Traffic stop leads to discovery of counterfeit operation
Last updated 12/15/2021 at 10:46am
A routine traffic stop in Fountain reportedly led to the discovery of hundreds in counterfeit U.S. currency, as well as counterfeit-making equipment, on Tuesday.
Around 1 p.m. on Dec. 14, officers with the Fountain Police Department conducted a traffic stop in the 5500 block of Travel Plaza Drive (near Love's Travel Stop) for an expired temporary registration tag. Upon contact with the vehicle's occupants, later identified as 36-year-old James Champagne and 30-year-old Kristine Chapman, officers discovered drug paraphernalia, brass knuckles and counterfeit currency.
According to a news release from FPD, officers later conducted a search of the vehicle where they located hundreds of counterfeit U.S. currency, templates and items used to make the counterfeit money, multiple people's personal identifying information and checks that appear to be fraudulently made.
Champagne and Chapman were later booked into the El Paso County Jail on the following charges: Identity Theft, Forgery, Criminal Possession of Forgery Device, Criminal Possession of Financial Device, Criminal Possession of an ID Document, Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance, Possession of an Illegal Weapon, and various traffic offenses.
Champagne's criminal history shows prior arrests in several states: Alaska, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Wyoming. He has prior felony convictions for: Unauthorized Use of Vehicle, Robbery, Theft, Parole Violation, Controlled Substance Possession, Burglary (2), Possession Stolen Vehicle, Trafficking Stolen Property, and Parole Custody Violation.
Chapman shows a criminal history out of the state of Washington, which includes felony convictions for: Attempted Motor Vehicle Theft and two different cases of Forgery. Kristine also has a non-extraditable felony warrant out of Washington State for Motor Vehicle Theft.
If you have any information about this incident, please call Lt. Matt Racine at (719) 382-4244. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or http://www.crimestop.net. If your information leads to a felony arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.