Jackson, Miss. – Purvis Dustin Ward, 33, of Rankin County, Mississippi, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves to one count of making counterfeit currency and one count of passing counterfeit currency, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Resident Agent in Charge Shawn Wolfe of the United States Secret Service.
An investigation by the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, the Pelahatchie Police Department and the Brandon Police Department identified Ward as an individual who had been making and passing counterfeit United States currency. On November 2, 2019, several residents of Rankin County reported that a man and a woman had been making purchases at garage sales using counterfeit currency. One of the local residents took a picture of the suspects’ car and provided a tag number and description to law enforcement. Officers from the Pelahatchie Police Department later stopped the vehicle. During the stop, officers observed what appeared to be counterfeit United States currency in plain view in the vehicle. Ward and another individual were arrested for possession of counterfeit currency.
Rankin County Deputies obtained a search warrant for Ward’s residence and located counterfeit currency, uncut sheets of counterfeit currency as well as two computers, three printers, specialty ink and paint, all of which was used to produce counterfeit currency.
Ward will be sentenced by Judge Reeves on September 15, 2020, and faces a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in federal prison and $500,000 in fines.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, the Pelahatchie Police Department and the Brandon Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dave Fulcher.