4 charged with counterfeiting in North Augusta

A two-month investigation of illegal drug and counterfeiting activity resulted in the arrest of four North Augusta men Wednesday morning.

Shortly after 6 a.m., North Augusta Public Safety’s SWAT team executed a search warrant at a house in the 1500 block of Elizabeth Street, said Lt. Tim Thornton. Authorities seized marijuana, methamphetamine, U.S. currency, counterfeit money, credit cards, U.S. Treasury checks and equipment used to manufacture counterfeit items.

The homeowner, Barry Smith Jr., 21, was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. Numerous federal charges for counterfeiting are pending, Thornton said.

Christopher Garnett, 31; Randall Anderson, 26; and Nicholas Stewart, 22, were charged with possession of methamphetamine and multiple federal counterfeiting charges.

An investigation into the counterfeiting operation is ongoing, Thornton said. As of Wednesday, the four men in custody were the only ones known to be involved.

The U.S. Secret Service, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation.

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