Curtis Joseph Hiltner, 30, Rochester, was sentenced for felony aiding and abetting financial transaction card fraud. A misdemeanor charge of possession of stolen property was dismissed.
For the felony offense, he was ordered to serve 17 months in prison stayed for two years and six months. Hiltner was ordered to serve supervised probation for two years and six months. Hiltner was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition, or explosives. He was ordered to supply a DNA sample. Hiltner was ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines. The right to restitution has been reserved.
The charges stemmed from a report to police on April 24, according to the complaint. Someone had broken into a vehicle outside of Country Acres Apartments, 1918 Greenwood St. E., and had stolen several items out of the vehicle.
A Wings Financial Credit Union credit card, a Credit One bank card, a Wing’s Financial Credit Union checkbook, a driver’s license, a carton of Marlboro Super Select cigarettes and a black jacket featuring the owner’s first name had been stolen out of the vehicle.
After speaking with the credit union, the owner learned that someone had charged $790.80 at Hugo’s on April 23 at 9:52 p.m. She also learned that someone attempted to use the credit card at Petro Pumper on April 24 at 2:16 a.m.
Upon investigating, a police sergeant learned that a $500 Mastercard gift card, two cartons of Marlboro Red cigarettes, and a carton of Newport cigarettes had allegedly been purchased at the grocery store.
The sergeant reviewed surveillance footage of a fidgety male using the credit card and handing the bag to a female shortly thereafter.
The sergeant also received surveillance photos of the couple. Since a checkbook had also been stolen, the sergeant and the police investigator went to all Thief River Falls convenience stores and provided them with photographs of the suspects.
The police investigator soon learned the same man attempted to purchase $283.78 of merchandise at Pennington Main. However, the card was declined. Surveillance footage showed a vehicle registered to Hiltner.
The investigator also learned that the woman may be Kristina Donarski. The sergeant later learned from a St. Joseph police officer that Hiltner was dating Donarski and their vehicle had been gone for a couple of days in that city. He confirmed a description of the suspect vehicle was consistent with Hiltner’s pickup truck. Upon seeing surveillance photos, the officer and two other St. Joseph officers confirmed that Hiltner and Donarski were the suspects at Hugo’s.
At the time, Hiltner was on probation for a Stearns County offense of possession of a firearm. The sergeant later followed up with Pennington Square since the victim had learned two purchases were made there on April 23. Donarski purchased two cartons of Newport menthol cigarettes for $195.80 at 9:39 p.m. that day.
Hiltner purchased three cartons of Marlboro Red cigarettes for a total of $275.70 three minutes earlier. They had used the Credit One bank card. Donarski was sentenced for her role in the offense prior to her death.