DETROIT -

Federal investigators busted a Detroit business for paying workers not with cash, but with crack cocaine.

It started as a counterfeiting case, but investigators say they found much more at the Big C Tire Shop on Detroit’s east side.

It sounded good at first, a local Detroit business hiring workers. But the catch, they don't pay you with cash; they pay you with illegal drugs.

According to federal documents, if you cut the grass, you got a rock. Move tires, you get a rock.

Recruiting drug users as employees is beyond bad for the neighborhood.

"I used to stay out until 10 p.m. they didn't mind as long as you stay here in the area. But now, right now it's hard to raise a family," said neighbor Eric Taylor.

The investigation started with counterfeit Post Office paychecks. The feds says $100,000 in bogus checks were cashed.

Investigators found counterfeit equipment at Big C's and they also found out about the employee payment plan of crack instead of cash.

Neighbors hope the bust is the beginning of bringing back the neighborhood. Right across the street from Big C's is a senior center with over 100 senior citizens living there.

Residents say they're thrilled that this shop is no longer employing people who are addicted to crack cocaine and believe this neighborhood will start to get much safer.

Federal investigators say the evidence was better in the counterfeit check case, so they're not going to charge the owner with drug charges.

The federal counterfeit charges carry a stiffer penalty.