Great Falls Man Sentenced for Counterfeiting in Great Falls
GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that 42-year old Bobby Lamere of Great Falls, Montana, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Additionally, Lamere was ordered to pay $4,335.00 in restitution. U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided over the hearing.
Beginning in March of 2017, numerous businesses in Great Falls began to report to the police department that customers were presenting counterfeit bills on a frequent basis. The Great Falls Police Department responded to the complaints, seized the counterfeit bills, and looked for suspects.
During early May of 2017, law enforcement attempted to locate the defendant, Bobby Lamere, concerning an outstanding warrant. On May 15, 2017, law enforcement found Lamere sleeping in the backseat of a car parked in a business parking lot. When the driver of Lamere’s car came out of the store, the driver told officers that they would find narcotics, counterfeit money, and a handgun inside the car. The driver also alluded that Lamere was making counterfeit money.
Officers subsequently searched the car and found numerous counterfeit $20, $10 and $5 bills consisting of varying serial numbers. These counterfeit bills had a resemblance to genuine United States currency. In addition, detectives found two laptop computers, printing paper, printing ink, software programs, and four sheets of $20 and $100 counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes, as well as a firearm on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat.
Following this search, police continued to receive reports of counterfeit activity in Great Falls. In late May of 2017, the Secret Service completed processing a large number of counterfeit bills. This analysis showed an extensive amount of counterfeit currency all originating from Great Falls. The Secret Service also conducted an analysis of the counterfeit serial numbers found in Lamere’s car, and determined counterfeit bills with these same serial numbers had been passed throughout Great Falls.
Detectives subsequently interviewed Lamere. He explained that he manufactured counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes in $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Lamere stated that he only provided the bills to people for narcotics and that he did not actually pass the bills himself. Lamere learned to wash the bills, flatten them out, and then place them on a printer to make a template. He then would make several sheets of counterfeit bills and cut the sheets with a paper cutter. Following that process, Lamere used gel pens to enhance the bills. At some point, Lamere became addicted to heroin and started manufacturing more bills to trade for the drug. Lamere believed he had manufactured approximately $6000-$7000 worth of counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes since December of 2016.
The Secret Service subsequently examined the counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes passed in Great Falls and observed much of this counterfeit consisted of the same type of paper, pen and ink known to be used by Lamere in his counterfeiting activities. On September 8, 2017, law enforcement again came into contact with Lamere and found him in possession of 16 counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes consisting of $20 and $50 bills.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley and investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Great Falls Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.