Lamere sentenced to prison for counterfeiting

Posted at 12:33 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 14:33:04-04

Bobby Lee Lamere of Great Falls was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Wednesday for counterfeiting currency.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced Lamere to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Lamere was also ordered to pay $4,335 in restitution.

According to court documents, beginning in March of 2017, several businesses in Great Falls reported to the police department that customers were presenting counterfeit bills on a frequent basis.  The GFPD responded to the complaints, seized the counterfeit bills, and looked for suspects. 

During early May 2017, officers attempted to locate Lamere concerning an outstanding warrant.  On May 15, 2017, officers found Lamere sleeping in the back seat of a car parked in a business parking lot.  When the driver of Lamere’s car came out of the store, the driver told officers that they would find narcotics, counterfeit money, and a handgun inside the car.  The driver also hinted that Lamere was making counterfeit money. 

Officers searched the car and found numerous counterfeit $20, $10, and $5 bills with varying serial numbers. These counterfeit bills had a resemblance to genuine United States currency.  In addition, detectives found two laptop computers, printing paper, printing ink, software programs, and four sheets of $20 and $100 counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes, as well as a firearm on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat. 

Police continued to receive reports of counterfeit activity in Great Falls.  In late May of 2017, the U.S. Secret Service completed processing a large number of counterfeit bills.  The analysis showed an extensive amount of counterfeit currency originating from Great Falls.  The Secret Service also conducted an analysis of the counterfeit serial numbers found in Lamere’s car, and determined counterfeit bills with these same serial numbers had been passed throughout Great Falls.

Detectives interviewed Lamere.  He said that he manufactured counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes in $20, $50, and $100 denominations.  Lamere said that he only provided the bills to people for narcotics and that he did not actually pass the bills himself. 

Lamere said he learned to wash the bills, flatten them out, and then place them on a printer to make a template.  He then would make several sheets of counterfeit bills and cut the sheets with a paper cutter.  Following that process, Lamere used gel pens to enhance the bills.  At some point, Lamere became addicted to heroin and started manufacturing more bills to trade for the drug.  Lamere believed he had manufactured approximately $6,000 to $7,000 worth of counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes since December of 2016. 

The Secret Service examined the counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes passed in Great Falls and noted that much of this counterfeit consisted of the same type of paper, pen and ink known to be used by Lamere in his counterfeiting activities.  On September 8, 2017, law enforcement again came into contact with Lamere and found him in possession of 16 counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes consisting of $20 and $50 bills. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley and investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Great Falls Police Department.

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