WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal authorities say 13 people have been indicted in connection with an alleged counterfeiting ring that involved fake bills manufactured in Israel being circulated in the United States.<br />
An indictment issued Thursday charges 10 people, including four Israelis, with racketeering and conspiring to commit various counterfeiting offenses. Three other defendants were charged with participating in the conspiracy.<br />
Authorities claim the ring manufactured more than $77 million in fake $100 bills over more than a decade.<br />
Officials say the Secret Service first began detecting fake bills believed to be manufactured in Israel in 1999, and that the defendants set up a highly sophisticated domestic printing plant in New Jersey earlier this year.<br />
Arrest and search warrants were executed in May and June in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.