On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

clear-night
65°
Sunny
H 87° L 62°
  • clear-night
    65°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 87° L 62°
  • clear-day
    82°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 87° L 62°
  • clear-day
    83°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 87° L 62°
Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Crime & Law
Secret Service: Suspects printed fake cash at Marietta home
Close

Secret Service: Suspects printed fake cash at Marietta home

Secret Service: Suspects printed fake cash at Marietta home
Photo Credit: Jon Lewis

Secret Service: Suspects printed fake cash at Marietta home

Heath Kellogg printed money at home.  A lot of money.

"1.1 million, that we know about," says Secret Service Agent Chuck Brand.

Kellogg, of Woodstock, and five others have been indicted, charged with running a counterfeiting ring out of a home in Marietta.  Kellogg was known among his circle as "The Printer."

"He was basically using a computer and a printer," says Brand, "just like everyone else has in their home."

Only Kellogg, 36, was, allegedly, using his printer to make lots of fake bills.

"Fifties, mainly," Brand tells WSB.  "They were all fifties.  There may have been some twenties but, right now, it's only fifties that we know about."

That alone is unusual.  Brand says the service rarely sees fake fifties.  Twenty dollar bills are the most counterfeited, followed by hundreds.

According to the Secret Service, Kellogg and the others began their operation in February 2011, printing out money in large quantities, and then spreading the bills into the public through a larger distribution network.

"We were finding them, not only here in Atlanta," says Brand, "but Charlotte.  Columbia, South Carolina.  Chattanooga.  Even some of our offices in Florida."

To put the scope of the operation in perspective, the Secret Service, in a normal year, confiscates about $2 million in counterfeit money in Georgia.  Nationally, they seized about $80 million dollars.  Kellogg's ring is accused of printing at least $1.1 million in fake currency.

Once printed the phony fifties were then sold to clients for a discount.

"They would basically sell a thousand dollars’ worth of counterfeit for $250 genuine," says Brand. 

When the Secret Service launched an undercover operation, their informants were paying $900 in real money for $2000 in fake bills.

Kellogg and his cohorts weren't using any special or high tech devices to create the counterfeit bills.  In fact, they made almost no effort to get around some of the most obvious security features on paper currency.  For example, the paper they used, plain printer paper, should have tipped people off.

"It's the feel," says Brand.  "That's one of the first things is the feel of the note.

"It's shouldn't feel too slick," he says.  "With some of these notes, if people had just taken the time, they would have noticed the general feel."

Brand says some of the fifties had the same serial numbers, some did not have watermarks and some did not have the proper backing.

In other cases, Brand says, counterfeiters will "bleach" bills, taking a smaller denomination and turning it into a bill worth more.  The idea is using a $5 bill for its paper to create a fake $100 bill

"Make sure the denomination has the right portrait that's supposed to be there," says Brand.  "You don't want to have 100 on the corners and have George Washington's portrait on the bill."

The Secret Service got their first break in the Kellogg case in May of 2011 when one of his fake bills was sent to them by a local bank.  The bill was missing certain numbers, among its many problems. 

Then, in the summer of last year, Conyers police arrested a man trying to pass $500 in fake money that had been made by Kellogg.

That suspect became a confidential informant for the service. The investigation eventually led to Kellogg, as federal agents made another arrest of someone with the fake bills. 

Finally, after tracing toner purchases and arresting a group of men at a Woodstock home improvement store who had tried to buy items using counterfeit bills, agents nabbed Kellogg.

He has pleaded not guilty, along with his co-defendants.  They include his father.

Agent Brand says the public should take the time to check out the bills they receive, especially higher denomination bills.  He warns that, if you do get a bogus bill from a bank or a business, once you walk out that door, then you are out of luck and out that money.

Read More

News

  • Actor Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog on 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,' has died, reports say. He was 50 years old. >> Read more trending news  According to the official 'Star Trek' website and Fox News, Eisenberg's wife, Malissa Longo, first shared the news in an emotional Facebook post Saturday night. 'It is with extreme regret and sadness to announce that my love and best friend, Aron Eisenberg, passed away earlier today,' Longo wrote. 'He was an intelligent, humble, funny, emphatic soul. He sought to live his life with integrity and truth.' She added: 'He made me (and still makes me) want to be the best human I can possibly be, because he always strove to be the best human he could be. His resilience and willingness to learn was and is an inspiration.
  • Parents in one Georgia community say their kids' football games were canceled Saturday after two coaches got into a fight on the field. >> Read more trending news  WSB-TV's Alyssa Hyman was in South Fulton County, where an upset mom contacted WSB-TV after her son was sent home Saturday. LaPorschia Brown said her son plays with the Old National Knights Team, which is run by the city of South Fulton Parks and Recreation Department. Brown said Xavier's coach called her Saturday after she dropped him off to say he needed to be picked back up after the heated physical fight broke at Old National Park – between the adults. 'I get a call from one of his other coaches saying that I need to pick him up,' Brown said. 'It shut down an entire game. A couple of moms were really mad, like myself.' Brown said when she got to the park, police were at the scene, along with furious parents. Video appears to show a group of adults shouting and shoving each other as the kids look on.  The league ended up canceling all the games for the day, and police shut down the park due to safety concerns.  Hyman spoke to police, who said the park ranger unit responded to reports of a dispute between parents and coaches. A spokesperson said no one was arrested since police couldn't determine who started the fight.  Brown said she is frustrated and disappointed and expected more from her son's coaches. 'I know my son looks up to them. He doesn't have a father in his life,' Brown said. 'I thought I was putting people in his life that were good for him, but apparently, I was wrong.' Brown said angry parents are one thing, but disappointed kids are another. She said kids travel in from other states for some of the games and practice for them at least three times a week. 'I just feel like that's sad because the boys look forward to this, you know?' Brown said. 'Apologize to him. Don't apologize to me. He's the one that was hurt.' Hyman contacted the league commissioner, who sent the following statement:  'We are aware of the incident. Our city of South Fulton park rangers responded. We are working through the details of what transpired this afternoon. As we gather additional details, we will consider what additional steps may be taken. It is always our first priority ensure the safety of all of our patrons, citizens, youth and families.
  • An Atlanta mother is accused of chasing two teens with a bat at her son's bus stop and attacking one of them, police say. >> Read more trending news  She's now in jail, and police are looking for her son.  Police told WSB-TV's Tyisha Fernandes that Tiara Jones got involved in a fight between her son and two other Grady High School teens after the boys exchanged threatening messages on Instagram on Monday morning. Police said someone sent a 'spoof' message, pitting certain students at Grady High School against each other. Jones' son, Dashun McDonald, confronted the other two about the message at their bus stop, police said. Fernandes spoke to parent Alycia Aldridge, who said her son didn't even know McDonald. 'My son told him, 'First of all, I don't know you,' and he kind of backed down,' Aldridge said.  When the boys got to school, officials had heard about what happened and called them into the office.  'It was supposed to be squashed,' Aldridge said. 'They apparently bumped hands or shook hands, whatever it was, and went their separate ways.'  Later that afternoon, when the friends were walking home, they said McDonald approached them again, this time with his mom.  Aldridge said Jones accused the boys of trying to fight her son. Jones then went to her car, popped the trunk and pulled out a bat, Aldridge said. 'She's twirling the bat, telling them she's going to bust him in his head,' Aldridge said. 'You don't get to chase people's children and approach them with bats.' The boys got away and called 911, authorities said. Police took a report, but didn't arrest Jones right away.  The next morning, police said Jones showed up at the bus stop again and encouraged her son to fight. A student recorded the fight on a cellphone.  The video shows Jones trying to jump into the fight, and when a student wouldn't let her, she grabbed him by the hair and pushed him to the ground, WSB-TV reported. Students broke up the fight and got on the bus to go to school, but police said Jones followed the bus and told her son to fight the boy again.  Another video shows a school police officer thrown to the ground while trying to break up the fight, WSB-TV reported. Parent Shearee Pittman said the entire incident never should have happened.  'Had Atlanta police went to her Monday when I asked them to, just to arrest her for the stalking, none of this would have taken place Tuesday,' Pittman said. 'She wouldn't have been able to jump on that young man, those children wouldn't have been subjected to what they had to see, and she probably wouldn't be in jail.' 
  • A Canadian woman's video of two grizzlies duking it out on a British Columbia highway is going viral. >> Read more trending news  According to CTV News, Cari McGillivray shared the clip of the battling bears, which she spotted near Stewart on the Stewart Cassiar Highway, in a Facebook post Friday. 'Don’t normally post on here but thought I’d share this incredibly rare and amazing moment with all you guys of these grizzlies fighting!' McGillivray captioned the footage, which had racked up 550,217 views and 17,000 shares by Sunday morning. 'Keep a sharp eye out for the little wolf that is observing them in the distance!' 'Don’t normally post on here but thought I’d share this incredibly rare and amazing moment with all you guys of these grizzlies fighting!' McGillivray captioned the footage, which had racked up 550,217 views and 17,000 shares by Sunday morning. 'Keep a sharp eye out for the little wolf that is observing them in the distance!' She added on Instagram: 'Came to see bears fishing. Left with this amazing memorable moment! Still feeling the high from seeing these two majestic animals fighting!' Commenters called the video 'awesome' and 'incredible.' 'It's one of the most amazing scenes of nature I've seen,' Facebook user Leeanne Willoughby wrote. 'National Geographic stuff here.' 'Interesting to watch the argument!' added Jackie Wolski. 'Gotta finish it! See it my way!' Read more here.
  • Authorities are searching for a missing 2-year-old boy who may be with his 'armed and dangerous' father, the California Highway Patrol and Merced County Sheriff's Office said in an Amber Alert released Saturday. >> Read more trending news  AMBER ALERT – CHILD ABDUCTION – MERCED COUNTY – ARMED & DANGEROUSATWATER, CA – On September 21, 2019 the Merced County... Posted by Merced County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, September 21, 2019 According to KTLA, police believe Steven Weir, 32, abducted John Weir from Merced County, where they were last spotted Friday evening. The pair 'could possibly be heading to the Tuolumne or Calaveras County areas,' the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. Authorities described John Weir as a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with tan shorts. Steven Weir, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs 300 pounds, has brown hair and eyes, the Amber Alert said. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with cargo shorts and may be traveling in a red 2005 Hyundai Elantra with California tag 5SKT544, police said. Authorities are urging anyone who sees the Weirs or their vehicle to call 911. Read more here or here.
  • A 3-year-old Texas boy is dead after police said his parents mistakenly left him in a hot car outside their San Antonio home. >> Read more trending news  According to WOAI-TV, San Antonio police responded to the house about 5 p.m. Saturday, hours after the family of four had returned home from a T-ball game about 1 p.m. Police believe that the parents became distracted after getting the boy's 6-year-old brother out of the car and accidentally left the toddler inside the vehicle. Meanwhile, outside temperatures climbed into the mid-90s, WOAI reported.  'One parent thought the other parent had grabbed both of the children, and, in fact, only the 6-year-old had been taken out of the car,' San Antonio police Lt. Jesse Salame said, according to ABC News. 'By the time they realized it several hours had passed, and when they got the child out of the vehicle, he was not responsive.' Paramedics tried but were unable to revive the boy, WOAI reported. Police called the death 'a tragic or horrific accident,' according to the TV station. Read more here or here.