GONZALES — A surveillance video and a Crime Stoppers tip led investigators to the identities of two brothers who were passing counterfeit money, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier this month, the Sheriff’s Office began getting complaints from area stores and fast-food restaurants where people were passing counterfeit $10 bills, Webre said.
On the surface, the counterfeit bills look real, but when held up to a light, they don’t show the watermark or security strip that genuine money has, Webre said.
Retailers can run a pen with yellow ink over a bill, and the ink will turn black if the bill is made of paper. Real money is made of cotton or linen, he said.
Two suspects identified from a surveillance video taken at a store where the counterfeit money was found were later identified through a Crime Stoppers tip as William Bridges and Kristen Dufrene, Webre said.
Investigators learned the vehicle the two were driving belonged to William Bridges’ older brother, Randal Bridges, who had been arrested by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office on April 18 on unrelated counts.
Randal Bridges told detectives that he used counterfeit $10 bills 14 times at six different retail outlets in the parish, Webre said in a news release.
Fourteen counts of monetary instrument abuse and theft were filed against Randal Bridges, 27, of 48274 Amite River Road, St. Amant. He is in custody in the Livingston Parish Jail, according to the report.
William Bridges, of the same address as his brother, was arrested Wednesday on five counts of monetary instrument abuse and theft. He was booked into Ascension Parish jail.
The Sheriff’s Office is also looking for Dufrene, 24, of 25175 West St., Springfield, who is also wanted for five counts of monetary instrument abuse and theft.
Anyone with information on Dufrene’s whereabouts is asked to call the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-4636 or text 847411, or call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.