Riggins entered a plea of guilty to manufacturing counterfeit currency

William R. Riggins, a 30-year-old Augusta resident, was sentenced to 66 months in Federal prison on March 25 in United States District Court in Wichita following an investigation conducted by the Augusta Department of Public Safety and the United States Secret Service.

Riggins entered a plea of guilty to manufacturing counterfeit currency.

Riggins has seven convictions since 2002. He was last released from Kansas Department of Corrections custody in April of 2013, about a month before this investigation began. His convictions ranged from drug possession to theft to aggravated escape from custody.

The investigation began after a counterfeit $20 bill was presented to a local business last May. The following day a search warrant was executed for a residence in the 900 block of Ohio Street. Stolen property, drug paraphernalia and equipment used in manufacturing counterfeit currency was seized from the residence and several persons were questioned. The subsequent investigation resulted in the recovery of stolen vehicles, additional counterfeit currency and counterfeiting equipment.

Sgt. Michael Stueven worked with the Secret Service on the case. He said the suspects were printing $20 bills that were good enough to fool cashiers and then spending the counterfeit bills in local fast food drive-throughs and convenience stores.

They would then use the change from those transactions to purchase drugs.

Other individuals, including a juvenile female, were identified as being involved in passing the bills throughout Augusta and the Wichita area. Prosecution is pending in those cases.

Kent Bush can be reached at kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com.