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News Release

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Media Relations

Counterfeiting Investigation and Arrest NR12342ne

Los Angeles:  On July 20, 2012, the Los Angeles Police Department, Topanga Organized Retail Crimes Unit investigators in partnership with the United States Secret Service, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s and the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department, concluded a six month long investigation of an individual counterfeiting United States Currency known to insiders as “Operation Bear Trap.”

The investigation was the result of a tip to authorities by several local retail stores located in the San Fernando Valley.  

LAPD’s Topanga Organized Retail Crimes Unit investigators along with the United States Secret Service concluded an investigation which started in the Topanga Area and led them into several different counties.  32 year-old Paul Hernandez, was arrested outside of a ‘Bass Pro Shop’ in the city of Rancho Cucamonga.  The United States Secret Service and the San Bernardino County Sheriffs served a search warrant at Hernandez’s residence in the City of Big Bear, California. Hernandez is suspected of passing more than $300,000 dollars in counterfeit bills.  

The search warrant served at Hernandez’s Big Bear home was positive for investigators and revealed that he was creating authentic looking copies of $100 bills.

The case against Hernandez will be filed in the Superior Court in San Bernardino County and Hernandez will be arraigned on felony charges July, 24 2012 at 7:00 a.m. in Rancho Cucamonga.  There is currently an ongoing state and federal investigation for counterfeiting.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call LAPD’s Topanga Area at 818 756-4800.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.