FOUR BROOKLYN MEN ARRESTED FOR COUNTERFEIT MONEY

Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett reports that on November 7, 2019, at approximately 4:00 pm, four Brooklyn men were arrested for using and possessing counterfeit money.

The Sheriff’s Office and Greenport Police Department were dispatched by Columbia County 911 at approximately 11:22 am to the Wal-Mart Store on Fairview Ave. in the Town of Greenport for a report of a male subject attempting to purchase gift cards with what was believed to be counterfeit money. Upon arriving on the scene, patrols interviewed Wal-Mart Loss Prevention personnel who advised that two male subjects had just recently attempted to purchase gift cards using counterfeit money. One of the subjects was able to make the transaction and get out of the store before the money was found to be fake. The other male subject was turned away at the cash register by a Wal-Mart employee as he was attempting to purchase cards with the money and he too, left the store. The patrols were also advised that a third male subject was in the store at the same time near the gift card rack and was approached by Loss Prevention workers. When asked if he needed any help that subject abruptly left the store as well. The patrols quickly obtained a description of all three men as well as the vehicle they were seen getting in to and leaving the parking lot in. This information was broadcasted to other patrols in the area. A vehicle matching the description of the one that left Wal-Mart was stopped by K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne on Stottville Road near the intersection of State Route 66 in the Town of Claverack. The vehicle was found to have four male subjects inside with three of them matching the description of the ones in Wal-Mart.

Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators responded to Wal-Mart and continued with the investigation. It was discovered that the individual’s in the vehicle stopped by Deputy VanAlstyne were responsible for passing counterfeit $100 dollar bills at Wal-Mart, Lowes and Kohls in the Town of Greenport. It was also learned that these same individuals had committed similar crimes earlier in the day in the Town of Ulster, Ulster County as well as in Catskill in Greene County. The counterfeit money used in all three stores in Greenport was recovered by investigators.

The following individuals were arrested:

Kymani Q. Hardie, age 20, of Brooklyn NY, was charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree (Class C Felony), Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (Class E Felony), and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class U Misdemeanor).

Omar N. McFarlane, age 20, of Brooklyn NY, was charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree (Class E Felony) and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (Class E Felony).

Robbie M. Brimage, age 19, and Tziah N. Townsend, age 20, both of Brooklyn NY, were each charged with Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (Class E Felony).

All four defendants were arraigned in Greenport Town Court before Judge Barry Sack. Mr. Hardie and Mr. McFarlane were remanded to the Columbia County Jail with no bail. Mr. Townsend was remanded to jail in lieu of $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond and Mr. Brimage was released on his own recognizance. They are scheduled to appear back in court on November 12, 2019 at 9:00am. Further charges are pending in other jurisdictions.

The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Greenport Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office are Senior Investigator Kevin Skype, Investigator Patrick Logue, Investigator Reagan Anderson, 1st Sergeant Louis Bray, Sergeant Jeffrey Hofstetter, K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne, Deputy Peter Merante, and Deputy Andrew Horst.