Placer County Sheriff”s detectives arrested two suspects Thursday night who were part of a much-larger counterfeit currency ring.
Detective Jim Hudson arrested Lakeisha C. Pearson, 23, and Ryan Ragsdale, 24, both residents of Sacramento County, and booked them into the Placer County Jail on charges of burglary, passing counterfeit currency and conspiracy. Pearson was also a federal fugitive, having fled house detention two months ago while awaiting federal charges of passing counterfeit credit cards.
The pair passed more than $1,000 in fake $50 bills in Placer County Target stores on Oct. 22, Hudson said. In the past 60 days, Pearson, Ragsdale and others passed as much as $100,000 in fraudulent $50 bills in Placer, San Joaquin and Sacramento counties.
The serial number on the $50 bills they are currently passing is IB06637078B. These suspects were using chemicals on the currency that avoided detection when retailers used pen-detection devices.
As the busy holiday retail season approaches, the Sheriff’s Department encourages businesses to be extra diligent in taking cash as counterfeit currency trafficking continues to grow. There are many ways to guard against this type of crime, including inspecting the bills for the numerous safeguards already in place.