|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Two jailed for passing counterfeit $100 bills
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — Two men have been arrested in connection with a multiagency investigation into numerous counterfeit $100 bills passed at businesses throughout East Texas, according to Det. Leon Middleton with the Livingston Police Department. Middleton said LPD began receiving calls on Dec. 1 and 2 that fake $100s had been passed at four different Livingston area businesses. “All of the counterfeit bills had the same serial numbers on them,” Middleton said. On Dec. 2, Corrigan Police Department was contacted about a bill passed there with a serial number that matched the counterfeits in Livingston. “The suspects also went to Lufkin and passed an unknown number of bills in Lufkin. Witnesses were able to provide a partial license plate number for the suspect vehicle that completed a partial license plate we had,” Middleton said. That complete license plate number was registered to a Cleveland resident. Investigators contacted Cleveland Police. Cleveland officers located the car at that residence on Dec. 6. Livingston investigators executed a search warrant on the Cleveland residence and recovered several pieces of equipment being used to create the counterfeit bills. Middleton said the suspects appeared to be using bleach and degreaser to alter $5 bills to make them resemble $100 bills. The use of authentic $5 bills prevents merchants from detecting the fakes by using an anti-counterfeit pen. The officers also said the fake bills did not have the proper security strip and the watermark on the right side of the bill was of Abraham Lincoln, not Benjamin Franklin. Lincoln’s image appears in authentic $5 bills; Franklin can be seen when holding $100 bills up to a strong light. After the search warrant was executed, Middleton said LPD interviewed the homeowner, Kim Durdin, at the Cleveland police station as well as her son, Jerry Lance Durdin, 26, of Cleveland. Durdin was arrested and taken to the Angelina County Jail on counterfeiting charges for passing two bogus $100 bills at Logan’s Roadhouse on Medford Drive in Lufkin and Cato’s in the Lufkin Mall. Witnesses identified Mr. Durdin as one of two suspects who passed the bills and later driving away in the vehicle found at the Durdin residence. The interviews also helped investigators identify the second male as Kenneth Alvin Reed, 42, of Conroe, Ms. Durdin’s brother. “Jerry (Durdin) was described by witnesses in Livingston and appeared in security video while attempting to pass a fake bill at a Livingston business. As soon as we saw him, we knew we had one of the suspects,” Middleton said. “We contacted Lufkin PD and told them we had the suspects identified,” Middleton added. The arrests came about as a result of good cooperation among officers in Lufkin, Corrigan, Cleveland, Baytown and Livingston. “Baytown became involved when the suspects attempted to return merchandise purchased in Livingston at a Baytown store,” Middleton said. Reed is in custody in Mongery County on forgery charges related to an incident in that county. Once Angelina County and Montgomery County dispense with cases in their jurisdictions, the suspects will be extradited to Polk County. Middleton said agents with the U.S. Secret Service’s Houston office have been involved and they may pursue additional federal charges against the two suspects.