Carlton man pleads guilty to possessing counterfeit billsA Carlton man accused of making and passing counterfeit money pleaded guilty to a number of related charges this week in State District Court in Carlton County.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Carlton man accused of making and passing counterfeit money pleaded guilty to a number of related charges this week in State District Court in Carlton County.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Aaron David Miller, 27, pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor charges of possessing counterfeit money as well as felony counterfeiting “having means for false reproduction.” Charges of manufacturing counterfeit money were dismissed. He also pleaded guilty to fifth-degree drug possession and misdemeanor domestic assault. A theft charge — for allegedly shoplifting printer ink April 26 from Walmart — was dismissed, but Miller still has to pay restitution, his attorney Terri Port Wright said.
Sentencing is set for July 15.
Three different Carlton County assistant attorneys — each with a different area of expertise — worked on Miller’s five different sets of charges. Attorneys James Ross, Michael Boese and Jesse Berglund all welcomed the settlement, after multiple delays in the case and additional crimes each time Miller was released from jail.
Monday’s plea bargain was only the beginning of Miller’s legal accountings. He also faces probation violation charges in Olmsted County, as well as counterfeiting and escape from custody charges in St. Louis County.
According to the most recent complaint filed in Carlton County:
Cloquet police learned Dec. 1 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.
On Dec. 19, officers obtained a search warrant for Miller’s residence on state Highway 210 in Carlton County. They found the printer, resumé 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.
Miller was picked up at a Duluth motel Jan. 11 after police received a tip. When Duluth police officers prepared to take Miller into custody, they found nine counterfeit $100 bills on him and another in a duffle bag. 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, an Essentia Health patient band with Miller’s name on it, four hypodermic needles, a tourniquet and other miscellaneous items.
Port Wright said she expects Miller will be allowed to serve most of his sentences concurrently —but not the escape charge. The state mandates that escape from custody charges run a year and day consecutive to any other charges.
She also confirmed that because of the escape Miller is not eligible to serve his time at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center and will have to go to state prison.