A local man is among those charged with counterfeiting up to $1 million in U.S. currency, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Kenyada Barrion, 35, of Stone Mountain, along with Cameron R. Longshore, 30, and Ian J. Longshore, 27, both of Decatur, appeared Monday (Dec.3) in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Russell L. Vineyard on counterfeiting charges.
On Nov. 19, a federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment on the men as well as on Heath J. Kellogg, 36, of Woodstock, Stacy P. Smith, 37, James C. Kellogg, 63 -- both of Marietta -- with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute counterfeit U.S. currency, according to the press release from U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates' office.
From about Feb. 1, 2011, until the first arrests on Nov. 15, the indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute counterfeit U.S currency, mainly $50 bills, according to information in news release:
Heath Kellogg, a self-taught graphic artist, developed a manufacturing process for counterfeit currency. Smith would assist Heath Kellogg with various parts of the manufacturing process, for which both men purchased supplies on various occasions. James Kellogg, Heath’s father, joined the conspiracy after it was under way; he assisted with the manufacturing of the counterfeit bills by performing work and storing supplies at his home. Smith would take custody of the completed counterfeit currency, which was then distributed through a network of individuals. Smith and Heath Kellogg used feedback from their ultimate customers, who passed the counterfeit currency in the community, to refine and improve their manufacturing process over time. The defendants sold the counterfeit currency to customers in exchange for genuine U.S currency, at various discounted rates.
On August 10 and 14, 2012, Secret Service agents performed controlled buys of the counterfeit currency using a cooperating defendant, while performing surveillance on the members of the conspiracy. On each occasion, the cooperating defendant purchased counterfeit currency with a face value of $2,000 for $900 in genuine currency. On both occasions, the cooperating defendant arranged to purchase the counterfeit currency by contacting Kenyada Barrion, who ultimately delivered the counterfeit money. On August 10, 2012, Barrion was assisted and accompanied by Cameron Longshore. On August 14, 2012, Barrion was assisted and accompanied by Ian Longshore.
On November 15, 2012, Secret Service agents executed search warrants at the homes of Heath Kellogg, Smith, and James Kellogg. The searches yielded a variety of physical evidence, including completed and partially completed counterfeit currency, and showed that the manufacturing process for the counterfeit currency was spread over multiple locations. Later that day, Secret Service agents executed an additional search warrant at a storage unit rented by Heath Kellogg, which revealed a large offset printing press the defendants had obtained in order to improve the quality of their counterfeit currency. During the search of James Kellogg’s home, a revolver and a rifle were recovered. Having previously been convicted of forgery, a felony, he is prohibited from possessing firearms.
The Secret Service said local police departments, banks, and merchants returned the counterfeit currency, more than $1 million in face value, to the agency. The counterfeit money matched "the distinctive characteristics of those produced by the defendants," according to the release.
Heath Kellogg and Smith are also charged in the indictment with two counts each of manufacturing counterfeit U.S. currency, James Kellogg with one count.
In addition, Heath Kellogg, Smith, and Barrion are charged with two counts each of the distributing counterfeit U.S. currency, Cameron Longshore and Ian Longshore with one count each.
The indictment also charges James Kellogg with two counts of possessing a firearm after conviction of a felony.
Also from the release:
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years of in prison. The manufacturing and distributing counterfeit currency charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years of in prison. The felon in possession charges each carry a maximum sentence of ten years of in prison. Each of the offenses charged in the indictment is also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Alana R. Black is prosecuting the case.