Deputies: Pasco man arrested in counterfeiting operation

NEW PORT RICHEY - A third person has been arrested in connection with a counterfeiting operation that investigators said was responsible for at least 60 cases in which fake bills were passed along to businesses and individuals over the last two months, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported.Stephen L. Blake, 30, of 7405 Seashore Drive, Port Richey, was arrested Friday on charges of uttering counterfeit bills, an arrest report said. He was booked into the Land O' Lakes Jail where he was being held with bail set at $10,500. Blake also faces charges of possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and battery on a law enforcement officer, jail records said.Blake is accused of being an accomplice of Laura T. Fossett, 34, and Melissa Snipes, 24, two homeless women who were arrested on counterfeit charges July 25, Blake's arrest report said.The two women told investigators that they gave Blake counterfeit money for his personal use and to buy drugs for them, and that he was in their hotel room when they were printing counterfeit money, the report said. When detectives searched the women's hotel room July 25, they discovered more than $1,800 in fake $5, $10 and $20 bills along with printing equipment, the sheriff's office said.Blake was arrested after he gave $30 in counterfeit bills to a woman to help support the 2-year-old child he had fathered with her, the report said.
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