‘Funny money’ rash hits town; warrant issued for one suspect


What police described as “an experienced” gang of counterfeiters blew through Rockdale last week, passing about a dozen bills at several businesses.

Working with the Bee Caves Police Department in the Austin area, Rockdale police believe they have identified a 24-year-old Bastrop woman as one of the suspects and have issued a warrant for her arrest.

Ernessia Yvonne Caro of Bastrop is being sought on charges of forgery by passing and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Lt. J. D. Newlin of the Rockdale Police Department said two women and three men were involved in passing the counterfeit money.

Businesses hit included Texas Burger/Subway, McDonald’s, and Brookshire Bros. “We know they were also at Dollar General in Thorndale and Golden Chick in Cameron,” Newlin said.

He said nine phony 50-dollar bills and a pair of fake 20s were passed in Rockdale.

“Not all of the tries were successful,” he said. “In some cases, they ordered food and left before the order was prepared because employees got suspicious.”

Newlin said the counterfeit money was “pretty good” but would have been easily detectable with proper training. (See separate story.)

“It wasn’t done on an inkjet printer like some of the cruder tries we’ve seen” he said. “But the paper was waxy and if it had been held up to the light it was obviously phony.”

ARRESTS—Felony arrests made during the past week included:

• Michael Huckaby, 18, Thorndale, and Chelsea Elizabeth Snyder, 22, Warren, Pennsylvania, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), stemming from traffic stop, each was released after posting $5,000 bond.

• Maryann Montalbo, 34, Buckholts, fabricating physician evidence, Temple PD warrant for theft ($1,500 to $20,000), in custody on $45,000 bond.

• John D. Johnson, 32, Rockdale, assault-family violence of family member/impeding breath, released after posting $20,000 bond.

• Zelma Mitchell, 58, Rockdale, Lee County warrant for failure to appear on charge of theft (less than $1,500) with prior convictions, released after posting $20,000 bond.

ACCIDENTS—Police investigated five traffic crashes during the past week.

Vehicles operated by Robert Morris of Rockdale and Nathan Batten of Milano were in collision at 11:22 a.m. Thursday at the Main-Cameron (FM 908-US 79) intersection. No injuries were reported and damages were listed as minor to moderate.

Vehicles operated by Joshua Cornelius and Joshua Simank of Rockdale were in collision at 9:22 p.m. Thursday in the 700 block of Rockdale Road, Police said there were no injuries and damages were minor to moderate, according to police.

Minor damages, and no injuries, were reported at 3:45 p.m. Friday at the Meadow- Pecos intersection. Drivers were listed as Garrett Pounders and Kelsey Hornung, both of Rockdale.

Vehicles operated by Robert Buchanan of Rockdale and Ray Martinez of Schertz were in collision at 5:42 p.m. Saturday near Miller-Starnes Chevrolet-Buick. Police said there were no injuries and listed damages as “minor.”

Minor damages, and no injuries, were reported at 6:30 a.m. Monday near US 79 and FM 487, Drivers were listed as Meighann King and James Wells, according to police.

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