Half Dozen Jailed in Local Funny Money Probe

Panama City Police are in the midst of what could be a large counterfeit investigation. They've arrested at least six people in connection with the case so far.

Eighteen-year-old Jena Diane Demaree, 19-year-old Rebecca Dawn Turner, 19-year-old Kimberly Smith, 17-year-old Dalreco Franklin and 19-year-old Shaunte' Luster are all charged with passing counterfeit bills.

Smith, Luster and Franklin are also charged with theft.

Investigators say 26-year-old Tyrone Dewayne Whitaker is the ring leader. He's charged with passing counterfeit bills, grand theft and fleeing and eluding police officers.

Authorities from federal level and local agencies in Bay, Washington and Jackson Counties have been involved in this investigation.

They say they've recovered a number of fake bills of several denominations, and they expect to find more. They also expect to make more arrests.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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