ALBERT LEA --- Six southern Minnesota residents - including three from Albert Lea - have pleaded guilty during the last week to their involvement in a counterfeit ring that targeted businesses along the Interstate 35 corridor between the Twin Cities and the Iowa border.

Albert Lea resident Heather Ann Cameron, 34, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of counterfeiting U.S. currency. She entered her plea before U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery.

In her plea agreement, Cameron admitted that from December 2010 through June 2011, she chemically washed $5 bills and reprinted them as $100 bills. She admitted she intended to defraud businesses by passing the bills and then receiving actual money and goods in return for them.

Her husband, Travis Allen Cameron, 31, of Albert Lea pleaded guilty Monday to the same count, admitting that he produced altered bills, which were sold for about 50 cents on the dollar.

Meranda Lynn O'Connor, 29, of Albert Lea pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to one count of uttering altered currency, admitting that between Dec. 21, 2010, and Jan. 1 she passed the altered money at businesses in Bloomington and Burnsville.

Also entering pleas were the following:

• Sarah Ann Wood, 27, of Owatonna, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of uttering altered U.S. currency. Wood admitted to using altered currency at five Mankato businesses in May.

• Eric Michael Dorman, 34, of Fairmont, pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to one count of counterfeiting, admitting he produced altered bills in May and June.

• Vincent Dwayne Tampio, 33, of Faribault, pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to one count of counterfeiting, admitting he produced altered bills in May and June.

Co-defendants Dustin David Hanson, 34, of Northfield, entered a guilty plea earlier this month, and co-defendant Daniel Jay Wilson, 27, of Owatonna, did so in September.

Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The sentencing hearings have not yet been scheduled.

 

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