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A Gaston woman was arrested and charged Saturday night for attempting to pass a counterfeit bill at a Julian R. Allsbrook Highway business.

Mary Ellen Broady, 66, remained in the Halifax County Detention Center today as she was already on bond for charges of larceny, resisting and injury to personal property, counts for which she has a March 15 district court date.

Roanoke Rapids police Chief Shane Guyant said around 9 p.m. Master Officer N. Powell responded to a report of a woman attempting to pass a bogus $20 bill.

Powell found Broady still on the property, sitting in her vehicle.

(Businesses dealing with United States currency or those wanting to learn more about security features can download this PDF)

She had attempted to buy a lottery ticket and a beer with the fake currency.

Powell arrested and charged Broady with uttering a forged instrument and attempted obtaining property by false pretense.

Because of the pending charges she was jailed without the opportunity for bond and has a February 22 district court date for Saturday’s case.

“The Roanoke Rapids Police Department has seen an increase in the passing of counterfeit currency in the city,” Guyant said, adding that people can be charged with passing bogus money under state statutes such as occurred Saturday night.

Under state law it is illegal for any person to forge or counterfeit any instrument, or possess any counterfeit instrument with the intent to injure or defraud any person, financial institution, or governmental unit. 

“Proving the element of intent requires law enforcement to investigate the matter further,” he said. “Evidence gleaned in this case suggests that the alleged suspect had knowledge that the presented bill was counterfeit.”