A Havre man sentenced for threatening a woman with a BB gun now faces new charges stemming from an alleged drug sale and accusations he helped with a crime spree in Havre.
Jesus Soto, born in 1987 in New York, was charged by the Hill County Attorney with felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs and with five felony counts stemming from an investigation of a rash of thefts in 2010.
Soto pleaded guilty in January 2011 to threatening a woman with a pistol, which he later told her actually was a BB gun. He is serving a two-year sentence in the state prison in Shelby, followed by three years of probation.
According to a court document, Soto now is charged with selling marijuana in July 2010 to confidential informants working with the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force.
He was investigated along with Ryan Schafer of Havre, born in 1977, after officers discovered what appeared to be stolen items, including vehicles, after Schafer called Nov. 26, 2010, to report his girlfriend’s vehicle had been stolen.
Last spring, Schafer pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to felony charges of theft and criminal mischief. He is scheduled for sentencing May 24.
He had been charged with two felony counts of theft and two felony counts of criminal mischief, the same as the new charges against Soto, who also is charged with tampering with a witness.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Schafer to seven years, all suspended.
According to the charging documents, when officers arrived to investigate the reported theft of Schafer’s girlfriend’s vehicle, “it appeared that both Schafer and Soto were involved in both the thefts and storing of stolen items. ”
Schafer called at 3:08 a. m. to report the vehicle being stolen.
The officers investigating the incident found vehicles, reported stolen only hours earlier, at Schafer’s residence.
The vehicle Schafer reported stolen was found a few blocks away in the middle of the street, with the engine off but the transmission in “drive” with the key in the “on” position.
While interviewing Soto and Schafer in their residence, the officer conducting the interviews noticed several items that had been reported stolen, including items reported stolen with the vehicles earlier that day.
After the officer noticed the items were similar to items reported stolen, Schafer told him to stop searching the residence.
Officers obtained a search warrant and continued the search of the residence. The initial investigation found 142 pieces of evidence.
Some of the items identified were reported stolen Nov. 25 or 26, 2010, others had been reported stolen in the weeks, even months, previous to the search.
Two of the people who
had reported their vehicles stolen that day discovered damage when the vehicles were recovered. One owner found two front tires deflated and damage to the undercarriage.
Another reported that a stereo had been ripped from his vehicle, damaging the mounting area, as well as his finding damage to the glove box and to the vehicle door.
Items found in the residence identified as suspected stolen property included numerous firearms, including a shotgun which Schafer said belonged to him. Later checks identified the shotgun as having been reported stolen from a vehicle in September 2010.