Police in Unalaska have arrested and charged two men accused of making counterfeit money. Over the weekend, Henry Zablan and Nicholas Hough were taken into police custody and later charged with fraud.
Deputy police chief Jennifer Shockley says in her 16 years with the department this isn’t the first case of counterfeit money found in Unalaska.
“Typically nobody has any idea of where it came from," Shockley said. "You know, somebody paid for something, the counterfeit bill got into circulation, somebody who’s familiar with checking security stuff recognizes it as counterfeit, and then we get told about it.”
Shockley says the police normally don’t have more information than that. They’ll send the counterfeit bills to the secret service and that’s it. But this time is different.
“Actually finding people, finding equipment being used for counterfeiting money right here in town is unusual for us,” she said.
Officers were tipped off about the alleged counterfeiting operation while investigating a burglary and theft.
Police found counterfeiting supplies as well as forged US currency at Zablan’s residence. The equipment police found, Shockley says is commonly available to the average citizen.
In a statement to police, Zablan said he has been photocopying money for one to two months. He says he’s been “practicing and getting better,” but it’s just for fun. He also stated that Hough has given him tips on making more accurate counterfeits more easily.
The investigation is still open – Shockley says there’s at least one more person of interest in the case.
If anyone has counterfeit money in their possession, she encourages them to bring it to the police station – especially if they know where it came from.