FORT WORTH – A brother and sister accused of making fake money appeared in federal court Wednesday on charges that they tried to pass the counterfeit currency at a Fort Worth store.
But Amy Catherine Taylor, 29, and her brother, Jack Arvil Taylor, 25, could also face federal weapons charges after six explosive devices and six rifles were found inside their southwest Fort Worth home Tuesday.
The siblings made their first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Charles Bleil. The judge released Ms. Taylor on bail but ordered her brother held pending a detention hearing Monday morning.
The two were arrested Tuesday when federal agents and Fort Worth officers descended on their home in the 3000 block of Meadowmoor Street.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court, the pair tried to defraud a Wal-Mart store in southwest Fort Worth this summer. On July 3, the two entered the store in the 7400 block of McCart Street and presented $600 in counterfeit money to a cashier. They used fake $100 and $50 bills to purchase a money order, the complaint said.
The cashier looked at the money, suspected it was not authentic and called Fort Worth police. The Taylors fled the store before officers arrived.
Investigators reviewed the store's surveillance video, determined which car the two fled in and traced them to the Meadowmoor Street home. Secret Service agents confiscated counterfeiting equipment, including two computers and a printer, during Tuesday's raid of the home.
The raid also revealed six crudely made – but deadly – explosive devices. Officials also found six rifles including an AR-15 mounted on a tripod, an AK-47 and ammunition.
"It is very telling that a counterfeiting bust ends in finding explosives and assault type weapons in a seemingly quiet neighborhood," Fort Worth police Lt. Paul Henderson said in a press release. "Thankfully, the Taylor siblings were discovered before their intentions became known through the use of those deadly devices."
In the state court system (County Criminal and District Courts) bail in lieu of appearance in virtually assured except in the most serious offenses. where the accused is considered a flight risk or the release of an individual would pose a clear danger to society. Even then a bail bond would be set, but it would typically be too high for the individual to make. However, for those facing Federal charges in the United States District Court, it is very common for the United States Attorney's Office to requests that those that pose any conceivable risk to the public be detained. And they often come up with very creative ways for doing so. For example, a defendant recently charged with receiving child pornography via the Internet was ordered detained pending trial after a US Customs Agent testified at his detention hearing that those who posess Child Pornography have a sexual interest in children, and she had located several elementary schools within miles of the defendant's home. Furthermore, the threat to society need not be physical. Someone accused of embezzelment or fraud is just as likely to be held if the government can establish they pose an economic threat to others if allowed to remain free pending trial.