Man sent to prison after guilty pleas to 2 different felony charges

Contributing Writer

A Ham Lake man who posted bail after pleading guilty in Anoka County District Court late last year to a felony charge following a police pursuit in Coon Rapids was arrested in February on two more felony counts for another incident in Coon Rapids.

Matthew Michael Mills, 25, entered a guilty plea March 20 to a felony possession of a firearm as an ineligible person because of prior crimes of violence and was sent to prison for 63 months with credit for 32 days served. A second felony charge of theft of a motor vehicle was dismissed.

That crime took place in Coon Rapids Feb. 17 while Mills was free after posting bail Feb. 8 and awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty Dec. 22, 2016, to felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor fourth-degree driving while impaired counts for an Nov. 14, 2016, incident.

Following his arraignment on the new charges Feb. 21, the court ordered him held without bail and Mills’ original sentencing date of June 1 was moved up to March 20 so that both cases could be handled together.

Mills received a concurrent 22-month prison term with credit for 118 days served, but he must also submit a DNA sample and pay $246 in restitution to the Coon Rapids Police Department.

In the incident the evening of Nov. 14, 2016, Mills was spotted driving a car at 82 mph in a 65 mph speed zone with no lights eastbound on Highway 610 at Zane Avenue. Pursued by police, he exited 610 at East River Road, ran several red lights and was clocked at speeds up to 127 mph with no headlights driving through Coon Rapids neighborhoods, according to the complaint.

The police pursuit lasted 8.3 miles before Mills eventually stopped in a backyard of a home on Norway Street, where he bailed from the car and was found hiding in a bush nearby.

Officers found a hypodermic needle on Mills’ person as well as heroin, the complaint states.

The most recent case occurred Feb. 17 when police responded to a call of a suspicious car on the 12000 block of Cottonwood Street Northwest with the occupant acting erratically inside, according to the complaint.

Police were advised that the car had been reported stolen out of Scott County and executed a felony traffic stop, finding the driver, who was identified as Mills, under the influence, the complaint states.

Officers located two glass pipes with white residue in the driver’s door.

In addition, police found a pistol-gripped, short-barreled shotgun in the rear seat area, but Mills was not eligible to be in possession of a firearm because of three prior convictions for fifth-degree controlled substance crimes, all in 2013, the complaint states.

According to court records, the state of Wisconsin has sought Mills’ extradition on a felony theft charge in that state. He waived extradition at a court hearing Nov. 11, 2016, but the case has since been reopened and Mills has a review hearing scheduled for June 1.

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