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Conover Police arrested two men Wednesday for allegedly running a counterfeiting operation at a city residence.
The investigation started when employees from the Conover Wal-Mart called Conover Police to report a customer shoplifting from the store.
Authorities arrived at the scene and interrogated Arthur Joseph Carr, 23, of Beckley, W.Va., and Emmitt Seven Loges, 23, of Conover.
During the investigation, police discovered a counterfeit $20 bill on Carr, according to Conover Police Lt. Shane Moore. Law enforcement officials transported Carr and Loges to the Conover Police Department for further interviews.
Police contacted the United States Secret Service's office in Charlotte and drafted a warrant to search Loges' residence on Lyle Haven Drive, where both men were staying at the time of their arrest.
After the warrant was issued, police searched the residence and found a copy machine used to make counterfeit money and an undisclosed number of counterfeit bills. Moore said the machine is a device that prints a dollar bill-like image onto paper.
Police seized the evidence for further investigation.
Moore said he didn't know how long the men operated the counterfeiting scheme before their arrest. He said it's difficult to tell how much, if any, counterfeit money for Carr and Loges' operation was distributed in the county.
"It's kind of a trickle-down effect," Moore said. "Right now we've been in contact with a lot of different agencies."
Further investigation in the case led authorities to Statesville, where police believe Carr and Loges could be responsible for counterfeit money used at the Statesville Wal-Mart.
Police also discovered Loges is wanted in West Virginia on outstanding charges.
The men were confined Wednesday in Catawba County jail. Loges is charged with forgery of instrument, extradition of a fugitive to another state and resisting/obstructing justice.
Loges allegedly gave police fictitious names and wasn't forthcoming with information during questioning. Loges' bond is set at $65,000.
Carr is charged with forgery of instrument, attempting to obtain property under false pretenses and misdemeanor larceny. Carr's bond is $15,000.
Moore said there's no evidence to think a lot of Carr and Loges' counterfeit money is circulating in the county.
"We're not 100 percent sure about these individuals right now," Moore said.
Additional charges in the case are pending, Moore said. The police department is in the process of compiling paperwork in the case and plans to meet with a Secret Service agent, as well as the district attorney.
He advises residents to be on the lookout for phony cash. The No. 1 giveaway in counterfeit money is the texture, Moore said. Other tell-tale signs of counterfeiting is a bill with odd coloration or an unusual watermark.
Anyone who thinks they are in possession of a counterfeit bill should contact their local law enforcement agency.