Four Defendants Charged In Federal Court Following An Investigation Into The Theft Of Nine Handguns From The Blanding Police Department In August Have Reached Plea Agreements With Federal Prosecutors
SALT LAKE CITY – Four defendants charged in federal court following an investigation into the theft of nine handguns from the Blanding Police Department in August have reached plea agreements with federal prosecutors.
Three days after the August 22, 2011 burglary, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle in Salt Lake County and recovered two firearms, one of which was taken in the burglary. Further investigation led law enforcement officers to a home where the remaining guns taken during the burglary were recovered. Officers also found other illegal firearms during the course of the investigation.
Matthew Ryan Dudley, age 21, of Washington, pleaded guilty in federal court in St. George Monday to one count of possession of stolen firearms, admitting that between Aug. 22, 2011, and Aug. 25, 2011, he possessed nine stolen firearms. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced April 3, 2012, in St. George.
Thomas Richard Dale Goatz, age 22, of Enoch, also pleaded guilty in early January to one count of possession of stolen firearms in connection with the nine guns taken during the Blanding robbery. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced April 3, 2012, in St. George.
Dudley and Goatz are in custody pending sentencing.
Nathan Scott Holliday, age 21, of Cedar City, pleaded guilty Dec. 12, 2011, to possession of a stolen firearm. Holliday admitted possessing and disposing of a stolen Winchester shotgun between Aug. 1, 2011, and Aug. 30, 2011, in Iron County. Law enforcement officers believe the weapon was stolen during a home burglary and that Holliday later transferred the shotgun to Wesley Plexico, age 22, of Cedar City. Plexico pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 2012, to possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun. Plexico admitted that the illegal weapon was not registered to him and could have readily been put in operable condition.
Holliday is set for sentencing March 5, 2012. Sentencing for Plexico is sentenced for April 2, 2012, in St. George. Holliday and Plexico, who are in custody, face up to 10 years in federal prison for the firearms convictions. Plexico, who was convicted of possessing stolen guns in 2009 and sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, was on supervised release when he was arrested on the current firearms charge.