Man wanted for forgery in several cities arrested in LaFollette

Man wanted for forgery in several cities arrested in LaFollette

Telvin Dewayne Butts (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office) Telvin Dewayne Butts (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) - A man wanted in Chattanooga and Johnson City has been arrested in LaFollette after a foot pursuit with police.

Investigators say Telvin Dewayne Butts, 20, of Chattanooga, may have cashed hundreds of counterfeit payroll checks worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Authorities believe Butts is involved with a much larger crime ring that's been committing forgery in East Tennessee and surrounding states.

LaFollette police started seeing an influx of counterfeit payroll check reports beginning in January. They say the forgers are going across East Tennessee and surrounding states cashing counterfeit payroll checks.

Police want business owners be aware so the crime ring members will be caught.

Butts is accused of attempting to cash counterfeit payroll checks at the Food City in LaFollette.

According to LaFollette Police Department Detective Lt. Monty Miller, store employees called authorities to investigate.

"The officer told him his check was counterfeit, at which time the guy rushed the officer and a fight ensued between the officer and the suspect," said Lt. Miller.

Butts ran but was later arrested. Investigators say they have since discovered about a dozen counterfeit checks Butts may have cashed.

"The checks include Goodwill Industries, KFC, Subway, Wendy's," said Lt. Miller.

Detective Miller doesn't think Butts was acting alone.

"We think there's a ring involved from Atlanta and Chattanooga," said Lt. Miller.

Miller says a homeless person will sometimes be paid a small amount to take the risk to cash the check. He says the scammers will drive across state lines to cash multiple counterfeit payroll checks.

"There's no telling how many thousands of dollars they make on one run because they certainly aren't just stopping in LaFollette from Georgia," said Lt. Miller.

Due to the large number of counterfeit payroll checks being made and distributed, Miller wants to remind business owners and banks to verify the payroll checks with the company. Report any counterfeit payroll check to authorities so they can put a stop to this scam.

Butts is scheduled to be arraigned in Campbell County on March 22.

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