Clanton Police arrest counterfeiter with help from Facebook

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Clanton Police Department made an arrest in a recent counterfeit case, thanks to some help from the Internet and the community.

Police arrested Michael Bingham, 47, of Clanton, on three counts of first-degree possession of a forged instrument and one count of possession of a forgery device after utilizing the police department’s Facebook page, Capt. David Clackley of the CPD, said.

On Jan. 28, the department posted surveillance footage of Bingham allegedly using the counterfeit money to make a purchase at Town and Country convenience store in Clanton, and asked followers of the page to help in identifying Bingham.

“Within an hour, we were told who he was,” Clackley said. “We later obtained his address and verified it.”

Clackley said officers visited the address, where CPD detectives and Secret Service performed surveillance and made the arrest.

“While we were trying to arrest him, we observed the equipment used (to make the counterfeits),” he said.

Other places that the counterfeit bills were passed included Arby’s and Lucky’s Food Mart, according to the Facebook post.

Clackley said the department was able to recover the equipment, and credited the help of those in the community who identified Bingham.

“If nothing else, it extradites the process,” he said. “It’s a positive to have quicker results, plus it helps keep the community involved and I hope it bridges the gap between (the community) and law enforcement.”