The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 13, 2006

Suspects held for counterfeiting

K-9 dogs and an infrared device helped police track down a man who allegedly manufactured counterfeit money in a tent and then, with help from his wife, passed phony bills in Somerset and Cambria counties.

Police in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, arrested 42-year-old Andrew Mullin of Ocala, Fla., early Tuesday for using counterfeit cash during the past two months – including a $5 bill at Johnstown Christian School’s spring festival.

And Mullin’s wife Diane Mullin, 64, also of Ocala, Fla., was charged Tuesday by Stonycreek Township police with trying to pass a fake $20 bill Monday on the first night of the Oakland Volunteer Fire Company Jubilee.

Diane Mullin was stopped by two alert Oakland firefighters – Joe Callihan and Chris White – who detected the counterfeit bills when she tried to offer them at their booth.

The alleged counterfeiting scheme unraveled because of an investigation by Conemaugh Township police. They determined the bills were being produced in a tent at the rear of a property on Somerset Pike, authorities said.

Police raided that site late Monday, and Andrew Mullin ran into the woods. After a long search aided by police dogs and an “infrared scanning device,” officers finally tracked him down just after 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Township Officer William Richards said in a court document that police seized computers believed to have been used to print the bills, along with “numerous” cut and uncut counterfeit $20s and an authentic $20 with a serial number that matched the fake bills.

Along with Johnstown Christian School, a bogus $20 bill was passed at CoGo’s convenience store in Conemaugh Township on June 7 and another at a yard sale three days later, Richards said.

A woman conducting the yard sale identified the vehicle involved and provided a description of Diane Mullin, who passed the fake money.

Andrew Mullin is charged with forgery, criminal conspiracy, theft, unlawful duplication and resisting arrest. He was arraigned before on-call District Judge Art Cook of Somerset and housed in Somerset County Jail on $20,000 bond.

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