PANAMA CITY — Bay County Sheriff’s investigators recently arrested a Panama City man on money counterfeiting and methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Travis Nathaniel Ross, 33 of Velma Avenue in Panama City, was arrested on Friday on charges involving possession of counterfeit bills and the items to manufacture them. He was also charged with trafficking in meth, according to a press release from the Bay county Sheriff’s Office.
The BCSO Criminal Investigations Division had received information that Ross, who was released from prison in June of 2019, was a convicted felon that had failed to register as a felon. They also received information that Ross was making counterfeit money.
According to the release, during surveillance on Ross, he was observed leaving his residence with a SpongeBob backpack. Ross was stopped a short distance from his home and detained. The backpack allegedly contained $30 in counterfeit currency, numerous unused syringes, a digital scale and approximately 4 grams of meth packaged for sale.
Also allegedly in the backpack was a black journal containing the personal identification information (date of births, social security numbers, driver's license information, and banking information) for approximately five individuals, one of which was 72 years old.
Contact was made with the individuals in the black journal and investigators learned that Ross had allegedly acquired the information without the knowledge or consent of his victims. Ross allegedly admitted during an interview he intended to sell the identities. A search was conducted at his home, where investigators allegedly found a short barreled shotgun (15" barrel), shotgun ammunition, approximately 12 grams of meth, drug paraphernalia used in the packaging and sale of meth, items used to manufacture counterfeit currency, and approximately $2,540 worth (154 individual bills) in counterfeit $5's, $10's, $20's, and $50's, most on uncut sheets, the release stated.
Ross was charged with failure to register as a convicted felon, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a short-barrel shotgun, possession of instrument for forging bills, possessing forged bank bills, trafficking in meth, possession of paraphernalia with intent to deliver, criminal use of personal identification information (x2), and criminal use of personal identification information of a person over the age of 60 years old.