Two Cleveland men are facing felony charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized $3,920 in counterfeit U.S. currency following a traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike in Lorain County.
Troopers stopped a rented 2013 Ford Taurus, with Tennessee registration, for a marked lanes violation on the Ohio Turnpike, near milepost 134, at 9:41 p.m. Tuesday. Upon contact with the vehicle's occupants, the odor of burnt marijuana was detected. A probable cause search revealed three grams of marijuana and a partially burnt marijuana cigarette, along with the counterfeit currency. An agent with the U.S. Secret Service responded to the scene and confirmed the currency was in fact counterfeit.
The suspects were also in possession of newly purchased retail merchandise with receipts, most likely purchased fraudulently with the counterfeit money. The investigation is ongoing and the case is being considered for federal adoption.
The occupants, Eric Wilkerson, 21, and Joshua McKnight, 24, both of Cleveland, were incarcerated in the Lorain County Jail and charged with criminal simulation, a fifth-degree felony.
If convicted, they could each face up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.