WICHITA — Three Great Bend residents and two Hutchinson residents have been charged in U.S. District Court for suspected counterfeiting and/or passing counterfeit money, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.
John P. Stark, 47, and Deona L. McNutt, 24, both of Great Bend, and Alyssa Dannebohm, 30, and Keith M. Dannebohm, 22, both of Hutchinson, are charged with counterfeiting $100 bills. In the same case, Justin E. Herren, 30, Great Bent, is charged with one count of passing two $100 bills.
In addition, Stark is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction and three counts of making counterfeit bills.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearms charge, and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the other counts.
The U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster is prosecuting.
According to an affidavit by a U.S. Secret Service agent, the investigation began after a call from Detective Scott Bieberle at the Great Bend Police Department on Aug. 8. Bieberle explained that bogus currency had started turning up at Great Bend businesses last July.
“On Aug. 8, the same date, Det. Bieberle and I personally interviewed John Stark at the Larned, Kan., Police Department,” the affidavit notes. “(He) advised that he had begun printing ‘lots’ of (counterfeits) in or about June 2014.” He describing photocopying Federal Reserve Notes of $5, $10, $50 and $100 in Great Bend, Hutchinson and Salina. Stark also consented to the search of 2800 N. Main, Great Bend, where he lived with his mother. Several counterfeit bills were found in a white envelope on a dresser.
The affidavit continues with the agent’s Aug. 12 interview of John Stark’s ex-sister-in-law, Alyssa Dannebohm, who told him that on July 27, Stark gave her three counterfeit $100 bills and she took them to “Diona McNutt,” the manager of the Burger King in Great Bend.
“Alyssa Dannebohm stated that Diona McNutt exchanged the (counterfeits) for genuine currency from the cash drawer of the Burger King where she was working. “Alyssa Dannebohm advised that she subsequently met Diona McNutt behind the Burger King where Diona McNutt received a portion of the genuine Federal Reserve Notes she had received from Diona McNutt. Alyssa Dannebohm affirmed that she kept $50 for herself, but advised the remaining genuine currency was returned and left at John Stark’s residence for John Stark.”