LYNNWOOD — If nothing else, the counterfeiters were fastidious planners.
When police seized evidence from a Lynnwood motel room in April, they came across remarkably helpful information for the investigation.
One of the handwritten documents included the reminder: “Work on $100 template” and “research where to legally sell guns.”
Another memo said “make payroll check” and “create identity that we can make bank acct. with.”
Investigators often locate ledgers and bank records that may reveal evidence of drug trafficking, money laundering or other financial crimes, but these “to-do” lists were “anything but typical,” Lynnwood police Cmdr. Sean Doty said.
The lists “paint a picture of how much effort and organization these suspects put forth to advance their criminal activity,” he said.
Detectives also found stolen checks and credit cards as well as a passport. When they contacted the passport’s owner, she reported that it had been stolen along with her birth certificate. She’d become a victim of identity theft.
Inside the hotel room were scanners and printers. Also found was a can of Easy-Off oven cleaner, though there was neither an oven nor a stove in the room. The spray can be used to wash checks or other documents for counterfeiting, police wrote in an affidavit for a search warrant.
A U.S. Secret Service agent examined the handiwork, inspecting several bills made on washed $1 bills. Other bogus bills were on printer paper.
“It was clear the washed bills were going to be made into fake $100s,” police wrote after conferring with the federal agent.
It was the cleaning staff who first noticed the suspicious currency. They’d seen what they thought was real money in a trash can. They soon realized it was counterfeit.
Police recovered phony $20, $50 and $100 bills.
Officers arrested a man, 41, and woman, 22, after the search.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.