The investigation started on Jan. 2, when Angelo Quinones, 39, bought the cigarettes and soon after returned to the store, trying to return them in exchange for real cash, police said.
It didn’t work. Instead, police were called. After a foot chase, they caught up with Quinones.
The next day, police and Secret Service agents searched an apartment at 34 St. John’s St. in Middletown, where they discovered an extensive counterfeiting operation, police said.
Officers seized several ink cartridges, a printer, a copier, a paper cutter and $6,600 in $20 bills – all fake, police said. Each bill, police said, shared the same serial number.
Police also arrested Alejandro Pinero, 33, and Patricial Pinero, 33. All three face first-degree forgery charges.
Three children were removed from the home. Police said they are staying with relatives.