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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lapwai Man Sentenced For Stealing Electric Generators

COEUR D'ALENE – Michael Eli Wilson, Jr., 23, of Lapwai, Idaho, was sentenced today in federal court in Coeur d’Alene to 40 days in jail followed by 180 days of in-patient drug treatment, for theft exceeding $1,000, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Wilson to serve three years of supervised release. Wilson, an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe, pleaded guilty to the charge on December 11.

According to the plea agreement, Wilson admitted that between April 26 and June 1, 2012, he entered the property of Gem Electric, a small business located in Lapwai, for the purpose of stealing electric generators. Wilson admitted that he sold the generators as scrap metal at Sutton Salvage in Lewiston, Idaho. Sutton Salvage provided records to investigators, which confirmed that Wilson had scrapped electric generators on a number of occasions between April 26 and May 30, 2012. On June 1, employees of Sutton Salvage contacted police after Wilson attempted to scrap additional generators. Wilson absconded before police arrived, but left the generators at the site. The property owner confirmed he was the rightful owner of the generators. Sutton Salvage employees identified Wilson from a photograph lineup. The generators had a value exceeding $1,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, and Nez Perce Tribal Police.

Updated December 15, 2014