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Man pleads guilty to gas theft, could get 3-year term

A man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is facing three years behind bars after pleading guilty to theft charges. The man was accused of perpetrating several gasoline thefts with his wife throughout the region.

Authorities report the pair would drive their minivan to local gas stations, claiming they were having car trouble. While distracting the employees, they would hand-siphon gas into 55-gallon drums. The thefts reportedly occurred during the autumn of 2012. Employees at one station alleged the minivan was parked at the facility for three days in a row in November. Workers later noticed that 950 gallons of gas were missing after the pair showed up. At least two other stations were also affected.

Official reports indicate the pair obtained the gasoline in order to trade it for money or drugs. After identifying the problem, investigators were able to locate the couple, who quickly admitted to their crimes. The woman said she and her partner had hit at least four gas stations in the region since October 2012.

The 31-year-old man has pleaded guilty to one count of conducting criminal enterprises in connection with the theft. As a condition of the guilty plea, prosecutors have agreed to abandon drug possession charges, driving with a suspended license and other related offenses. He will be sentenced at the end of the month. Prosecutors will recommend the man receive no more than three years' prison time.

The 24-year-old woman involved in the thefts has changed attorneys, so her case is taking extra time. She is facing two counts of conducting criminal enterprises. The woman is free on $5,000 bond, while her partner remains in custody.

In this case, the defendants should consider seeking a qualified attorney to help them learn more about their criminal charges. The man was probably advised about his legal options by his attorney, a process that allowed him to understand more about the implications of pleading guilty. Entering a guilty plea is a significant decision that should be discussed with your criminal defense lawyer.

Source: www.mlive.com, "Man pleads guilty in alleged husband and wife gas theft operation" Barton Deiters, Jul. 05, 2013