Arrests made in recent forgery cases in Independence and Jackson counties

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Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens says his department has made two arrests and more are expected in recent forgery cases in Independence and Jackson counties.

Authorities say counterfeit $20 bills had been passed in eight locations: four in Batesville, two in Newark, one near Sulphur Rock, and one location in Newport.

Independence County Circuit Court documents note on Aug. 17, authorities received information that a vehicle carrying suspects in the cases was heading from Batesville to Newark. After being intercepted by Deputy Tyler Cunningham, the subjects in the vehicle were asked to come to the Sheriff’s Department for interviews.

Donna Davidson.jpg

One of the subjects, identified as Donna Davidson (pictured), 45, was interviewed and immediately taken into custody. After a search warrant was obtained for her vehicle and residence in the 1800 block of North Hill Street in Newark, the court documents say deputies located several counterfeit $20 bills along with equipment used in the production of counterfeit bills. Deputies also located what tested positive as methamphetamine in Davidson’s residence, according to authorities.

During an interview the next day, the court information said Davidson admitted to passing fake $20 bills at five different locations between Aug. 15 and Aug. 19. Davidson also admitted the meth found in her residence belonged to her, the documents say.

Davidson is now in jail under a $250,000 bond and awaiting her first circuit court date.

She is charged with five counts of forgery in the first degree and possession of meth.

Another suspect apparently involved with passing counterfeit bills in Independence County was taken into custody Wednesday, Aug. 21.

William Gene Tucker.jpg

Court documents say Independence County authorities brought William Gene Tucker (pictured), 24, and another subject in for an interview on Tuesday, Aug. 20, based on information from the Newport Police Department. Both subjects “denied knowledge of having counterfeit money at any time throughout the day,” the affidavit of probable cause for arrest noted. Both were then released.

That night, Batesville Police were dispatched to the Walmart Supercenter in reference to Tucker and the other subject passing counterfeit bills to purchase a phone and a phone card. When county deputies arrived on the scene and confronted Tucker about the counterfeit money, the suspect said, “…he found more of those bills under the seat in the car and decided to make use of them to make the purchase,” according to the affidavit.

Tucker was taken into custody and interviewed the next day. During the course of the interview, Tucker admitted to the use of the counterfeit bills at Walmart and also GameStop in Batesville, according to the court documents. The documents also note Batesville Police investigator Fred Friar was able to take possession of a counterfeit bill used at GameStop as well as store video showing Tucker passing the fake bills.

Tucker is currently in the Independence County Detention Facility on a $250,000 bond pending his first circuit court appearance.

Images via Independence County Sheriff’s Department

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