Police have released the identity of a suspect who allegedly left a bag containing more than $3,000 in counterfeit cash at a Medford motel Saturday.
Police are looking for Nima Sedaghaty Blue, 24, no address given. Police described Blue as a white male, 6 feet 2, about 220 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Authorities said Blue has ties to Ashland and Portland, but his whereabouts are unknown.
"It's a good likelihood he's in the Ashland area or Portland area. We're just not sure," said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.
Blue and 24-year-old Kyle Bennett allegedly left a bag of counterfeit cash at the Motel 6 at 950 Alba Drive during the early afternoon hours on Oct. 12.
Motel staff found the fake cash in a nightstand and called police. Officers were on scene investigating when Bennett and another man, now identified as Blue, returned in a Jeep Cherokee. Upon seeing police, the men jumped from the vehicle and ran toward the nearby baseball fields in Bear Creek Park. Police caught up with Bennett and arrested him, but the other man got away.
Investigators said the abandoned Jeep had equipment inside, including computers and printers, along with close to 100 additional counterfeit bills of varying denominations.
"They were in varying stages of completion," said Detective Sgt. Brent Mak.
Bennett was booked in the Jackson County Jail on $120,000 bail on 10 first-degree forgery charges, 10 counts of first-degree criminal possession of a forgery instrument, and on a probation violation stemming from a past drug charge. He was later released from the jail.
Blue has since been indicted by a grand jury on the same forgery and forgery instrument charges, Budreau said.
Police said 268 counterfeit cases were reported in Medford from January to August of this year, a 72-percent increase over the 155 cases reported last year. Police said they hope this case will have an impact on that number.
Anyone with information about Blue's whereabouts is asked to call Medford police at 541-770-4783.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.