Aspen cops: Man tries to pass obviously fake cash
A Leadville man tried to pass counterfeit cash at an Aspen bar Tuesday that was so obviously fake a police officer with poor vision could see it without visual assistance.
“It would be nearly impossible to mistake these for the real thing, even with the most cursory examination,” Aspen officer Dan Davis wrote in an affidavit filed Wednesday in Pitkin County District Court. “I could tell the bill was fake even without my reading glasses to aid in seeing the print.”
Luke Sherman, 28, was arrested and charged with felony forgery and felony criminal possession of a forged instrument. A district court judge ordered him held Wednesday in lieu of a $2,000 bond.
Sherman allegedly attempted to pay for a drink about 10 p.m. Tuesday at Eric’s Bar using a fake $100 bill, the affidavit states.
“The bill had the words ‘Replica’ and ‘This note is not legal. It is to be used for motion pictures’ printed on the face of the bill,” Davis wrote in the affidavit. “The bills are very clearly marked and don’t contain any of the anti-forgery measures contained in a real bill.”
Sherman, who had no identification on him besides credit cards, denied knowing the bill was fake, according to the affidavit. After he was arrested, another officer searched him and found 22 additional fake $100 bills in his pockets.
“Sherman told me he sold a bicycle for $2,500 to a man named ‘John’ in Leadville,” the affidavit states. “He said John gave him the $100 bills as payment for the bike.”
At his advisement hearing Wednesday, prosecutor Don Nottingham said Sherman was wanted in another state on a felony warrant charging criminal impersonation. Also, he’s out on bond for an Arapahoe County case in which he’s been charged with criminal possession of a financial device and criminal possession of an identity document, he said.
Sherman asked District Judge Chris Seldin to release him from jail on a personal recognizance bond, but Seldin denied the request, citing a “pattern of behavior” in the charges he’s facing. In fact, Seldin called Nottingham’s request for a $2,000 bond “lenient,” though he granted it.
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Pitkin County’s vaccination roll-out continues Friday and Sunday and will include the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.