A felony charge of failing to pay cigarette tax to the state was dismissed against Joshua David Thoreson, 40, of Moorhead, in Becker County District Court, because he has met the sentencing conditions.

According to court records, on Nov. 13, 2018, a Minnesota revenue tax specialist did a tobacco compliance check at Mellow Mood Pipe & Tobacco Inc. in Detroit Lakes.

He found multiple bottles of “e-liquid” without matching invoices. The employee on duty contacted Thoreson, a store co-owner, who authorized the release of all invoices. The employee couldn’t find all the invoices, and said the “e-liquid” had been shipped from Portland, Ore., where Mellow Mood also has a store.

The tax specialist verified that Mellow Mood did not have a distributor license in Minnesota and excise taxes had not been paid. The total value of the “e-liquid” was $2,000 and the total value of the unpaid tax was $1,990, according to the criminal complaint.

On Feb. 4, Becker County District Judge Jay Carlson dismissed the charge because Thoreson met the court conditions by paying a $1,500 fine and $1,995 in restitution, and successfully completing unsupervised probation.

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Ponsford man sentenced on probation violation

Christopher Lee Peake, 32, of Ponsford, has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for a probation violation.

According to court records, he is on probation after a felony domestic assault by strangulation charge. On March 21, 2019, he assaulted his girlfriend after she declined to have sex with him after he came home about 1 a.m., woke her up, and was verbally abusive. She got up to leave and he allegedly grabbed her and slammed her onto the mattress, then choked her with his hands, leaving her unable to breathe for about a minute. Responding officers noted visible bruises on her neck. Peake was previously convicted of domestic assault in 2011.

The specifics of the probation violation were not listed, but on Feb. 1, Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony ordered Peake to serve 15 days in jail, with credit for two days served, and to pay $1,165 in revised court fees.

He must get evaluations for chemical dependency, mental health and domestic abuse and follow the recommendations, including aftercare.

Man sentenced after being caught with drugs while trying to post bail

Anthony Leroy Vasecka, 30, of Mahnomen, has been sentenced in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of fifth-degree controlled substance crime.

According to court records, on Feb. 7, 2020, he went to the Becker County Jail to bail out an inmate there. Jail personnel discovered Vasecka was wanted on an active warrant, and he was arrested and searched. In his pocket was found a pouch containing 0.17 grams of meth and three hypodermic needles, according to court records.

Vasecka is on probation for a felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime conviction in 2018.

On Feb. 2, Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony sentenced Vasecka to 17 months in prison at St. Cloud, stayed five years.

He must serve 30 days in jail, with credit for nine days served, and was ordered to pay $1,150 in court fees.

He must get a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations, including aftercare, and was placed on supervised probation for five years.

Charges dropped against Detroit Lakes woman, case referred to city

A felony burglary charge and misdemeanor theft and trespassing charges have been dismissed against Bianca Ann Sampson, 30, of Detroit Lakes in Becker County District Court.

According to court records, on Feb. 2, she passed all points of sale with about $40 worth of items in her purse at the Detroit Lakes Walmart. She left Walmart and returned later that day, when she was arrested.

She had been served with a no-trespass order from Walmart nearly a year earlier.

On Feb. 2, all three charges were dismissed by the county attorney’s office because the case was referred to the Detroit Lakes city attorney for prosecution.

Charge dismissed in employee theft case

A felony theft charge was dismissed against Jericha Marie Schermerhorn, 32, of Detroit Lakes in Becker County District Court because she met the sentencing conditions.

According to court records, as an employee at Lakes Coffee and Liquor in Becker County, she was fired Nov. 27, 2015, after store surveillance video showed her taking money from the cash register on several occasions between July 24, 2015, and Nov. 21, 2015.

She was accused of stealing about $1,400 in cash and another $250 in store merchandise, as well as manipulating time sheets wrongfully to obtain another $153. She admitted taking money from the cash register to pay her bills.

On Feb. 3, the charge was dismissed because she met all conditions required by the court: She served 30 days on electronic home monitoring, and paid a $500 fine, plus $585 in court fees, and $1,903 in restitution.

She got a chemical dependency evaluation and followed the recommendations, and successfully completed supervised probation.