FAIRBANKS — A woman who was charged in connection with the alleged use of counterfeit money at an adult entertainment store was found with drugs and $900 of bogus bills inside her body when booked into jail early Saturday morning.
Chelsea Marie Sperry, 31, of Fairbanks, was arrested after she and a male companion allegedly used a phony $100 bill to pay for merchandise at Castle Megastore on Old Steese Highway. Store personnel alerted police, and Sperry fled in a green sedan after the man handed her a wad of cash, according to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks District Court.
Sperry was stopped near the College Road Safeway gas station and was taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center on charges of driving with a suspended license and violating conditions of release.
During the booking process a corrections officer noticed Sperry making “furtive movements” toward her crotch, according to the complaint. Sperry was put through a body scanner, which revealed the presence of foreign objects in her body.
A female officer searched Sperry and found six $100 bills, three $50 bills, seven $20 bills and one $10 bill — all counterfeit — hidden inside one of her body cavities. A genuine $10 bill was found inside a different cavity, according to the complaint.
The officer also found about eight grams of methamphetamine, six morphine sulfate pills, a little less than a quarter-gram of heroin and 40 small baggies inside Sperry, the complaint says.
The counterfeit bills were missing all normal security features, including watermarks and security threads, and one of the $100 bills had the same serial number as the one used at Castle Megastore, according to the complaint.
Sperry was charged with felony first-degree forgery, felony third-degree drug misconduct and misdemeanor fourth-degree drug misconduct. The forgery charge was dropped by the district attorney’s office on Monday.
The phony bills are clearly marked “for motion picture use only” and have been used at three other local stores in the past two weeks, according to city spokeswoman Amber Courtney.
Sperry’s male companion spoke to police at Castle Megastore and identified himself as her boyfriend. He consented to a search, and police found a digital scale and several hundred dollars in his pocket, according to the complaint. The man was not arrested or charged, and it appeared that there have been no other arrests related to the case as of Thursday.
The investigation is ongoing, Courtney said.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.