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Two of three charged after police say they passed counterfeit money

Crime Watch

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POCATELLO — A man and woman have been arrested for their alleged involvement in attempts to pass forged $100 bills at Pocatello business.

Kenneth Dwayne Poplar, 34, and Marqui Estrella Gallegos, 28, have each been charged with felonies for possession of forged currency and attempting to use forged currency, according to court documents.

A local business owner called the Pocatello Police Department around 4:45 p.m. July 28, reporting that two women, one a blonde and the other with reddish-brown hair, had tried to use a fake $100 bill, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The caller told police that one of the women tried to pay for items with the fake bill. When she was denied, she and the other woman left the store and drove away in a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck.

Police got calls from three other businesses that day as well. The callers all claimed the suspects tried to pass a bogus $100 bill — and the fourth business accepted it. One caller identified one of the women as Jennifer Castaneda, 42. The man was identified as Poplar, the owner of the Avalanche.

Pocatello Police put out an attempt to locate and were contacted by Chubbuck Police, who told them the car had been located and stopped.

When Pocatello Police arrived, they noticed that the driver, identified as Poplar, matched the physical description provided by all four reporting parties.

Poplar denied using fake bills. His passenger, identified as Gallegos, admitted to shopping with Castaneda at the business that was the first to report an attempted use of fake bills. But she denied attempting to use fake bills.

RELATED | Authorities warning of counterfeit bills being passed, parking ticket scam

Gallegos also told officers that she had been at all four locations in question that day and that she knew Castaneda — who was not in the pickup — had a $100 bill in her wallet but could not say if it was fake.

Both Poplar and Gallegos were arrested and transported Bannock County Jail.

If they are found guilty of both felony charges, Poplar and Gallegos would each face sentences of two to 28 years in prison, and fines up to $100,000.

Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Aug. 19.

bill forgery
Forged $100 bill. Note the writing on the back. | Pocatello Police Facebook

This article has been corrected. A previous version of this story said that Jennifer Castaneda was “at large.” apologizes for the error.