Gaynell Boyd. Teresa Boyd, Sabrina Dodson and Amphay Somchith
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — The Santa Ynez Valley’s Chumash Casino—a popular destination for both tourists and regular gaming visitors out for a good time—is frequently the site of criminal activity ranging from minor petty thefts and narcotics possession to major illicit drug trafficking and violent assaults.
But on January 18th, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a call from casino security who had detected a somewhat more sophisticated and unusual crime.
According to SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, when Amphay Somchith and Sabrina Dodson, both 30 years of age, “used a $100 bill to pay for food,” an alert casino employee immediately “suspected the bill was counterfeit.”
That suspicion led to the arrival of Deputies who made contact with Somchith and Dodson, who were found to be in possession of two counterfeit $100 bills.
After Somchith—not too cleverly, it seems—attempted to toss the money into a nearby trash can, Deputies then searched the couple’s vehicle in the casino parking lot where they found “17 washed $1 bills” as well keys to a hotel room in Goleta.
While Deputies took Somchith and Dodson into custody at the Casino, additional SBSD units responded to the hotel room in question where they discovered Oxnard residents Gaynell Boyd, 46, and Teresa Boyd, 40.
In the hotel room with the Boyds was counterfeiting equipment and materials, along with receipts from several local retailers where, apparently, the criminal team had successfully passed the counterfeit currency.
All four suspects were then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where each was charged with passing counterfeit bills, conspiracy, and manufacturing counterfeit currency.
Additionally, Dodson was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance and Somchith was booked on an existing felony forgery warrant.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking