Alleged forger in jail after money found drying in his Glenwood Springs motel room
EAGLE — Jabez Parker managed to avoid the long arm of the law for a decade and a half, mostly because he was in a Michigan prison.
However, Parker is currently incarcerated in the Eagle County jail for forgery and other alleged financial felonies.
Prosecutors say Parker was staying in a Glenwood Springs motel when police there found what was clearly not his laundry: various denominations of bills hanging to dry in his motel room, they said. It had been washed with Easy Off oven cleaner and other cleaning products, Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum said Tuesday, Dec. 26, during Parker’s first court appearance in Eagle County.
Finding funny money
Police say that in counterfeiting operations, real money is bleached with household chemicals to remove the ink. A new denomination is then printed on the paper, so a $5 bill can become a $50 bill. Money counterfeited by that method can be tough to detect because markers used to detect fake money won’t pick up on the fakes, since the paper is authentic.
Parker protested that he had no idea the counterfeit bills were hanging in his room.
Judge Jonathan Shamis reminded Parker of his right to remain silent.
“The prosecution is overzealous in this matter. … I don’t understand all these made-up charges — where they came from. I’m really lost right now. I wake up one morning and I’m being thrown around,” Parker said.
Too broke for bond
Parker’s Garfield County bond was $2,500. McCollum trotted out arrest warrants from Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Garfield County and Avon and asked for a higher bond. Parker told Shamis to set the bond at whatever he wanted.
“I’m not going to be able to post it anyway,” he said.
Parker was already in the Garfield County jail for counterfeiting and forgery charges. He was transported to Eagle County to be advised that he faces forgery charges in Avon. McCollum said the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will add racketeering to Parker’s list of charges — a Class 2 felony.
Teller County tale
Earlier this year, Parker ran afoul of the law in Teller County for possession of forged financial instruments. He served much of his one-year sentence and was out on parole when he caught the attention of police in Avon and Glenwood Springs.
“I have served the time for the incidents in Teller County. I have committed no new crimes,” Parker said.
Parker’s criminal career began with a 1996 in conviction in Michigan. Felony firearms possession, carjacking and arson got him 14 years in prison, which mostly explains how he stayed out of trouble between 1996 and 2010.
A 2011 conspiracy conviction in Michigan followed his attempt to sell or introduce contraband into prison.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.