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Man facing more charges in wheat pennies case

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Dickinson, 58602
The Dickinson Press
(701) 225-4205 customer support
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

BISMARCK (AP) -- A man accused of failing to pay for more than $2,000 in wheat pennies is facing six more theft charges.

Authorities say Paul Smestad got pennies through an eBay transaction but never paid for them.

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Prosecutor Pam Nesvig says that since the original charge was filed, her office has had calls from other alleged victims around the country.

Authorities said earlier the 51-yer-old Smestad has a criminal history involving thefts dating back to 1989. He is serving a one-year prison sentence for contracting without a license.

Nesvig is seeking to have him declared a habitual offender, meaning he could face up to 10 years in prison instead of five years if convicted on the theft charges.

Wheat pennies have two wheat stalks on the side of the pennies opposite Abraham Lincoln's head. They were minted from 1909 to 1958.

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