In Ellis County District Court Friday December 20, a Hays woman pleaded no contest to passing counterfeit money through local businesses. Sarah Leiker, 24, Hays, had been charged with the following:
- Possession of Methamphetamine, a level 5 felony
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor
- Counterfeiting, a level 7 felony
As part of a plea agreement with the State of Kansas, count 1 was dropped in exchange for the plea. Assistant Ellis County Attorney David Aschwege told Hays Post that the State is seeking a sentence of 24 months probation, which is in line with Kansas sentencing guidelines given the severity of the crimes and Leiker’s criminal history. He added the court is not bound by the plea agreement, and can sentence defendants as long as the Kansas sentencing guidelines are followed.
According to the original criminal complaint, in October of this year Leiker was alleged to have passed the following counterfeit bills in Hays: eight $20 bills, one $10 bill, and five $5 bills. The businesses contacted authorities (the bills were reportedly very poor quality and employees quickly determined the money was fake) who ultimately arrested Leiker and a second person, 25 year old Michael Hawkins. Hawkins’ case is ongoing.
Leiker is scheduled for sentencing on January 13th.