ST. GEORGE – A second arrest was made Tuesday in an investigation into counterfeit money manufacturing and suspected drug distribution in St. George.
On Sept. 18, Cheryl Ann Herrera, of St. George, was arrested on 12 felony charges for forgery and drug possession after officers found numerous pages of printed counterfeit money in her garage as well as authentic bills inside a scanner/printer, paper cutting tools, and many papers printed with money images that were still in the printer.
Officers additionally found two black boxes containing envelopes full of money, transaction sheets, small balloons, glass pipes containing drug residue, foil, baggies and 14 small balls of black tar-like material that tested positive for heroin.
Tuesday, Herrera’s husband, James McCartney Hamilton, was also arrested in connection with the alleged forgery and drug possession.
On Sept. 18, a St. George Police detective was called out to assist on a forgery call at a residence on 1100 North in St. George, according to a probable cause statement filed in support of Hamilton’s arrest.
A property management company had gone to the home to change the locks and evict the tenants, Herrera and Hamilton. While there, representatives from the property management company found what appeared to be a counterfeiting operation and called police.
Officers responded to the home, gathered information from the property management representatives and then drafted a search warrant and got it approved.
When the detective arrived at the scene, he was asked to interview Herrera and another woman. He read Herrera her Miranda rights, and she agreed to speak with him, according to the statement.
The detective asked Herrera about the counterfeit bills found in the garage.
“Cheryl (Herrera) said she didn’t know anything about the bills and said that her husband James Hamilton is so stupid that she doesn’t know what he does in the garage, and that all she knew was that James did tattoos in the garage,” the detective wrote in the statement.
Officers were not able to locate Hamilton for questioning that day. The detective was not able to follow up on the case until Tuesday, according to the statement.
Tuesday, the detective contacted Hamilton on the phone and asked him about the counterfeit money in the garage.
“James (Hamilton) said that he told his wife that she should not do it and that she could get into trouble,” the statement said.
The detective asked Hamilton if he did tattoos in the garage, and Hamilton responded that it had been a few months since he did any tattoos.
“I asked James (Hamilton) if it was his statement that it was his wife Cheryl who was making the bills,” the detective wrote in the statement. “James said it was.”
The detective then asked Hamilton about the drugs and paraphernalia that were found in the garage.
“James said that it was all Cheryl’s,” the statement said. “I told James that Cheryl told me that it was his and that he was the one making the bills. James didn’t answer.”
The detective told Hamilton he had probable cause to arrest him and asked Hamilton to turn himself in. Hamilton later came to the police station and submitted himself for arrest, according to the statement.
Hamilton was arrested and charged with 10 third-degree felony counts for forgery; one second-degree felony for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute it; a third-degree felony for use or possession of methamphetamine; and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility and remains in custody as this report is published, according to court documents. He is being held with bail scheduled at $80,000 for his release pending trial.
Herrera also remains in custody, according to court documents, and is being held with $90,000 bail required for her release pending trial.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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