By Jay Meisel
FORT PIERCE - A motel room was being used for a lot more than just an overnight stay, police said last week.
A police officer discovered occupants of the motel room were printing counterfeit money, police said.
Michael Tavaris Johnson, 27, 6485 Metal Road, Apt. 414, Fort Pierce and Necola Gaskin, 29, 601 South 24th St., Fort Pierce, were arrested July 25 and charged with possession of counterfeiting tools and possession of more than 10 counterfeit bills.
Inside the room, police discovered seven counterfeit $20 bills and four counterfeit $50 bills, an arrest affidavit said.
They also found a copy, print, scan machine, scissors and copier paper, an arrest affidavit said.
Mr. Johnson, who shared the room with Ms. Gaskin, told authorities another man living in the motel room with him was responsible for the counterfeit money.
In a press release, police credited Officer Christine Davis with using good investigative skills to find the culprit for the phony money.
An owner or employee of a business called police and notified them of money out on the road, the affidavit said.
Later, Officer Davis received information from a convenience store employee that she had received a counterfeit $50 bill from a customer, the affidavit said.
Officer Davis discovered the counterfeit bill had the same serial number as the bills she found earlier, the affidavit said.
She also found a business card from the motel, the report said.
With a description of the customer from the convenience store clerk, Officer Davis went to the motel and asked the clerk if anyone staying there fit the description, the affidavit said.
The clerk told Officer Davis that a man fitting that description had stayed in a room since May and paid the bill at the same time each day, the affidavit said.
Officer Davis waited in the lobby and when the man came to the counter, she questioned him, the affidavit said.
That led to the discovery of the counterfeiting operation, the affidavit said.