Teen pleads not guilty in counterfeiting case

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A Craig teenager pleaded not guilty in district court to a charge relating to the production of phony $100 bills that police said were used to defraud local stores.

Aaron Gallegos, 18, is charged with possession of tools to commit forgery. The charges stem from a Dec--ember 2005 search when police said they found counterfeit money and tools used to produce fake $100 bills at a home on Third Street.

Gallegos' attorney, Erick Nordstrom, of Steamboat Springs, entered the plea at his arraignment Tuesday. The defense also requested a jury trial, which Chief Judge Michael O'Hara scheduled for Oct. 31.

The trial is expected to last two days. A pre-trial conference is set for Aug. 28.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Stern said he offered a plea agreement to Gallegos to try to settle the case outside the courtroom, but Gallegos rejected it.

Stern would not comment about what the offer entailed.

Stern told O'Hara Tuesday that he had no plans to offer another.

"At this point at least, all offers are off the table," Stern said.

Earlier this month, a teen also involved in the counterfeit case was sentenced to probation.

Raymond Maley Siqueiros pleaded guilty in March to unauthorized use of a financial transaction and was sentenced to four years probation.

The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors, who dropped a forgery charge that could have put Siqueiros behind bars for three years.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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