GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - Over the weekend, Gulf Shores Police were not only busy securing the Hangout Music Festival, they were also busy making arrests that could lead to federal charges.
Twelve suspects ranging between the ages of 18 to 36 were arrested over the weekend, all in connection to making counterfeit money during the Hangout Music Festival.
Sgt. Jason Woodruff of the Gulf Shores Police Department said it all started with one man selling Hangout tickets online.
"He had three people come and purchase wristbands from him. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 worth of wristbands," Woodruff said.
Woodruff said if it weren't for the individual selling the tickets, they might not have known who to look for.
"They left, and he realized the money was fake. He tricked them in coming back to him," Woodruff said.
That's when police stepped in and discovered even more suspects.
"That led to a search warrant being served in the north end of the city in an apartment. They took another eight into custody there, and there was one outstanding until yesterday," Woodruff said.
Police said the last suspect surrendered. He is charged with forgery in the first degree.
Police said this isn't just a local case - the Secret Service get involved in counterfeiting cases.
"They've helped out from pretty much every angle," said Woodruff.
Police said that help was needed to find evidence, as well as drugs including marijuana.
"They did have all the material to make the money. They had a printer/scanner, laptops, paper. There was some trial and error evidence. And then there was another $4,800-$5,000 worth of money taken there," said Woodruff.
All items that could land 12 individuals some jail time including federal charges.
Eleven of the suspects have been identified:
- Lauren Strick, 18, Gulf Shores
- Andrea Alvarez, 19, Norcross, Ga.
- Leena Haidar, 18, Picayune, Miss.
- Griffin Goralnik, 19, Berkley Lake, Ga.
- Charles Paryag, Jr., 19, Duluth, Ga.
- Jack Morgan, 20, Gulf Shores
- Cody Bartley, 36, Huntsville, Texas
- Christopher Boudreaux, Jr., 20, Duson, La.
- Gage McElroy, 19, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Syndey Alexander, 21, Orange Beach
- Ronald Metzger, 20, Duluth, Ga.
If you think you have been a victim of counterfeit money, call the police right away.
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