Four arrested for using and making counterfeit bills

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On June 26, four were arrested for using and making counterfeit bills and for allegedly distributing narcotics from their home.

Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said on June 26 at about midnight, officers were dispatched to a local fast food restaurant after having been informed that two individuals were attempting to use counterfeit bills. When they arrived at the location, officers spoke to the manager, who said someone came through the drive-through and tried to pay with what looked like three counterfeit 10-dollar bills. After explaining what had happened, the manager pointed out the suspects, who were in a white Buick Century that was still parked in the drive-through, Magri said.

The officers approached the vehicle and made contact with the two men inside. The vehicle was being driven by Matthew Burch, 28, 515 A, South Haugh Ave., Picayune, while James Snider, 40, 515 A, South Haugh Ave., Picayune, was in the passenger seat, Magri said.

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Magri said while the officers were speaking with the two men, they learned through investigation that there were more counterfeit bills under the passenger seat. Through further investigation the officers learned that both men were aware that the money was counterfeit, Magri said.

The officers received consent to search the vehicle and found five more counterfeit bills beneath the seat. As officers continued to search the vehicle, they also found a cup with three folded pieces of aluminum foil filled with a brown powder they believed to be heroin.

Magri said after further investigation officers learned that two more individuals, later identified as Stephen Burch, 46, 515 A., South Haugh Ave., Picayune, and Ashley Pierce, 28, 515 A., South Haugh Ave., Picayune, were at their home allegedly printing more of the counterfeit money and were also allegedly in possession of hypodermic needles and methamphetamine, Magri said.

Matthew Burch and Snider were both taken to the Criminal Justice Center. Matthew Burch was left in the care of CJC officers while Snider was transported from the center to his residence, Magri said. When they arrived, Snider signed a consent to search form so officers could legally enter the residence.

When officers went in, they met with Pierce. Magri said while officers were speaking with her, and through investigation, they discovered that there was methamphetamine in the residence. It was also alleged that Stephen Burch had handed Pierce a bag of methamphetamine before fleeing through the back, Magri said. Burch was soon located behind the residence, Magri said.

Officers then conducted a search of the residence. During the search, they found a hypodermic needle in the fridge, a plastic bag with a crystal substance they believed to be methamphetamine in the front bedroom in a bag of clothes, digital scales, which are commonly used in the sale of narcotics, aluminum foil, commonly used to package heroin, a printer with two sheets of counterfeit currency printed on it, a bag of ripped counterfeit currency and two glass pipes, Magri said.

While investigating, officers learned that narcotics were sold from the residence, Magri said.

Magri said Pierce, Stephen Burch and Snider were all taken to the CJC where they were arrested for various charges. Matthew Burch and Snider were arrested for two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of counterfeit currency. Pierce and Stephen Burch were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of counterfeit currency.