Counterfeiting case to grand jury

The case against a Castleton man charged with producing counterfeit bills will come before a grand jury Sept. 10.

In Rappahannock County District Court Tuesday (Aug. 7), Judge J. Gregory Ashwell certified to the grand jury the case against 28-year-old Paul Owen Fincham, who faces eight felony counts of forging bank notes, apparently with a personal computer and printer.

According to testimony by Capt. J. C. Welch of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), police got a call May 6 from Robert Corbin of Culpeper, who said he had received several counterfeit bills from Fincham in repayment of a personal loan.

However, Welch said, when Corbin attempted to spend the money, he discovered the bills Fincham had given him – four $50 bills and three $10 bills – were all fake.

Welch, along with two U.S. Secret Service agents, went to Fincham’s residence May 9 to investigate the claims. He said an initial search revealed a fresh $10 bill in a file cabinet drawer; it had not yet been cut from the paper it was printed on.

“Mr. Fincham told me he believed the bill was incomplete because it didn’t have a back,” Welch testified Tuesday before Ashwell.

Welch said Fincham admitted to making and assisting in making bills ranging from $5 to $50, though Welch said he later “wavered” on his role in making the $50 bills, claiming that he had been given those by someone else.

“Overall, Fincham was very cooperative,” Welch testified.

Fincham further cooperated by showing authorities the printer he was using to make the bills, Welch said, as well as telling them where had pawned his computer.

Other crime reports

Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie C. Smith reported late last month that Jerry Russell Bragg, of Strasburg, was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a juvenile. The charges followed an investigation, Smith said, begun after the sheriff’s office received a report from Strasburg police of a complaint made there against Bragg which alleged he had “possibly committed immoral acts with children in Rappahannock County.” The alleged offenses occurred between January 2000 and December 2003, said Smith. Bragg, since released on bond, is scheduled for a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in the near future.

Sarah Elizabeth Thompson, a 27-year old Washington resident, was charged last Friday (Aug. 3) with grand larceny, trespassing and driving with a suspended license after allegedly stealing a truck July 27 from the Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) parking lot.

According to RCSO Deputy Gary L. Jenkins’ criminal complaint, security footage showed Thompson driving the blue and gold Ford F-350 off the school property at around 3:45 a.m. on that date. Thompson, according to Jenkins’ complaint, has been forbidden to come onto any school property and had already had her operator’s license suspended. In District Court Tuesday, Ashwell appointed a public defender to her case, which returns to court Oct. 16.

Jeremy Cody Rodriguez, 28, of Gore, was charged with DUI. The arrest occurred July 4 on Chester Gap Road after Deputy Jonathan Caleb Kerns pulled Rodriguez over. Kerns said he immediately detected the odor of alcohol coming from Rodriguez, who (according to Kerns’ complaint) failed three of the four field sobriety tests Kerns administered.