Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Multi-state counterfeiting ring discovered in Wilmington, linked to over 78 cases on the east coast

Wilmington Police officers uncovered a multi-state counterfeit ring after brothers Shawn and Sabe Buzbee attempted to purchase gas with a $100 counterfeit bill on Monday.

(Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Wilmington Police Department)
Brothers Shawn (left) and Sabe Buzbee have been arrested after Wilmington Police officers discovered a multi-state counterfeit ring in their Wilmington residence. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Wilmington Police Department)

WILMINGTON—Two brothers were arrested after Wilmington Police Department officers discovered a counterfeit operation in a residence near the Port of Wilmington.

Police believe the Willmington operation sourced counterfeit bills in approximately 78 cases between North Carolina and Florida, identified by the U.S. Secret Service.

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On Monday, Shawn and Sabe Buzbee attempted to purchase gas at the Speedway convenience store at 2395 Carolina Beach Road with a counterfeit $100 bill. The store’s clerk alerted the Wilmington Police Department (WPD) of the attempted purchase at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Upon initial inspection, officers found additional counterfeit bills in the Buzbees’ vehicle.

Later, detectives secured a warrant to search the Buzbees’ residence. Located less than a mile from the convenience store, detectives discovered a complete counterfeiting operation at the Buzbees’ Calhoun Drive residence in Wilmington, located near Shipyard Boulevard and Carolina Beach Road.

Detectives found evidence including printers, ink removal agents, drying implements, cutting boards, and paper cutters, according to a WPD release.

Bars of Xanax, crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia, $441 in cash, and 188 grams of marijuana were also discovered during the search.

After comparing the pattern note found at the Buzbees’ residence, police matched a serial number the U.S. Secret Service has identified. The same pattern note has been linked to approximately 28 counterfeit $100 bill uses between North Carolina and Florida. In addition, detectives were able to link three counterfeit notes to over 50 cases along the east coast.

With a history of counterfeiting, Shawn Buzbee, 46, has been charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense, utter forged endorsement, forgery of instrument, possession with intent to manufacture sell or deliver schedule VI controlled substance, maintain vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His brother Sabe Buzbee, has been arrested on the same charges.

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