Carlton man sentenced for counterfeiting, drug possessionA Carlton man accused of both making and passing counterfeit money, in addition to other crimes, was sentenced Monday in Carlton County Court.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Carlton man accused of both making and passing counterfeit money, in addition to other crimes, was sentenced Monday in Carlton County Court.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Aaron David Miller, 27, was sentenced to a total of 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–means for false reproduction. Charges of theft and counterfeiting of currency–manufacturing/printing were 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,” said Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler, noting that the charges in Pine County include a first-degree drug charge plus Duluth 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 United States currency; they later learned that Miller had been producing $100, $50, and $20 U.S. bills using an HP printer/copier. Miller had also been passing counterfeit money in both 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 states, he admitted to manufacturing and using approximately $6,000 in counterfeit currency. All of the $20 bills surrendered had the serial number of IB79466761E.
Miller faces the escape from custody charges in St. Louis County because he was transported to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth on Jan. 6 for care after becoming sick while in custody there. During his time at the hospital, he walked away from the hospital despite the fact he had been ordered to remain there until he was picked up by Carlton County sheriff’s deputies for a Jan. 9 court appearance. At that time, Judge Wolf issued a warrant for Miller’s arrest.
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 on him.
Officers responded to the motel room and were allowed inside. At that time they identified Miller, despite the fact he had shaved his head and was not wearing glasses as he had in the past.
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 on Miller and another in the black duffle bag, which contained numerous counterfeit-related items.
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, leading to a legal impasse that assistant Carlton County Attorney James Ross called “unacceptable.” (Ross was one of three assistant Carlton County attorneys to prosecute Miller’s different cases.)
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.”