By David Howell
A Texas man faces federal charges after being arrested by the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department while serving a warrant.
Eric Jason Craft, 34, was arrested at a home on Hwy. 32, approximately four miles east of Oakland.
“We had a warrant on him for grand larceny for allegedly taking a vehicle,” Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported.
Authorities learned that Craft had just returned to the area from Texas, after receiving a tip from an informant. Craft, already a convicted sex offender, is also wanted in Liberty, Texas after being charged with committing another sex crime.
“When we arrived at the house on Monday, he attempted to hide,” Humphreys explained. Deputies were able to take him into custody and also seized $160 in counterfeit money, a printer and high-quality linen paper.
Craft initially presented an altered Texas driver’s license and provided a false name and birth date, an attempt to hide his true identity, according to Humphreys. After a search deputies found his real driver’s license.
“We contacted the U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday, and an agent immediately launched a federal investigation,” Humphreys explained. “
Craft could face federal charges for allegedly making and distributing the counterfeit money, Humphreys said. He could also face federal charges in the identity theft, a serious charge if he has actually stolen the identity of another person, Humphreys added.
“During the investigation Tuesday, we learned that counterfeit bills could have been exchanged, both in Water Valley and Oakland in the last couple of days,” Humphreys added.
“These bills looked real,” the sheriff added.
Authorities believe that Craft had a female friend in the county and had been in the area off-and-on in the past.
“We are looking at several other unsolved cases involving counterfeit money,” Humphreys said about the investigation. He urged anyone who may have information about Craft or counterfeit bills that have been passed in the county in the past to contact his department at 662-473-2722.
Anyone with information about this crime can also contact Yalobusha County CrimeStoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or 473-4935. Tips can also be sent by email to: TIPS@ YalobushaCounty.net.