County of Sonoma, California
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County of Sonoma

For Immediate Release: September 29, 2009

Parolee Guilty of Possessing Counterfeit Currency

Santa Rosa, CA (September 29, 2009) - District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua announced today that a Sonoma County jury found parolee Bernie Lee Verrett guilty of one count of felony possession of counterfeit currency. The 3-day jury trial was heard in Department Ten of the Sonoma County Superior Court, the Honorable Judge Arthur Wick presiding.

On September 3, 2008, Mr. Verrett was pulled over for a license plate registration violation by the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety. During the stop he was searched pursuant to the terms of his parole. In his right front pocket there were 3 counterfeit $100 bills. During the trial an expert witness from the United States Secret Service testified that the bills were in fact counterfeit and had been passed on a few occasions.

Mr. Passalacqua stated, There is no excuse for possessing counterfeit bills. They are worthless and those who knowingly possess them as if they were cash are committing a crime that hurts both individuals and businesses. I am glad that the jury held this defendant accountable for his unlawful actions.

The jury came to a verdict of guilty on the counterfeit charge in approximately 4 hours. Mr. Verrett was sentenced on September 22, 2009, to 3 years in State Prison. Rohnert park Police Department was the reporting agency and prosecutor Rosanne Darling tried the case.

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Contact Information

Contact:
Terry Menshek
Media Coordinator
District Attorney’s Office
County of Sonoma
Address:
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone:
(707) 565-3098 Work
Fax:
(707) 565-2762 Work Fax