Forger Jebez Parker, caught drying counterfeit money in Glenwood motel room, sentenced to 10 years in prison | VailDaily.com

Forger Jebez Parker, caught drying counterfeit money in Glenwood motel room, sentenced to 10 years in prison

Jebez Parker will spend 10 years in prison for counterfeiting. It's 10 years because he's an habitual criminal.

EAGLE — For the next 10 years, Jebez Parker will back under the care of the prison system, after he pleaded guilty Wednesday, Oct. 24, to counterfeiting and other financial felonies. Because he's an habitual criminal, he faced up to 96 years if he had been convicted at trial.

"I felt like I didn't have a choice. Take life in prison or take the 10 years," Parker said. "I'm not saying I didn't have anything to do with it. I take responsibility."

In pleading guilty, Parker called the case against him "weak."

No, it's not, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Kirwan.

Researching Parker's criminal history, prosecutors learned he has been doing this in other jurisdictions, Kirwan said. Authorities in five other states — Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas and Nebraska — all have arrest warrants for Parker for the same type of crime.

What they did

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Parker and co-defendant Valerie DeMarco started in the Colorado Springs area and worked their way to Eagle and Garfield counties, counterfeiting money and passing it at retailers, police say.

Parker would wait outside the store in the Cadillac they were driving, while DeMarco spent the counterfeit money inside.

They rolled through Avon and Eagle County, where they spent at least $650 in one store. Bankers discovered the counterfeit money the next day as part of the store's deposit.

Parker and DeMarco then headed west and landed in Glenwood Springs, where DeMarco was arrested passing counterfeit money in a convenience store.

Glenwood Springs police found Parker in a local motel. Taped to his motel room mirror were various denominations of counterfeit bills, according to his arrest affidavit.

At first, Parker claimed he did not know anything about it, but pleaded guilty Wednesday.

DeMarco also pleaded guilty Wednesday in Eagle County and faces similar charges in other Colorado counties.

Parker, 43, has already spent 17 years in prison for similar crimes, according to court testimony.

Earlier this year, Parker was arrested in Teller County for possession of forged financial instruments. He served much of his one-year sentence and was on parole when he and DeMarco were arrested in Glenwood.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.