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Man sentenced for passing counterfeit $100 bills

John_ClaxA man was sentenced Thursday in Bladen County Superior Court for passing counterfeit $100 bills in at least two Elizabethtown businesses earlier this year.

John Selester Clax plead guilty to uttering a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretenses under a plea agreement with the state. He was given an active prison term of not less than 16 months and not more than 29 months. The state agreed not to indict him as being a habitual felon.

In a court summary, Clax, who identified himself as John Sylvester Manning of Spring Lake when first questioned by officers, used a counterfeit $100 bill to purchase a $25 gift card from the Dollar General store on South Poplar Street in Elizabethtown on Feb. 20. A store clerk checked the bill and told Clax it was counterfeit. Clax told the clerk he had gotten the bill from his grandmother.

Elizabethtown police were called. The clerk identified Clax. As the officer was talking to the clerk, Clax ran out of the store and got into a vehicle.

Police quickly located the vehicle and found Clax in the back seat. A search of the vehicle found a $1 bill and some bleach. It was determined that Clax had developed a method to turn $1 bills into a bill that looked like $100.

After his arrest, officers learned Clax also had passed two counterfeit $100 bills at the CVS store in Elizabethtown by buying $25 gift cards.

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