Father and son busted in counterfeit money and drug investigation

A father and son in Portage County were arrested after an investigation into counterfeit money led authorities to their home.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office said the investigation began April 20 when Justin Smith, 25, bought a go-kart with $40 in counterfeit money. Investigators say a similar currency was used at a local gas station in Rootstown Township. That money had the same serial number as the money used to buy the go-kart, according to deputies.

During the investigation, authorities learned of a previous investigation in 2016 where Smith was allegedly printing counterfeit currency at that time.

When police went to Smith's residence, he tried to leave through a back door, but officers cut him off before he could flee. Smith had crystal meth and what appeared to be a handgun in his possession, authorities said. He was immediately taken into custody.

After searching his home, authorities found sheets of counterfeit money, multiple printers, ink cartridges, laptop computers, currency fraud detection devices, cutting tools, paper, special lighting and receipts showing the purchase of items used in the manufacturing of currency.

Investigators also found marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside the residence, which includes a 14-year-old's bedroom.

Smith was charged with possession of methamphetamine. His father, Curtis Smith, who also lives at the residence, was charged with permitting drug abuse and child endangering.

Sheriff's investigators are still looking into the passing of counterfeit currency in Portage County.

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