Missoula woman admits felony for stealing U.S. Forest Service truck
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
MISSOULA — A Missoula woman accused of stealing a $40,000 pickup truck from the U.S. Forest Service admitted to a theft crime today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Kasey Nichol Hugs, 39, pleaded guilty to theft of government property. Hugs faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for April 10, 2024 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Hugs was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that on Dec. 26, 2020, a white Dodge Ram 2500 crew cab pickup truck, valued at approximately $40,000, was stolen from the Missoula Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory. Surveillance footage showed a female, later determined to be Hugs, walking among the parked vehicles attempting to gain access to them. Hugs eventually opened the driver door of the Dodge and drove it off the lot. On Jan. 19, 2021, the truck was located on the side of Highway 200 in Lincoln. Law enforcement searched the vehicle and found documents bearing the name, Kasey Hugs, a gray backpack that Hugs appeared to be wearing the night she stole the truck and several receipts from Missoula businesses. Surveillance video on the dates and times listed on the receipts depicted Hugs at those businesses.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter is prosecuting the case. The U.S. Forest Service and Missoula Police Department conducted the investigation.
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated December 8, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-456