Counterfeiters try to flush the evidence

It turns out you can’t always flush the evidence down the toilet.

Selina Jean Valdez, 28, and Daniel Marquez, 41, of Pueblo, Colo., are suspected of being responsible for almost all of the city’s counterfeit money cases. Police started looking for them on December 26, and that’s when they think the couple flushed “wads of counterfeit $50 and $100 bills’ down the toilet.

A week and a half later, on Thursday, when police came back with warrants, they found raw sewage all over the duplex.

By the time police arrived at the duplex Thursday, standing water and sewage covered its floors and the toilets weren’t functional. Detectives said Marquez and Valdez had been relieving themselves in plastic shopping bags for at least a week because of the inoperable plumbing.

Police said Marquez and Valdez refused to allow their landlord inside the duplex since Dec. 26. Damage to the unit caused by cramming the plumbing will cost thousands of dollars to remedy, police said.

Video of the duplex’s plumbing shot by plumbers using a “snake camera’ on Thursday showed hunks of suspected counterfeit bills packed into the pipes. The clogs span from just a few feet beyond the toilet to almost 100 feet along the lines. The volume of bills flushed down the toilet was so great that the money was visible when police and sheriff’s deputies lifted a manhole cover on the street outside the duplex.

Detectives characterized the suspected counterfeit operation run by Marquez and Valdez as “low-tech.’ Using a combination printer-scanner-copier run through a personal computer, the bills were printed on heavy-bond paper. — Pueblo Chieftain

Doesn’t everybody know that you’re supposed to use a cross-cut shredder on the evidence before you flush it down the toilet? For not paying sufficient attention to the Enron scandal, Selina Valdez and Daniel Marquez become the Stupid People of the Day.

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