Carlton man sentenced for counterfeitingA Carlton man accused of making and passing counterfeit money was sentenced this week in Carlton County Court — the first in a series of counties where he is being prosecuted.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Carlton man accused of making and passing counterfeit money was sentenced this week in Carlton County Court — the first in a series of counties where he is being prosecuted.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Aaron David Miller, 27, was sentenced to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony fifth-degree possession of marijuana; possessing counterfeit currency, a gross misdemeanor; and felony counterfeiting of currency with a means for false reproduction. A charge of counterfeiting of currency by manufacturing/printing was dismissed.
“The guideline was 27 months on our stuff, but (Miller) still has charges in Pine County and Duluth that he hasn’t been sentenced for,” Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler said. He said the charges in Pine County include a first-degree drug charge and St. Louis County has an escape from custody charge, as well as drug possession and counterfeiting charges. Miller also faces violation of probation charges in Olmsted County.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Dec. 1, 2012, the Cloquet Police Department learned that Miller was involved in passing counterfeit U.S. currency; they later learned that Miller had been producing $100, $50 and $20 U.S. bills using an HP printer/copier. Miller also had been passing counterfeit money in Carlton and St. Louis counties.
On Dec. 19, officers obtained a search warrant for Miller’s residence on Highway 210 in Carlton County. They found the printer/copier, resume paper and a copied $100 and $20 bill. Officers also discovered where Miller was burning the remaining paper after cutting out the counterfeit bill from the resume paper. They also found fishing line and clips used in drying the copied counterfeit currency.
When officers interviewed Miller, the complaint said, he admitted to manufacturing and using about $6,000 in counterfeit currency. All of the $20 bills surrendered had the serial number IB79466761E.
Miller is scheduled to be sentenced in State District Court in Duluth on Aug. 2 in two separate St. Louis County cases. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of using or passing counterfeit money. In a separate case he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of passing a bad check.
In another case, he’s scheduled to be sentenced todayin State District Court in Pine City for first-degree possession of 25 grams or more of cocaine, heroin or meth. He entered a guilty plea in that case July 19.
Miller was charged with escaping from custody after he was hospitalized at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth on Jan. 6 while in the St. Louis County Jail. Authorities say he walked away from the hospital despite being ordered to remain there until he was picked up by Carlton County sheriff’s deputies for a Jan. 9 court appearance.
According to a complaint filed in St. Louis County on Jan. 11, officers received a call from a male who told them he was staying at the Grand Motel in Duluth and there was a male named Aaron in his hotel room. The informant said the man had told him he was wanted by law enforcement, had warrants against him, and that he had counterfeit currency.
Officers responded to the motel room and were allowed inside. They identified Miller despite the fact he had shaved his head and was not wearing glasses as he had in the past, the complaint said.
When Duluth police officers prepared to take Miller into custody, he indicated that a black duffle bag on the floor was his. During the execution of a search warrant, officers located nine counterfeit $100 bills in Miller’s possession and another in the black duffle bag, according to the complaint. Also inside the bag were a paper cutter, a ream of manila-colored paper, a computer printer ink cartridge, a ledger, a piece of paper with a cutout of a counterfeit bill, scissors, a long blonde wig, a St. Mary’s Medical Center patient band with Miller’s name on it, four hypodermic needles and a tourniquet.
With charges in different counties, it has been a complicated case with numerous delays.
An attempt in February to have all Miller’s cases heard by one judge in either Carlton County or St. Louis County failed earlier this year, leading to a legal impasse that assistant Carlton County Attorney James Ross called “unacceptable.”
Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler didn’t know what kind of sentences Miller is looking at in the other three counties.
“All I can tell you is that we went first,” Pertler said. “He still has to pay the piper in those other counties.”
News Tribune staff writer Mark Stodghill contributed to this report.