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Press Release

Rural Retreat Man Sentenced for Aiding Counterfeiting Scheme and for Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Robert Fowler Aided Chad Harmon

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A Rural Retreat man, who aided another man with a counterfeiting scheme, provided a firearm to him, and possessed stolen firearms was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, announced Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle.


Robert Louis Fowler, 38, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay over $8,500 in restitution. Fowler previously pleaded guilty to one count of a principal and aider and abettor with intent to defraud, falsely making counter US currency, one count of knowingly possessing a stolen firearm and one count of knowingly and intentionally selling or disposing of a firearm to a convicted felon.


 Fowler’s case relates to that of Chad Edward Harmon, 34, of Wytheville. Harmon previously pleaded guilty to one count of uttering counterfeit obligations and one count of being a previously convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm. On May 30, 2017, Harmon was sentenced to 12 months and one-day of federal incarceration.


According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer R. Bockhorst, in November 2016, several businesses in Wythe County reported to the Wythe County Virginia Sheriff’s Office an influx of counterfeit money being passed. The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office contacted the United States Secret Service in Roanoke after arresting Harmon while trying to pass what was believed to be a counterfeit bill. While being held in custody, Harmon made a call from jail in which he told another individual that the police had missed some money hidden in a special compartment in his vehicle and they discussed a firearm he had removed prior to the search.


Agents with the United States Secret Service examined several of the counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes received by local banks and businesses in Wythe County, determined they were, in fact counterfeit, and had been produced by a scanner/printer/copier or commercial computer and printer that was recovered from Harmon’s home during the execution of a state search warrant.


Fowler later detailed for police how Harmon counterfeited money and admitted to giving Harmon the scanner/printer/copier. Fowler also admitted that he supplied Harmon, who he knew to be a convicted felon, with a 9 mm pistol.  


Evidence also established that Fowler had possessed a firearm he knew to be stolen.


The investigation of the case was conducted by The United States Secret Service and the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer R. Bockhorst prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated November 1, 2017