Texas resident Jeremy Sloan, 39, is accused of allegedly exchanging two fake $100 bills at a local gas station hours after reportedly shoplifting a laptop from a local retailer in December 2019.
Sloan, a resident of Dallas, was arraigned on the charges Feb. 12 before Circuit Court Judge Wendy Bartlett of the Sixth Judicial District, where he made several statements decrying his innocence and offering financial recompense for his alleged actions at the Flying J on Highway 59 Dec. 23.
“Tell me, who do I need to pay to make this right,” Sloan asked Bartlett, adding that he would pay the gas station $200 if it meant he could go free. He claimed to have made several attempts to do so in the past to no avail.
“This whole thing is embarrassing,” Sloan said, adding that he wanted the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
Sloan is believed to have used one fake $100 bill to pay for a pack of cigarettes around 11 a.m. Dec. 23, after which he allegedly gave the staff member a second counterfeit $100 bill and asked for change in smaller bills, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
The employee did not suspect the bills were fake at the time, having checked their validity with a specialized marker that indicated both were real. Later, however, another employee reportedly noticed the two bills appeared too small and both had the same serial number and subsequently reported the incident to the Gillette Police Department.
Earlier that same day at 6:30 a.m., Sloan was allegedly witnessed in surveillance footage by loss prevention staff at Walmart stealing a laptop valued at $167, according to the affidavit.
Court documents further state that Sloan was able to access the laptop by pretending to be interested in buying it, prompting staff to take the laptop to the front of the store where it was left unattended on a counter.
Sloan is allegedly seen walking behind the counter when employees were not looking, grabbing the laptop, and removing it from its package as he walked to the door. The suspect then reportedly tossed the empty box in a cart before walking out, the affidavit stated.
He then returned a short while later, removed two pairs of overalls from a shelf, and attempted to return them at the customer service desk in exchange for money, according to the affidavit.
Walmart staff already suspected Sloan of taking the laptop, the affidavit stated, and told him to leave the premises.
Campbell County Deputy and County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Reade requested Sloan be given a $2,000 cash or commercial surety bond, citing concerns about getting Sloan to come back to Wyoming for trial from his home in Texas should he post bond and be released from jail.
Reade advised that it was “pleasantly surprising” that Sloan had no criminal record in the State of Wyoming but added that he has several out–of–state convictions including felony forgery, theft, and domestic assault.
Bartlett set bond in accordance with the prosecution’s recommendations, on the condition that Sloan have no contact with Walmart or Flying J.
Sloan is charged with felony forgery, which carries a penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both. He is also charged with misdemeanor shoplifting, which is punishable by six months imprisonment, a $750, or both.
His preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 18.