About 8:15 p.m. last Saturday, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Ammon Walmart on 25th East on a report of a man trying to purchase items with a counterfeit $100 bill.
“Walmart employees were able to give a description of the suspect and his vehicle – which was quickly located by a deputy as it left the parking lot,” said Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bryan Lovell.
Deputies contacted the driver, later identified as Joshua J. Ford, 32 -- as well as a male passenger, Christopher R. Ford, 30, and a female passenger, Thanawut Owatrerot, 45. All are from Idaho Falls.
Using surveillance pictures obtained from the store, deputies were able to confirm Joshua Ford had attempted to make a purchase with counterfeit $100 bills, Lovell said.
Deputies were also aware of a similar recent case -- also at Walmart -- where a man passed counterfeit bills. "Christopher Ford was identified as the suspect in that case,” Lovell stated.
Deputies say they found both items used to make counterfeit money and a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.
All three were arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail.
Deputies were later able to serve a search warrant at a home on 6th Street in Idaho Falls where Christopher, Joshua, and Thanawut were living, Lovell said. The search resulted in “the collection of more items used in counterfeiting money,” he stated.
The three now face felony charges of possessing forged bills or and possession of counterfeiting apparatus.
Joshua Ford was also booked for felony passing a fictitious or counterfeit bill. Christopher Ford was booked for an additional felony charge of computer crime and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Deputies are working to locate other businesses where counterfeit money was passed.
If you have information about this crime, you can contact Bonneville County Sheriff’s detectives at 208-529-1200 or report anonymously online at www.ifcrime.org.