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Two Opelousas men arrested in counterfeit US currency sting

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Posted at 8:12 PM, Aug 29, 2022

Opelousas Police Department arrested two men Monday, August 29 in counterfeit US currency investigation.

Gabriel Bates and Del Richard were arrested following a three week long investigation in which OPD detectives received reports of persons distributing counterfeit US currency at various businesses in Opelousas.

Upon investigation, detectives identified the source of the counterfeit US currency and obtained a search warrant for 1217 S. Court Street where suspect Bates resides. After locating Bates, detectives located another suspect that was hiding in the bedroom being Del Richard, according to authorities.

The Officers located eight counterfeit one-hundred dollar bills and seven counterfeit twenty dollar bills. The Officers also located assorted cell phones, a paper cutter, different size portable electronic storage devices, numerous printed checks for other individuals, from different companies and different banks, for thousands of dollars. The Officers also located two printed checks for Bates from different companies for thousands of dollars. The Officers then located an electronic device, used to detect counterfeit money.

During an interview, Bates admitted to the following:

  • Manufacturing counterfeit US Currency in one hundred dollar bills and twenty dollar bills. beginning the manufacturing in 2017 or 2019
  • Beginning the manufacturing of the counterfeit US Currency at 1217 S. Court St. in Opelousas, in March of 2022
  • Manufacturing and distribution of over ten-thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in counterfeit US Currency since March of 2022
  • Passing counterfeit US Currency on twenty-three separate occasions at six Opelousas businesses

Richard admitted to knowing about Bates manufacturing the counterfeit currency, according to authorities.

Bates and Richard were then transferred to the St. Landry Parish Jail.

Bates was booked for violating three counts of LA R.S. 14:72.2, Monetary Instrument Abuse and one count of LA R.S. 14:72, Forgery.

Richard was booked for violating one count of LA R.S. 14:72.2, Monetary Instrument Abuse and one count of LA R.S. 40:1238.1, Sale, Distribution, Possession of a Legend Drug.

Chief Martin McLendon ask anyone with any information related to any criminal activity or weapons violations to contact the Opelousas Police Department at 337-948-2500, crimetips@opelousaspd.comor through Crime Stoppers (337-948-TIPS, www.stlandrycrimestoppers.com [stlandrycrimestoppers.com] or by using the P3 mobile App.) Tipsters can remain anonymous.