News and Press Releases

California Man Pleads Guilty to Theft in New Town

December 18, 2012

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Dec. 18, 2012, Paul A. Bonilla, 39, of Riverside, Calif., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of theft within Indian country.

On Nov. 6, 2012, on Main Street in New Town, Bonilla entered a vehicle without permission and drove away. In the back seat of the vehicle was a 2-year-old child, who was asleep. The owner of the vehicle had gone into Better B’s Restaurant in New Town to pick up a food order. Bonilla drove the vehicle to the Four Bears Casino west of New Town, where he went inside to gamble. The child was located unharmed and asleep inside the vehicle. After reviewing surveillance video from the casino, law enforcement officials located Bonilla playing a slot machine. Bonilla was found to be in possession of the ignition key for the vehicle and was arrested.

The charge of theft within Indian country carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by Bureau of Indian Affairs – Fort Berthold Agency.

Sentencing for Bonilla has been scheduled for March 25, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, N.D. at 2:15 p.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Volk is prosecuting the case.






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