Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

August 23, 2013

Centerville man passed bad checks and drugs

By Michael Schaffer
Managing Editor

---- — A Centerville man along with help from his wife conspired to defraud Bratz Shell in Centerville of more than $1,000 in goods and services by passing eight non-sufficient checks during a 11 day period.

Court records state Carlos David Cotton, 32, and his wife, who was not named, passed eight bad checks to Bratz Shell from Oct. 3 to Oct. 14, 2012 that totaled $1,000.

Cotton admitted to law enforcement he mostly purchased lottery tickets with the bad checks.

Court records indicate Bratz Shell requested $1,245 in restitution due to the insufficient bad checks passed by Cotton was more than the cash amount because of fees and surcharges.

Cotton was originally charged by trial information filed by Appanoose County Attorney Richard Scott with second degree theft, a D felony on Dec. 11, 2012. Scott’s trial information states Cotton presented as legitimate bad instruments of payment for goods or services in excess of $1,000 but not more than $10,000.

Cotton admitted he knew the bad checks he presented to Bratz Shell were not covered but presented them anyway. Cotton said he “purchased a lot of lottery tickets with the non-sufficient fund checks” and that he had a gambling problem.

The conspiracy starts with Cotton’s wife, who admitted to writing the checks her husband cashed at Bratz Shell knowing they were insufficient.

Cotton on July 19 filed a wavier of rights and a guilty plea to the lesser charge, aggravated misdemeanor, third degree theft. Cotton’s plea bargain got him out of the class D second degree theft charge.

On July 19 Judge Rose Anne Mefford sentenced Cotton to two years in state prison, all suspended to two years probation with the Department of Corrections.

The drug case against Cotton started out as a class C felony controlled substance charge, manufacture, delivery or possession of not more than five grams of meth, as filed Feb. 12 in trial information by Appanoose County Attorney Scott.

Cotton filed on Aug. 16 a wavier of rights and a guilty plea to bargain the original charge down to possession of a controlled substance, serious misdemeanor.

The criminal complaint and affidavit filed Jan. 9, 2013 states Cotton at 905 W. Washington St. on Nov. 15, 2010 at 2:20 p.m. delivered meth to a confidential source who purchased what was presented as one gram for $115.

On Aug. 16 Judge Kirk A. Daily sentenced him to 365 days in jail, all suspended, to two years probation with the Department of Corrections.

Judge Daily ordered the two sentences to run consecutive to each other.

Cotton owes $2,200.68 for the adjudication of these two cases.