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Rogue River man faces 13 forgery charges

A Rogue River man accused of forgery was detected Friday passing a counterfeit $100 bill by a cashier at Medford's Food 4 Less to buy groceries, according to Medford police.

Nickolas Ray Gordon, 25, of the 8100 block of East Evans Creek, was charged with 13 counts of forgery and lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $65,000 bail.

The cashier, Kirsta Babbitt, noticed the bill was a counterfeit and phoned police.

Police arrived at the store at 2230 Biddle Road in time to confront the suspect in the parking lot.

"Sometimes we would get reports from businesses and sometimes from a bank," said Medford police Detective Mike Budreau.

"By the time the bank gets it, it's hard to track it back to the store, so we were happy that an employee picked up on this, and we were able to contact him by his car."

An investigation led to Gordon's home in Rogue River.

Gordon allegedly used an inkjet printer at his home to fashion $1 bills into what looked similar to $100 bills, Budreau said.

"They were of pretty good quality, but they weren't good enough that people didn't notice," Budreau said.

Gordon allegedly began passing the $100 bills Sept. 1, he said.

Later in September, Medford's Winco Foods distributed a flier to other grocery stores, including Food 4 Less, warning them about the counterfeit $100 bills.

Gordon allegedly purchased food, jeans, shoes, soda and other small items with the counterfeit bills, Budreau said.

It's unclear whether economic hardship played a role in the crime.

Budreau said there has been an increase in forgery-related crimes since the economic downturn.

"If there is a direct correlation, it's hard to say, but it seems so," Budreau said.

The case remains under investigation.

For tips on detecting counterfeit currency, visit //www.secretservice.gov/KnowYourMoneyApril08.pdf.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com.