A 22-year-old Faribault man was sent to prison Sept. 14 in Anoka County District Court after pleading guilty to felony and gross misdemeanor charges.
Brett Michael Wood, who previously lived in Blaine, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for a receiving stolen property felony-level conviction. A gross misdemeanor driving while impaired (DWI) conviction was also tacked on.
According to the criminal complaint, Wood drove away from the Cooper’s Corner Store in East Bethel the afternoon of July 21, 2011 without paying for $25.33 worth of gasoline.
The responding Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputy got a description of the vehicle and suspect along with the license plate number from the surveillance footage. The deputy discovered by searching the license plate data records that the 1992 pick-up truck Wood was driving had been reported stolen by an auto sales lot in Mille Lacs County.
The deputy left the store and soon spotted the suspect vehicle turning on Viking Boulevard from Highway 65.
After stopping the vehicle and asking the driver for his identification, Wood presented a fake driver’s license. The driver’s license birthday date made it seem like he was 18 years old when he was pulled over. His real age was 21 at the time.
The deputy smelled a strong odor of alcohol, but Wood refused to take any tests to confirm what his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was, according to the complaint.
The DWI was elevated to a gross misdemeanor because Wood was previously convicted on Dec. 1, 2008 of criminal vehicular homicide in Stevens County. He was a juvenile at the time, so he went through the adjudicated juvenile program, according to the complaint.
Wood also paid an $85 fine.
A guilty plea on these two charges actually came Aug. 24, 2011 and a Nov. 16, 2011 sentencing date was set. However, court records indicate that Wood did not appear at his sentencing hearing, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant was quashed on Feb. 1.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]