Michael Lee Morgan, 27, Ramsey, was sentenced in Morrison County District Court for one felony count each of theft and fifth degree possession of drugs.
On Dec. 6, 2011, the Little Falls Police Department responded to a call from the Little Falls Walmart about a shoplifting incident. Walmart officials told the officer the suspect had fled from the store in a red Pontiac LeMans and gave him the license plate number. The police officer was unable to locate the vehicle on his way to the store.
Employees told the officer Morgan placed two trail cameras, two Vexlar fish locators and several other automotive accessories into a black truck bed storage container that was in the store cart.
Morgan then pushed his cart to the back corner of the lawn and garden department where he used an Alpha key to remove the anti-theft devices from the fish locators. He closed the lid on the storage container and placed zip ties over the lock holes, making the container appear as if it came from the manufacturer with the zip ties on it.
Morgan went to the front of the store and paid for several other items that he had selected, but made no attempt to pay for the items that were concealed in the container.
Morgan exited the store and was approached by store personnel. He pushed the cart away from himself, ran to his vehicle and fled the scene.
Later that day, a Royalton police officer located the vehicle southbound on Highway 10 and initiated a traffic stop. Morgan was detained and the vehicle was impounded, towed and inventoried. A review of Morgan’s driving record showed his driving privileges were currently revoked for multiple traffic offenses going back to 2002.
The retail amount for the items taken came to $1,061.81.
The inventory of the vehicle revealed a black scale with a white powdery substance on it that field tested positive for methamphetamine. Other containers held a green leafy substance which was suspected to be marijuana.
The Alpha key was also found on the floor of the car.
Morgan was sentenced to 17 months in prison for the first count and 19 months for the second count. Both were stayed for five years. He was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for each count with credit for the 60 days already served. He was fined $135 for the first count, $50 for the second count and given five years of supervised probation to be served concurrently.