A man who pleaded guilty to spending $600 in counterfeit currency in Cache Valley stores was sentenced to probation on Monday.
Paul Philip Dean, 25, pleaded guilty in July to third-degree forgery and class-A possession of a forgery writing or device. Three other charges against Dean were dismissed.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck sentenced Dean to 18 days in jail with credit for 18 days served and a term of probation. She also ordered dean to complete various treatment and to write letters of apology to the victims in the case.
Defense attorney Mike McGinnis told the court Dean was young and had no criminal history, noting this was Dean’s first offense. McGinnis said prosecutors had agreed not to request any additional jail time.
Dean briefly addressed the court, stating he was on the right path in his personal life and wanted to move forward.
“I’m just trying to get this behind me,” Dean said.
On May 22, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the 1st District Court, Dean used $300 in counterfeit bills to purchase a gift card at Lee’s Marketplace. After the transaction, the store cancelled the card and Dean returned to inquire about the status of the cancelled card. Police then arrived and questioned Dean. Police wrote Dean confirmed he made the initial purchase but would not respond about the authenticity or origin of the bills used. During a search of his person, a $300 prepaid Visa card from Walmart and a related receipt was found.
Dean was arrested on May 23 and was later released on a bond.
Prior to sentencing, Cache County prosecutor Griffin Hazard requested the court order Dean to relinquish multiple firearms and body armor that had been found upon Dean’s arrest. Hazard said police were concerned about the placement of firearms in Dean’s car, which may have suggested that he was “prepared for an encounter with law enforcement.”
According to McGinnis, lots of assumptions were being made about Dean in the request to give up his firearms. McGinnis said there was no proof Dean was a violent person and the guns were not connected to the case.
“There are no facts to back that up,” McGinnis said.
If the court were inclined to order Dean relinquish the firearms, McGinnis said he would request an additional hearing to address the matter.
Search warrants executed on Dean’s car and residence do not mention firearms or body armor. According to the warrants, police found counterfeit cash in various denominations, electronics and handwritten notes in Dean’s home. No items were seized from Dean’s car.