On Monday March 19, general duty officers started an investigation centered on the production and distribution of counterfeit Canadian $100 bills.
On Thursday March 22, a Prince George RCMP Municipal Traffic Services member conducted a vehicle stop after receiving a suspicious vehicle report on the 1700 block of EighthAvenue. Through investigation, two of the five occupants of the vehicle were subsequently arrested for counterfeit related offences. Seventeen counterfeit $50 US bills were seized.
On Friday March 23, members of the Prince George RCMP’s General Duty Section attended a motel room in Bear Lake, approximately 70 kilometres north of Prince George. A search warrant was executed and evidence of the production of counterfeit currency was seized, including more than $8,000 in counterfeit Canadian $100 bills and over $2,500 in counterfeit American $50 bills, were seized.
During this investigation, nearly $12,000 in Canadian and American counterfeit currency was seized.
Cole Patrick McIntyre-Hartwick, a 20-year-old man who recently relocated to Prince George from Alberta, has been charged with production of counterfeit currency, distribution of counterfeit currency, offering to sell counterfeit money, and three counts of using counterfeit money as if it were genuine.
McIntyre-Hartwick appeared in provincial court on Monday March 26 and was remanded in custody at least until his next court appearance scheduled for April 25.
A female youth has been charged with production of counterfeit currency and possession of counterfeit currency. She appeared in provincial court on Monday March 26 and was released on documents to appear in court on a future date.
Investigators believe that there is approximately $2,000 in counterfeit Canadian $100 bills still in circulation in Prince George. If examined, the bills will show obvious signs of being counterfeit and all show the same serial number, EKR2223601. If gone unchecked, the bills could pass, and have been passing, as authentic currency.
This investigation is continuing. Further arrests and charges are possible. This investigation is not associated to the College Heights counterfeit investigation last week.
Police are asking everyone in the community who handles cash as part of their job, to take the time and check each and every bill received to help ensure its authenticity, whether the currency is Canadian or American. Canadian currency has a number of built in security features to help handlers detect counterfeit cash. The following Bank of Canada web page fully describes these security features with accompanying photographs: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/bank-note-series/frontiers/100-polymer-note/.
If you have any information about counterfeit activity in our community, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only). You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, seizure of counterfeit currency or recovery of stolen property, you could be eligible for a cash reward.