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Funny money buys one-way ticket to jail

 Four Franklin County residents were arrested Wednesday for using counterfeit $100 bills to make a purchase at a local business on U. S. 43, officials said.

Authorities said Jeremy Wayne Gardner, 25, Justin Gardner, 21, Constance Fretwell, 21 and Heather Renee Bonenfant, 25, all of 71 Vandiver Road, Phil Campbell were all taken in to custody for the fake money.

Jeremy Gardner and his brother, Justin, are both charged with six counts of forgery of counterfeit money.

Justin Gardner was also charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Fretwell and Bonenfant are both charged with first-degree possession of a forged instrument. Bonenfant is also charged with tampering with evidence.

Investigators said the clerk from the business notified local authorities after marking the $100 bill and realizing it was fake.

Authorities said Jeremy Gardner was still inside the business by the time deputies arrived.

Investigators said the Franklin County Sheriff’s office was able to pinpoint the location where Gardner was staying.

A search warrant was issued and authorities found Gardner’s brother, Justin, Fretwell and Bonenfant inside the residence, officials said.

Deputies who arrived at the scene reported Bonenfant was in the process of burning the fake money at the residence when authorities arrived.

Reports indicate that officers found a printer and scanner inside the residence.

Authorities said they believe these items were used to make the counterfeit bills.

The U. S. Secret Service was alerted and is currently working with the sheriff’s office on this case.

All four suspects are being held at the Franklin County Jail.

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