BANGOR – A Central American man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for passing counterfeit bills in Houlton.
Victor Perez-Ochoa, 21, of Rockville, Md., and Honduras is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 18 in U.S. District Court in Bangor on charges of possession of counterfeit U.S. currency and possession of false immigration identification documents.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the counterfeit charge and up to 10 years on the false document charge. Each charge carries a potential fine of up to $250,000.
He is being held at the Aroostook County Jail pending his arraignment, according to court documents.
Perez was arrested last month after he allegedly gave a counterfeit $50 bill on Sept. 10 to a cashier at the Irving Mainway on North Main Street in Houlton. The employee told Houlton police that the man left in a white, four-door car with a temporary Virginia license plate.
Police found Perez in a car matching that description on Military Street shortly before midnight the same evening. When officers asked Perez if he would show them any money he had in the car, he opened the glove compartment and a roll of money fell out, according to court documents.
The money found in the car and in Perez’s clothes allegedly totaled $1,680 in $100, $50, $20 and $10 bills. In all, he had 39 counterfeit bills, according to court documents.
Perez allegedly told U.S. Border Patrol agents that earlier in September, he had traded marijuana for the money, which he knew to be counterfeit, according to court documents.
He also said that he had entered the country illegally and knew that his documents were forgeries.