Two Bellingham men arrested for counterfeit cash

BELLINGHAM - Two Bellingham men were arrested on suspicion of passing counterfeit $100 bills Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Billy J. Pinnell, 20, and Daniel R. McCoy, 21, were booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of forgery, according to a Bellingham Police Department release.

An investigation began Dec. 13, after police were notified that several counterfeit $100 bills had been passed at a Bellis Fair mall store.

After that report, several other counterfeit $100 bills were passed at stores and restaurants in Bellingham, including Emerald City Smoothie, 1058 Lakeway Drive.

The owner of Emerald City Smoothie called police after he saw a possible suspect get into a vehicle near the business Tuesday. Police found the vehicle at a residence in the 3800 block of Donovan Avenue, where they found Pinnell and McCoy.

The two men admitted to making counterfeit bills and spending them in Bellingham, according to police. A search of the residence revealed evidence of counterfeiting.

Police were unsure how many of the fake bills had made it into circulation, and officers advise people who've received $100 bills to check them for authenticity.

A counterfeit pen won't indicate that these bills are fake, so people will have to hold them up to a light to check the watermarks. The fake $100 bills will show a $5 watermark and an image of Abraham Lincoln when held up to the light, rather than a $100 watermark and an image of Benjamin Franklin.

Anyone who has received a counterfeit bill should call Detective Sue Howell at 360-778-8682.