A Louisiana man has been sentenced to prison in connection with making and using counterfeit currency.
On July 27, 2023, United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced the sentencing of 33-year-old Gabriel Bates from Opelousas, Louisiana, for counterfeiting. United States District Judge Robert R. Summerhays imposed a sentence of 26 months in prison on Bates, which will be followed by three years on supervised release. Bates admitted guilt to the charges on April 12, 2023.
The court was shown evidence that on approximately August 24, 2022, the Opelousas Police Department was called to a local donuts shop to look into a reported instance of a possible fake $20 bill. Officers determined Bates was responsible for using the fake bill. The US Secret Service had previously conducted a counterfeit investigation in which Bates was implicated. They managed to obtain a search warrant for Bates’ home in Opelousas. During a search on August 29, 2022, they discovered and confiscated several fake $20 and $100 Federal Reserve Notes. Bates was then arrested and found to be carrying an extra fake $20 bill and notes on how to produce counterfeit money. A thorough examination confirmed that the recovered Federal Reserve Notes from Bates’ home were indeed counterfeit.
After waiving his Miranda rights, Bates was questioned by the authorities. During the interview, he confessed to producing fake US currency. He also revealed that he had been using this counterfeit money in various places around the Opelousas region with the intention to defraud.
The United States Secret Service, together with the Opelousas Police Department, conducted the investigation of the case. The prosecution was led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Bordelon.