Four people were arrested in Elgin and charged with counterfeiting U.S. currency, police said Friday.
George Cotton, 31, of Rockford, James "Rico" Williams, 35, of the 300 block of Raymond Street in Elgin, Genevieve Ortiz, 27, and Artaveus Lowe, 35, both of the 1600 block Mark Avenue, were charged in U.S. Northern District of Illinois federal court, police said.
Police, acting on a search warrant Wednesday, recovered the fake money, about 78 grams of marijuana individually packaged for sale and drug paraphernalia from the home of Ortiz and Lowe, police said.
Elgin Police Sgt. Jim Lullo said he couldn't disclose what kind of bills they were counterfeiting, or how, citing the pending court case. The investigation took about two months, he said.
Lullo warned residents to keep an eye out for any fraudulent activity during cash or credit card transactions.
"Double-check everything," Lullo said. "Unfortunately it's supposed to be a time for Christmas cheer but it still seems like everybody wants to rip people off," he said.
"We've had previous incidents of counterfeiting in the city. We do stress to people that if they run across counterfeit currency, to call the police department."
Lowe, who is a child sex offender, also was charged with violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and unlawful possession of marijuana, all felonies, a news release said.
The arrests followed a joint investigation between the U.S. Secret Service and Elgin police, police said.
The Elgin Police Department can be reached at (847) 289-2700.