Bethlehem police arrested two Albany residents on Friday, Dec. 5, for allegedly using counterfeit currency to pay for goods at several area stores.
Police executed a search warrant for an Albany residence where authorities believed counterfeit money was being manufactured and used at area businesses. Over the past two months, Bethlehem and Colonie detectives, along with the U.S. Secret Service, have investigated multiple subjects passing counterfeit $20 bills at stores. During these incidents, the suspect typically purchased an item of nominal value to receive the maximum amount of genuine currency as change.
Police arrested Umar Davis, 21, and Zhaine Fletcher, 21, both of Albany, for allegedly using counterfeit currency at multiple locations. Davis and Fletcher were charged with two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree, both felonies.
Judge Ryan Donovan arraigned them in Bethlehem Town Court. Davis was remanded to Albany County jail in lieu of $90,000 bail. Fletcher was remanded to county jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Both are scheduled appear in Bethlehem Town Court on Wednesday, Dec. 10, for a preliminary hearing.
Bethlehem police are continuing the joint investigation with the Albany Police Department, Colonie Police Department and U.S. Secret Service, with additional charges pending.
Police recommend storeowners inspect money to ensure it’s genuine prior to accepting it.