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Hogansburg man charged with passing counterfeit $50 bills in Massena

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FORGED INSTRUMENT - MASSENA - Village police charged Jonathan M. Burwell, 22, of Route 11, Bombay, with a felony count of first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument Friday night following an investigation into an incident that took place in February 2011.

Burwell was picked up on the arrest warrant in Plattsburgh and was transported by state police to Massena and turned over to village police. He was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and wasreleased on his own recognizance to reappear June 19 in village court. The court noted Burwell had been cooperative after learning there was a warrant our for his arrest.

Police allege Burwell had been in possession of five counterfeit $50 bills at approximately 10 p.m. Feb. 15, 2011. He reportedly turned the cash over to Nancy S. Perry and asked her to exchange them for him at Ray’s Place.

Ms. Perry, in the statement she signed for police, said she had asked Burwell to give her a ride home from Charlie’s Tavern because she wasn’r feeling well.

“... he said before he dropped me off he had to exchange some $50s he had. He told me to go into Ray’s and try to break some of the $50s. I went inside and went up to the bartender and asked for change for five $50 bills,” Ms. Perry said, noting she bought a drink for a customer at the bar and gave the rest of the money back to Burwell.

Bartender Monica A. Paige, in a statement she signed for police, said Ms. Perry had appeared high on drugs when she came into the bar and asked for change for the $50s. “She said she liked to make it look like she had a lot of money,” the bartender noted.

Ms. Paige said she asked the woman her name and she identified herself as Ms. Perry. “I then asked her if they were counterfeit bills, and she said no. She then asked me if I would exchange $300, and I told her no I would only exchange $200,” she added, noting Ms. Perry had left the bar with a Native American male shortly after completing the transaction.

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