When police broke into unit 701 at the Reserve Lofts, they found more than AK-47s, high-quality counterfeit $100 bills, fake passports and a gasoline-burning generator. "Inlaid on the floor was a handmade tile mosaic replica of the Central Intelligence Agency seal; it was about five feet in diameter," says Ryan Vaillancourt, in a story this afternoon at the Downtown News, where he's been following the caper since last week. "Hovering over the CIA emblem was a large, framed portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez." Police are looking for 33-year-old Brian Alexik, who's of Russian descent and got away out the window before authorities could break down the door. Yesterday, an associate was arrested at a converted warehouse at 38th Street and Grand Avenue, where plice say they found drugs, more fake money and "items consistent with manufacturing weapons." I'll say this, Downtown is getting more interesting.
Previously on LA Observed:
Those were no mere counterfeiters
Photo: Gary Leonard