A Gainesville man was booked in the Hall County Jail Monday after law enforcement officials accused him of selling counterfeit $20 and $50 bills.
Ronald Lindsey Bafile, 29, was charged with 71 counts of first-degree forgery and 119 counts of second-degree forgery. The arrest followed a two-week undercover investigation between the Multi Agency Narcotics Squad, Gang Task Force and U.S. Secret Service.
During the investigation, undercover agents paid $300 in exchange for $1,500 in counterfeit bills, said Lt. Scott Ware, commander of the Multi Agency Narcotics Squad and the Gang Task Force.
Ware said the money was poorly produced.
“These particular bills, with your own experience handling legitimate currency, you would be able to differentiate,” Ware said.
“On its face the money looks somewhat legitimate, but the texture alone would lead probably anybody that’s ever handled money before to know that it’s likely not real.”
Bafile ran but was arrested at the intersection of Cross and Second streets, Ware said.
Following his arrest, agents searched Bafile’s home and discovered small amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine, a color copier/printer, printing paper and more photocopied money.
Bafile also faces obstruction and drug charges.
“He could face charges in federal court if it’s prosecuted federally. Each count of forgery, whether it be first degree or second degree, is a felony,” Ware said. “And he’s facing 190 counts of forgery between first and second degree ... So he’s got some serious charges against him.”
Ware said the group launched the investigation after hearing a complaint; then they called in federal agents.
“We had information that this individual was printing money and circulating it,” Ware said. “The Secret Service always has jurisdiction when counterfeit money is involved.”