Suspects apprehended

HANCOCK – Two people accused of passing counterfeit money in Hancock Sunday were arrested after a traffic stop Monday night.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Calumet Post pulled a vehicle over about 7:40 p.m. Troopers found drug precursors and evidence of intravenous drug use, marijuana and an unknown powdery substance.

Troopers arrested one occupant, a 43-year-old Illinois man, for operating under the influence of drugs. Troopers also arrested a 32-year-old passenger from Minnesota on a valid bench warrant for child support from Houghton County.

Two other passengers, both of Hancock, were released pending further investigation.

The two men allegedly passed counterfeit $20 bills around 8 a.m. Sunday at the Holiday gas station in Hancock. The men were driving a light-colored SUV at the time, according to images from store security footage.

Hancock Police Chief Michael Beaudoin said the two alleged counterfeiters had called the station Monday after pictures of them had circulated in the media. At the time, he said, they had indicated they were in Minneapolis. The call came shortly before the MSP pulled them over.

“Of course they said when they got stopped later, they were on their way to the Hancock Police Department,” Beaudoin said.

The Houghton County Prosecutor’s Office may turn the cases over to the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates counterfeiting cases, Beaudoin said.

Assisting the MSP were the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department, Laurium Police Department, Hancock Police Department and the Michigan State Police Canine Unit.