A Box Elder man who led law enforcement officers on a 130-mile chase in a stolen car pleaded guilty Friday to felony theft.
As part of a plea bargain, Deputy Hill County Attorney Cyndee Faus dropped a felony charge of criminal mischief. "I took the truck ... without permission," Cody Allen Rivas, 20, said after Special Master Eric Bunn asked Rivas to explain his actions.
Faus recommended a 24-month deferred imposition of sentence. Rivas, who agreed to pay $500 in restitution for the vehicle owner's insurance deductible for the damage incurred, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 24.
On Jan. 17, Rivas stole a 1998 white Dodge pickup from the parking lot of the Golden Spike & Liquor Lounge, police said.
The owner of the vehicle followed him in another vehicle and used a cell phone to notify authorities. When officers located Rivas, he refused to stop, Havre police said.
Driving as fast as 95 mph, Rivas led six different law enforcement agencies in snowy and icy road conditions, police said. The chase ended three miles north of Great Falls, after Montana Highway Patrol officers employed spike strips in the road, police said.
After driving over the spikes, Rivas drove several more miles with a flat tire, according to a criminal complaint filed in District Court.
The chase lasted almost two hours, beginning at 4:41 p.m. and ending at 6:25 p.m.