A Fairfield man has been sentenced to serve more than four years in federal prison for possession of counterfeit money.

Anthony E. Almeida III, 29, of the Shawmut section of Fairfield, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland by Judge D. Brock Hornby to 51 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Police found Almeida and his co-defendant, John Martin of Skowhegan, with more than $4,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency when their vehicle was stopped in June 2011, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Almeida copied the counterfeit bills from real ones, which police found in his wallet. Several bills from a batch of counterfeit currency were found by the side of the road in Skowhegan several weeks earlier, also copies of the currency that Almeida had in his wallet.

Almeida was convicted June 20 after a jury trial.

Martin pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced to six months in prison, equivalent to time served from his initial arrest, according to a published report.

He also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

In June 2011, a man driving on Oak Pond Road in Skowhegan found about $6,000 in loose money on the side of the road that was later connected to Almeida.

The man gave the $20, $50 and $100 bills to the Skowhegan police, who turned it over to federal authorities, according to the published report.

Almeida’s fingerprints later were found on some of the bills, according to a published report citing court documents.

Almeida previously was convicted in Somerset County Superior Court on a charge of burglary.

He was ordered in 2004 to serve five years in prison with all but 13 months suspended, according to court records.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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