ASHEVILLE, N.C. (ACT) -- Two Weaverville men face federal counterfeiting charges, including one who authorities say tried to eat several bogus bills he had hidden in his shoe when they were caught by police.
Adam Kirk Dillingham, 31, and Michael Keith Herron, 46, were indicted by grand jury this month in U.S. District Court in Asheville.
The pair produced the fake currency in Buncombe County before attempting to spend it in Johnson City, Tenn., where they were arrested, according to the indictments.
At an arraignment hearing Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell told Herron he could face up to 45 years in prison and fines totaling $750,000 if convicted of the three counterfeiting charges.
Defense attorney James Mills told the judge his client is pleading not guilty and wants a jury trial. Dillingham also has pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges that Herron and Dillingham "carried out this conspiracy by photocopying and printing United States currency using a high-resolution scanner/printer, then cutting them to the size of federal reserve notes."
The two printed the fake bills in December and early January at Herron's home, according to court documents. The indictment states that on Jan. 9, they went to Johnson City where they tried to pass the bills at businesses including IHOP and McDonald's.
Authorities said that at the McDonald's, they tried to use a counterfeit $50 bill to purchase food at the drive-through.
"The employees at McDonald's became suspicious and contacted police who arrived to find the suspects still on the scene," according to the Johnson City Police Department.
"While in custody Mr. Dillingham attempted to eat several counterfeit bills he had hidden in his shoe. Officers were able to get the bills before Mr. Dillingham could swallow them."
Both defendants are free on $25,000 unsecured bonds pending trial, according to court records.