State Police pulled over a fake police car containing counterfeit money in Chelmsford on Monday night.
The black Acura TLX sedan with flashing blue lights and New York plates first caught the attention of Trooper Stephen Thomson shortly after 11 p.m. on Interstate 93 in Wilmington, police said.
Johnson saw the Acura driving north at more than 110 miles an hour, and other vehicles were moving out of its way.
After Thompson determined the Acura wasn’t a police vehicle, he turned on his cruiser’s blue lights and followed it onto Interstate 495 south.
The Acura, a luxury vehicle, did not stop for the trooper in the marked cruiser, but instead raced on I-495 for about 10 miles before the driver pulled over near Exit 34 in Chelmsford, police said.
State Police identified the driver as Kevin Portalatin, 27, of the Bronx, N.Y., and the passengers as Samuel E. Morales, 38, and Yefri Arias-Rodriguez, 22, also of the Bronx.
According to police, Portalatin initially told police that he was a “volunteer police officer and firefighter” and he thought the pursuing troopers were “helping” him.
He said they were coming from Lawrence, even though they were seen traveling north in Wilmington, which is south of Lawrence. He then told police that they were rappers from New York and were on their way to a show, police said.
Troopers noted that the Acura was outfitted with flashing blue lights in the front and back, and they also found a box containing what appeared to be counterfeit $100 bills inside the vehicle, along with three bottles of pepper spray and a handheld police scanner, police said.
A special agent from the United States Secret Service interviewed the men and confirmed that the bills were counterfeit, according to police.
The men were booked at the State Police barracks in Andover.
Portalatin was charged with impersonating a police officer; unlawful use of blue lights; possession of counterfeit notes; failure to stop for police; speeding; and a marked lanes violation.
Morales and Arias were each charged with possession of counterfeit notes.
Fake cop, fake money, real problems... Troopers' stop of car with blue lights leads to counterfeit money seizure.https://t.co/NIcKS3H8dS— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) December 19, 2017