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Men used counterfeit bills, DA says

Two from R.I. accused at bar; a 3d eludes arrest

Two Rhode Island men were arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday on charges that they tried to use fake $100 bills to buy beer and cognac at the bar of a downtown hotel, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Felix Perez, 23, of Providence, and Dana Leyland, 29, of Pawtucket, were arraigned on one count each of possessing counterfeit notes and uttering counterfeit currency, the office of District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement.

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Leyland was also charged with providing a false name to arresting officers, according to the statement, apparently because of outstanding warrants in related offenses.

Not guilty pleas were automatically entered for both men.

At around 9:15 Monday night, according to the statement, a bartender at the Charlesmark Hotel called ­police to report that three men had given him what he thought were fake $100 bills. He followed them to a nearby bar, but the third man escaped, Conley’s office said.

The bartender said Perez and Leyland had used a $100 bill to buy two Coronas and a Hennessey cognac; the third man also ordered a drink and paid with a $100 bill. All three got change and left after finishing their drinks, the statement said.

But the bartender said that their bills had a “ghost image” of President Lincoln on them, so he followed them to a bar called Solas in the Back Bay, where he called police.

As an officer questioned the men outside the bar, the Solas bartender came out and said that two other patrons turned in seven $100 bills that they found in the area where Perez and Leyland had been. Those bills are also believed to be counterfeit, Conley’s office said.

Another $100 bill, also thought to be fake, was found in Perez’s pocket during booking, according to the statement.

Leyland is accused of lying to police about his name, telling them first that it was “Matthew Gagne,” then “Dana McLaren,” the district attorney’s office said.

Police found that Leyland had three warrants charging him with possessing and uttering counterfeit bills out of Taunton and Attleboro district courts, according to the statement.

Boston police notified the Secret Service of the men’s ­arrests.

Perez was held on $1,000 cash bail, the statement said. Leyland was held without bail pending transport to two other courts where he faces charges.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com.
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