A Kalispell man has been indicted in federal court for allegedly running a counterfeit money operation from his home.
Spencer James Brusell, 38, pleaded not guilty to charges of manufacturing and using counterfeit currency. He appeared on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula.
According to court documents, an initial report was made to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office in February about the possible use of fake money at a Kalispell pawn shop.
A pawn-shop employee told authorities Brusell has purchased a motorcycle for $250 with counterfeit bills. The initial “marking pen” test didn’t pass with the money.
The investigation continued with the Sheriff’s Office, the Kalispell Police Department and a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service. According to court documents, Kalispell police already were looking into possible counterfeiting by Brusell.
Authorities searched Brusell’s home, where his wife directed them to a room where he did “art projects,” according to court documents.
There, they found a printer/scanner, a bleach pen, 33 counterfeit bills, sheets of uncut counterfeit bills and paper containing security strips, according to the federal complaint. More bills were later found in the house.
In interviews with law enforcement, Brusell allegedly said that he’d used the fake bills at other locations in Kalispell.
Brusell could face 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted. He’s currently listed on the Missoula County Detention Center roster.
His next scheduled court hearing will be on July 8.
Reporter Matt Hudson may be reached at 758-4459 or by email at email@example.com.