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Forum staff reports, Published January 03 2013

2 Fargo men arrested on counterfeiting charges

FARGO – Authorities here believe they have found the men responsible for recently passing phony money in the metro area.

Two Fargo men were arrested Thursday for suspected counterfeiting after a SWAT team searched their north Fargo home and found items police believe were used in the production of several thousand dollars in fake bills, according to a news release from the Fargo Police Department.

Terry Bruce Higdem, 32, and Nicholas Tom Seeley, 33, are each awaiting charges for the Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both, the release stated.

Authorities, including the U.S. Secret Service, have been investigating several reports of counterfeit money being passed in the area since Monday, which led to the execution of the search warrant, Deputy Police Chief Pat Claus said.

The Red River Valley SWAT Team performed the search at 1401 1st Ave. N. at 9:30 a.m. Materials allegedly used in the production of several thousand dollars’ worth of false $20, $10, $5 and $1 bills were discovered at the home, the release stated.

On Wednesday, there were at least seven reports of fake bills being passed, including four reports in Fargo, two in Moorhead and one in West Fargo, according to the police dispatch log.

One of the calls involved a $20 counterfeit bill received by a blackjack dealer in downtown Fargo, police said.

Moorhead police confirmed they also assigned an investigator to the case and were working with federal authorities.

Higdem was also arrested on two felony drug charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, the release said. Both charges are punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Higdem has served prison time previously for terrorizing ex-girlfriends. In 2011, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 1½ years after he locked his ex-girlfriend in a bathroom and threatened to hurt her family. He told police he was high on meth at the time.

Higdem also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in 2008 on a separate terrorizing case.

A search of North Dakota court records does not show any prior charges for Seeley.