Canton cops say counterfeit ring was active throughout metro Atlanta

The arrests of three suspects in Canton who allegedly tried to pass counterfeit money in a local store could lead to additional arrests targeting a criminal ring active throughout the metro Atlanta area, police said Tuesday.

The investigation began Wednesday evening when three people were arrested at the Canton Marketplace shopping center on Cumming Highway. They were trying to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at a Best Buy store, Canton police said.

A search of their vehicle produced small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, more counterfeit money, a stun gun device and a .40-caliber magazine for a handgun, police said.

Demetrius Antwon Brown, 30, Antwon Harper, 27, and Pucchina Renita Adams, 43, were each charged with forgery, and Brown also was charged with cocaine and marijuana possession, police said. All are from the Atlanta area.

A fourth suspect, Kristen Elizabeth Hitchon, 29, of Decatur was arrested Monday in Atlanta by the U.S. Secret Service. She also was charged with forgery in connection with the Canton incident.

The group is suspected of passing counterfeit money in Canton from May through last Wednesday, Canton police spokeswoman Candy Worthy said in an emailed news release.

“It is believed that (the) group is also responsible for the same related crimes in other metro Atlanta counties including Douglas, Rockdale, Fulton, Paulding, Cobb, Gwinnett and Forsyth,” Worthy said.

Local and federal law enforcement authorities and corporate security officials are investigating the four suspects and others.

“These suspects targeted establishments such as Target and Belk, and shopping centers that contained multiple big name stores, such as the Canton Marketplace,” Worthy said. “The investigation is open and ongoing and additional arrests are pending.”