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updated: 4/26/2012 11:48 AM

Police: Crystal Lake teens make counterfeit cash to buy pot

Buyer leads cops to teens accused of scanning bills

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  • Ryan Young

    Ryan Young

  • Nicholas A. Cheney

    Nicholas A. Cheney

  • Video: How you know cash is real (short)


Two Crystal Lake teenagers were arrested Tuesday night on charges they made counterfeit $20 bills for the purpose of buying pot.

Nicholas A. Cheney, 18, and Ryan Young, 18, both of the 800 block of Boxwood Drive, were charged with forgery, a felony that could bring each a sentence of two to five years in prison.

Cheney faces an additional charged of unlawful possession of marijuana, because he had a small amount of the drug on him during the arrest, police said.

According to a news release, a tip from McHenry County Crime Stoppers prompted the McHenry County sheriff's office to launch an investigation.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said the tipster left a message about the pair trying to buy marijuana using the bogus money.

Zinke declined to say who left the tip, but he said the teens were not successful the one time they tried to make a buy.

On Tuesday, police went to interview the men about what they'd heard and discovered the pot on Cheney and found the scanner, printer and the counterfeit money, Zinke said.

Police say the pair used the home scanner and printer to create more than $700 in counterfeit bills. Zinke called their scheme a rudimentary operation.

"It's real low-tech," he said. "They just scanned it and printed it off."

Bail was set at $10,000 for both men, which means they need to pay $1,000 to get out of jail while their cases are pending. They are due in court May 7 in Woodstock.

Cash: Police say teens used scanner to create phony bills

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