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Government & Politics

New Ohio Counterfeiting Law Could Be Helpful in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

photo of Rick Perales
Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) holds up a counterfeit bill to prove how realistic the fake money can look. His legislation, signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, makes counterfeiting illegal on the state level.

Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill into law making counterfeiting illegal in Ohio. The use of fake money was never outlawed on the state level until now. Lawmakers see this as another tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Republican Representative Rick Perales says federal law enforcement have been inundated with counterfeiting cases. He says making it illegal on the state level allows county prosecutors to go after offenders while federal agents can focus on bigger cases.

Perales says in the past, those offenders would’ve been charged with other crimes like forgery but they wouldn’t stick. “The bad guys kept getting out of jail and Ohio had really gotten to be known as a safe haven for counterfeiters.”

Law enforcement agencies says the large majority of counterfeit money is used to buy drugs. They say this crackdown will hopefully deliver a blow to opioid dealers.