JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Improvements in technology have lead to an increase in the manufacture of counterfeit money. Investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff's department there was an increase in the circulation of counterfeit money in the St. Martin area.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell says an influx of fake $20 bills were discovered in and around the St. Martin area.
He says they've arrested Malcolm Ellis McDaniel of Vancleave.
Sheriff Mike Ezell said, "We've charged him with 18 counts of possession of a counterfeit instrument and we've got him in jail now at the Adult Detention Center."
Sheriff Ezell says McDaniel had all the equipment to manufacture the fake $20 bills and was making them himself.
Banks, grocery stores and department stores can use a special marker to check for counterfeit money... so Ezell says McDaniel would spend the fake bills at flea markets and small mom and pop businesses.
"He would buy something say for a dollar, two dollars and pass one of these $20 bills and then he would get change, "stated Ezell.
So how can you tell the difference between a fake $20 bill and a real $20 bill?
Sheriff Ezell said, "You can compare a real $20 bill or a $10 bill to one of these. You can feel it. See how you can look through it. See how you can look through it and it changes colors when you turn it like this. You can see that. Now you take this one right here and you do that, you can see it's not like this real $20 bill at all."
Sheriff Ezell says bond for McDaniel has been set at $18,000,00. The counterfeit operation has been shut down.
Sheriff Mike Ezell says anyone found to be in possession of counterfeit money can be arrested with one count of Possession of a Counterfeit Instrument per bill.