Traffic Stop in Montgomery County Leads to Forgery Conviction
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX -- On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, jurors in the 9th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas (Honorable Judge Phil Grant presiding) found defendant Jeffrey Lane Baker, 50, guilty of Forgery. The same day, the jury sentenced Baker to 60 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — Institutional Division.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorneys Michael Ghutzman and Donna Berkey presented evidence that on September 8, 2018 a Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped Baker for speeding near the intersection of Clennie-Needham and Ford Road in Porter, Texas. Further investigation revealed that Baker was in possession of a large amount of counterfeit U.S. currency and a cutting board. Troopers later discovered that a counterfeit bill passed at a nearby gas station matched the serial numbers of counterfeit bills in Baker's possession. At trial, the jury also heard evidence from a special agent with the United States Secret Service concerning the quality of the counterfeit bills and additional locations where matching bills had been passed.
After returning a guilty verdict, prosecutors presented evidence showing Baker's substantial criminal history, including fourteen (14) previous felony convictions. Jurors also heard testimony from a victim who caught Baker burglarizing her home in 2004. After considering all of the evidence, the jury sentenced Baker to 60 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — Institutional Division.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Ghutzman said of the verdict, 'habitual offenders will face the full range of punishment in Montgomery County. I appreciate the hard work and cooperation from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the United Sta. Secret Service. Without their diligent efforts, this offender would still be on the streets victimizing businesses and homeowners in our community.'