Police say man tried to use counterfeit bills at Ferndale marijuana shop

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 12, 2021

 Brad Wheeler

Brad Wheeler


FERNDALE — A Troy man was arrested for allegedly attempting to use more than $100 in counterfeit bills at a local marijuana dispensary.

At 12:17 p.m. Feb. 23, officers from the Ferndale Police Department were called to Gage Cannabis Co. at 1551 Academy St. on a report that a man was trying to purchase goods using counterfeit cash.

The man in question was 42-year-old Brad Wheeler, of Troy. He was arrested at the scene and charged with one count of uttering and publishing counterfeit bills.

According to Ferndale Police Sgt. Janessa Danielson, Wheeler allegedly entered Gage Cannabis Co. and attempted to purchase various products at the store for a total of $1,600. When the store employees began to inspect the cash given to them, they began to notice some of the bills seemed off.

From what they counted, there was $140 — seven $20 bills — that were counterfeit.

“There was a lot of good money as well and then small amounts that the business located that was counterfeit,” Danielson said. “Counterfeit bills can be anything from missing security threads or watermarks, or you may even have some of those ones that have red print on them, or you’ll end up with people that make movies and it’ll specifically say, ‘This is not U.S. currency, this is a movie prop.’”

An employee at Gage Cannabis Co. called Ferndale police to the scene. When police arrived, Wheeler declined to speak to officers and “he asked for an attorney almost immediately.”

Because he didn’t speak with police, Danielson said, it’s unknown at the moment how Wheeler came into possession of the counterfeit bills.

“He wasn’t going to speak to us prior to the arraignment without an attorney present,” she said. “We actually didn’t have a follow-up interview with him with an attorney present.”

Wheeler was arraigned in the 43rd District Court Feb. 24. He had a probable cause conference March 4 and is due back in court for an exam at 2 p.m. March 11.

His attorney, Jeffery Maynard, declined to comment on the case.