Additional Charges and Defendants Added to Federal Cases Involving Passing of Counterfeit Bills at Reno Shoe Store
Reno, Nev. – The man charged in federal court last month with making counterfeit $20 bills that were later passed at a Lady Foot Locker store in Reno is now facing additional charges of dealing in counterfeit money and possession of stolen mail, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Christopher Carlos Gonzales, 28, of Sparks, Nevada, is charged in a Superseding Indictment returned on August 6, 2008, with one count of Making Counterfeit Obligations of the United States, one count of Dealing in Counterfeit Obligations and two counts of Possession of Stolen Mail. Another defendant, Edward Neal Henderson, 37, of Reno, is now included in the Indictment and is charged with three counts of Possession of Stolen Mail and one count of Accessory After the Fact. Additionally, a separate indictment returned on August 6, 2008, charges Jessy Frank Villalobos, 27, of Reno, with one count of Passing Counterfeit Obligations of the United States.
"Passing counterfeit currency and stealing financial documents from the mail are serious federal crimes," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "This case is a good example of the success of a joint federal, state and local task force when it pools resources and shares information to catch the criminals who are committing these sorts of offenses," said U.S. Attorney Brower.
The Indictment against Gonzales and Henderson alleges that in July 2008, Gonzales knowingly passed 29 counterfeit $20 bills, and that Gonzales and Henderson possessed several checks which had been stolen from the U.S. mail. It also alleges that in July 2008, Henderson helped Gonzales to avoid apprehension by authorities. The Indictment against Villalobos alleges that on June 8, 2008, Villalobos knowingly passed 11 counterfeit $20 bills and two counterfeit $100 bills at the Lady Foot Locker at the Meadowood Mall in Reno. An affidavit of a U.S. Secret Service Agent filed on July 16, 2008, at the time of Gonzales' arrest, states that Villalobos obtained the counterfeit money from Gonzales, who was allegedly keeping the computer and printing equipment in his vehicle and making the currency at an apartment in Reno.
Edward Henderson was arrested this morning in Reno and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge McQuaid at 3:00 p.m. today for an initial appearance and arraignment. Jessy Villalobos is not yet in custody. Gonzales was arrested on July 21, 2008, and remanded to custody pending space at a local inpatient treatment center. His arraignment is scheduled for September 3, 2008, at 3:00 p.m.
The case is being investigated by the Northern Nevada Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force (NIFT) which includes the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sue Fahami.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.