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Fulton man gets 10 days in jail for altering VIN as part of plea deal

Police lights. (Republic file photo)

ALEXANDRIA — A Fulton man recently admitted to altering or removing a vehicle identification number as part of a plea deal with the Hanson County state's attorney.

Paul Jerke, 37, was sentenced in May to serve 10 days in county jail and also received two years in prison with two years suspended. He pleaded guilty to alter or remove a vehicle identification number, a Class 6 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to two years in prison.

As a part of the plea agreement, the state dismissed a second felony charge, receiving a stolen vehicle. Jerke is the owner of Paul's Towing in Fulton.

He agreed to allow access at any time to the Hanson County sheriff to review any vehicle identification numbers on the defendant's property during his period of probation. Jerke has until the end of June to serve his 10 days in county jail. Officials on Monday said Jerke is in the process of serving his time.

Court documents say on or about Jan. 25, Jerke possessed a 2003 Ford F-250, "which he knows or had reason to believe has been stolen" and he "intentionally remove(d) a vehicle identification number without written authority from the department of Revenue" on the same vehicle.

The plea agreement also states the sheriff's office agrees to put Jerke's name back on the rotation list for town services. He was assessed $854 in court fees.

Jerke originally pleaded not guilty to the charges on Feb. 13.