When Cody Rivas returns to Hill County after serving six months in the Cascade County regional jail, he will have more charges waiting for him at home.
On Thursday, Hill County prosecutors charged Rivas, 19, with theft and criminal mischief, both felonies. If convicted, Rivas faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Rivas, a Box Elder resident, pleaded guilty Jan. 18 in Cascade County Justice Court to misdemeanor charges of reckless eluding, driving under the influence of alcohol, and driving without a license. The previous day, Rivas had led law enforcement officers on a 130-mile pursuit that started in Havre and ended several miles north of Great Falls, authorities said.
Rivas is serving six months in jail in Cascade County. Justice of the Peace Sam Harris sentenced Rivas to six months in jail for both the DUI charge and reckless eluding, with three months suspended on each charge. In addition to $835 in fines for the three charges, Harris also ordered Rivas to pay $2,825 in jail costs for his stay about $40 a day.
At 4:51 p.m. on Jan. 18, Havre police said, Rivas stole a 1998 white Dodge pickup from the parking lot of the Golden Spike Lounge & Liquor Store and drove at speeds of up to 95 mph with authorities in tow.
The owner of the vehicle, Jerald Granell, had left it running when he briefly returned to the Golden Spike to pick up his jacket. When Rivas stole the vehicle, Granell and another bystander followed him in the bystander's pickup, and called 911 from a cell phone, police Capt. Mike Barthel said.
Havre police picked up the pursuit for Granell in the 1700 block of Fifth Avenue, Barthel said, but the chase was later assumed by the Hill County Sheriff's Office, the Rocky Boy Police Department, the Chouteau County Sheriff's Office and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
Montana Highway Patrol officers stopped Rivas by placing spikes on U.S. Highway 87, 14 miles north of Great Falls, according to court documents filed in Hill County. For several miles, Rivas continued his flight, driving with one flat tire, the document said.
About six miles north of Great Falls, Rivas slowed down and attempted to drive around a patrol car waiting for him, court documents said. But he stopped parallel to a row of patrol cars and revved the vehicle's engine, spun the tires and grinded the Dodge's gears, documents said.
Surrounding the pickup, Highway Patrol officers and Cascade County deputies pulled Rivas from the vehicle and handcuffed him, the document said.