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Woman's call from Hudson motel leads to drug trafficking, counterfeiting charges

A St. Croix County assistant district attorney has filed a lawsuit seeking forfeiture of three Canon brand printer/ scanners and $400 cash that authorities believe were used to forge $20 bills.

ADA Amber Hahn filed the case on behalf of the state of Wisconsin against Vincent Mario Benshoof and Noelle Dorothy Hansen, whose addresses are both listed as the St. Croix County Jail.

According to the complaint, Hansen and Benshoof rented a room at the Regency Inn, 734 Hwy. 12, Hudson.

On Jan. 11 an anonymous caller contacted the county’s emergency communications center to say a woman was being held against her will at the Regency by an armed man and they were manufacturing drugs and counterfeiting money.

The civil complaint says the officer sent to investigate found a woman alone in the room, a syringe next to the bed, a copier/fax machine and what appeared to be new counterfeit money plus two $10 bills that seemed to have been copied on a single sheet of paper.

After the officer phoned an investigator to get a search warrant, someone knocked on the motel door and the officer opened it to Benshoof. The complaint says that behind him was silver Chevy Impala parked in front of the room with the engine still running.

When they searched Benshoof, officers said they found a syringe with a crystal-like substance and $400 in $20 bills -- the serial numbers from eight of which matched the serial numbers on some of the counterfeit currency found in the room.

After getting a warrant to search the car, the complaint says, the officers found 27 pounds of marijuana, 14 grams of meth, a scanner/printer and a receipt for another scanner/printer.

The complaint also says the officers seized two scanner/printers from the room, numerous sheets of paper with $20 bills printed on them, an empty box of resume paper, counterfeit $10 and $20 bills and instruments that tested positive for meth.

Believing the cash was derived from the commission of a crime and that the printers were bought with cash and used for forging currency, the state is asking that the printers and money be forfeited.

According to online court records, Benshoof, 31, was charged with felony counts of possession of THC with intent to sell and possession of amphetamine with intent to sell.

Hansen, 22, was charged with felony counts of possession of THC with intent to sell, possession of amphetamine with intent to sell, possession of methamphetamine and forgery.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 19.