Bank Forward bandit sentenced to 5 years in prison
June 14, 2021
Jacob T. Stein of Minot was recently sentenced to five years in federal prison for a string of bank robberies in 2019. He was also ordered to serve three years supervised release, and pay $101,420 in restitution for his crimes. Stein’s alleged accomplice, Collin M. Grosz, recently entered a plea and will be sentenced later this year.
The two men were arraigned in federal court on Sept. 28, 2020. Stein, 27, was indicted on three counts of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, four counts of bank larceny, two counts of malicious damage by fire of personal property used in interstate commerce, and one count of use of fire to commit a felony. Grosz, also 27, was indicted on three counts of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, two counts of bank larceny, and one count of malicious damage by fire of personal property used in interstate commerce.
The two men began their run by stealing $9,420 from the ATM located inside the State Bank and Trust of Kenmare on Sept. 1, 2019. Then, on Sept. 6, they attempted to steal money from an ATM owned by Bremer Bank, which was located at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, using cutting tools and pry bars. Three days later, they attempted to break into ATMs located inside Citizens State Bank locations in Mohall and Sherwood. According to court documents, they used fire to damage and destroy the three ATMs they attempted to gain access to on Sept. 6-9.
Stein went solo on a separate spree in the spring of 2020, court documents say. He stole $8,560 from the Bank North of Buffalo, N.D., on May 15, and $11,980 from Bank Forward in New Rockford, on May 20. He then used fire to damage and destroy an ATM in Carrington belonging to Bremer Bank on May 20, and took $23,960 from the ATM at Aspire Credit Union of Minot on May 23.
Mudgett accused of stealing thousands from Dollar General
Duane Mudgett of New Rockford faces a Class B Felony charge of misapplication of entrusted property for allegedly stealing nearly $40,000 from the Dollar General store in New Rockford.
According to the criminal complaint, Mudgett was responsible for preparing deposit slips and making deposits for the company. Authorities allege that between November 21, 2020 and January 11, 2021, he prepared deposit slips, but did not actually deposit the money. He would leave the building with the money and deposit slip, then return and log into the company computer under another employee’s name to indicate that the deposit had been validated by the deposit. Other times, the validation or slip was never returned to the building. Dollar General’s Cash Auditor reported that a total of $38,603.80 had been stolen in this manner.
Mudgett was due in court for his preliminary hearing/arraignment on June 10. As of press time, he did not have an attorney to represent him. If convicted, Mudgett faces a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment, a fine of $20,000, or both.
Authorities use geofencing to identify suspect in farm theft
Local authorities continue to use technology to investigate crimes and identify suspects. One new tool they have at their disposal is called geofencing, which was used to investigate a recent burglary. On March 13, authorities allege that an individual broke into a quonset at the Coenen farm in eastern Eddy County off Hwy. 20, and stole tools and a motor vehicle. On March 19, the property was broken into again, and the suspect allegedly tore the garage door off its frame and stole an ATV and more tools. Officials used geofencing to put geographical points around the crime scene, then filed a search warrant with Google to identify any cell phone activity on the property at the time of the burglaries. A suspect has been identified, and the information has been forwarded to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for charges. The property is within the boundaries of the Spirit Lake Reservation, and the suspect lives on the reservation. No charges had been filed as of press time.
Eddy County Sheriff Paul Lies credited rookie deputy Jacob Roberts with introducing the geofencing tactic to the department. The key is to confine the time and parameters, Lies said. They were able to narrow the search to the quonset directly, and the suspect’s cell phone was logged inside the quonset at the time authorities believed the burglary took place.
Several sentenced in court in April & May
Tony Peterson of New Rockford was sentenced for driving under the influence on April 19. He was arrested on March 7 along U.S. Hwy. 281 near 20th Street, where a breathalyzer test revealed that his blood alcohol concentration was 0.136%. Peterson waived his initial appearance and signed a written guilty plea, and he was sentenced to 360 days of unsupervised probation, and ordered to pay $750 in fines and fees. A driving under suspension charge was dismissed in the case.
Nicole D. Shahin of New Rockford pleaded guilty to two counts of driving under suspension, both misdemeanors, on May 13. The charges stemmed from two separate incidents, the first on February 16, in the 900 block of Central Avenue in New Rockford, and then again on April 17 along Hwy. 281. In exchange for her guilty plea, Judge Hovey suspended Shahin’s two-day jail sentence for 360 days of unsupervised probation, and ordered her to pay $360 in fines and fees.
Talissa J. Ami of Ft. Totten was sentenced to 360 days of unsupervised probation, and ordered to pay $350 in fines and fees for driving under suspension.
Darren L. Duda of New Rockford pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a Class B Misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint, he yelled, pushed and shoved two women at one of their homes on First Avenue South in New Rockford on Feb. 8. As part of a plea agreement, Judge Hovey deferred his sentence and waived all fines and fees. Duda is subject to 360 days of unsupervised probation.
Zachary T. Lee of Dickinson was found in contempt of court for failure to pay fines and fees imposed in a 2019 driving under suspension case. He was ordered to serve two days in jail as a remedial sanction. The contempt may be purged by paying $50 per month commencing June 15, 2021, until paid in full.
Roger A. Skadsem was sentenced for Class C Felony driving under the influence. This is Skadsem’s fifth offense. He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison at the N.D. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, followed by two years supervised probation. He must also participate in the 24/7 sobriety program for two years following his release and pay $2,560 in fines and fees.
Roland D. Desjarlais of Devils Lake pleaded guilty to Class B Misdemeanor criminal trespass, a hunting violation. He was sentenced to 360 days of supervised probation and ordered to make a $200 donation to Report All Poachers (RAP).
Dylan R. Smith of Ft. Totten pleaded guilty to a Class A Misdemeanor charge of using artificial lights in taking big game. He entered the plea on April 15, and a 10-day jail sentence was suspended for 360 days of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to make a $750 donation to Report All Poachers (RAP) and forfeit the Browning rifle and spot light used to commit the violation.
Mark J. Hetle of Carrington was sentenced for driving under suspension. The incident occurred on January 3, 2020, when he was stopped on Hwy. 281. Judge Hovey suspended his 30-day jail sentence for one year of unsupervised probation and ordered him to pay $400 in fines and fees. This was Hetle’s second DUS offense, as he was previously convicted in Pierce County in 2019.
Deanna Neurohr of Harvey reached a plea agreement with authorities in a felony drug case. She was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamines, a Class C Felony, last October. The charge stemmed from an Oct. 24 traffic stop, where Neurohr was initially stopped for speeding. Judge Hovey sentenced her to 360 days in jail, with 298 days suspended and credit given for 62 days served in treatment. She is under supervised probation for two years and paying $560 in court fees. This is Neurohr’s second offense, as she has prior convictions in Wells County in 2017.
On March 6, a sheriff’s deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Jared** Jorgenson of New Rockford, due to lack of visible registration. The deputy activated the emergency lights on his vehicle near the Rockford Cafe. According to the complaint, Jorgenson then allegedly accelerated rapidly, went around the block and drove through another intersection before stopping. He pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of fleeing a police officer and driving under suspension. His pre-trial conference was set for June 10.
A warrant has been issued for Latrelle Redroad of Ft. Totten. He was stopped on March 31 for traveling 70 mph in a 50 mph zone. He told deputies he was going home because he had a rough night. He failed a field sobriety test, and a subsequent breathalyzer test at the scene revealed that his blood alcohol content was 0.247%, three times the legal limit. Authorities obtained two empty cans of alcohol from the vehicle and issued four citations, including failure to register a motor vehicle, failure to carry liability insurance, speeding and driving under the influence. Redroad did not appear in court on May 13.
**Correction 06.12.21, 1:49 p.m. The print version of this article identified the suspect by the wrong first name. The suspect's correct name is Jared Jorgenson. We apologize for the error.