

Last Wednesday, the wife of one of the men was arrested on the same charges.

"I don't know that the bills are originating with them," said Kingsport Det. Frank Light of the suspects arrested. "I think it's (produced) here in Kingsport, but as of right now we have not been able to determine where the bills are coming from."

Dispatch received a call from Walgreens, 1420 West Stone Drive, at 1:05 Monday morning. According to an incident report, a man entered the store an asked the clerk for change for a $100 bill.

Doubting the validity of the bill, the clerk contacted her manager, who then called police. Officers arrived to find the man, Joshua L. Sexton, 21, of 1213 West Jackson St., Kingsport, talking with store personnel at the photo counter.

"He stated he entered the store to see if the money was real," reads the police report. "Sexton commented numerous times he did not think the money was real and gave conflicting statements as to the origination of the bill."

Investigation by police determined that Sexton had also attempted to pass counterfeit money at the Valero gas station and Wal-Mart, each on Fort Henry Drive.

Sexton was arrested for criminal simulation, a class E felony. He also faces misdemeanor drug charges, as police discovered two white pills believed to be hydrocodone in his pocket.

Later on Monday, at about 1:15 p.m., police were dispatched to Krispy Kreme, 719 East Center St., to check the validity of money that had been passed. Again, the counterfeit money was a $100 bill. The suspect had given it employees of the drive-thru at about 9:30 a.m., and received change from it for his $1.49 worth of doughnuts.

Video surveillance equipment revealed the suspect as a white male in a plaid jacket, driving a camouflage colored Chevrolet Blazer. Police were given the same description about an hour and a half earlier at the McDonald's on Fort Henry Drive, where a man unsuccessfully tried to pass a fake $100 bill.

By around 2 p.m. police had spotted the camo truck at the intersection to Sevier Avenue and Holston Street. The driver, James A. Smith, 35, of Bancroft Chapel Road, no. 18, was arrested for one count of criminal simulation and one count of attempted criminal simulation.

According to Det. Light, Smith's wife was arrested last Wednesday on an attempt to pass fake money.

In that incident, Karen Smith presented $100 bill to a clerk at the Shell gas station, 1600 West Stone Drive. She was later identified through surveillance equipment and arrested.

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