Casper Men Plead Guilty to Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property
A Casper man who bought stolen property from a convicted burglar last year probably will not spend time in prison.
The convicted burglar, who pleaded guilty last month, probably will.
On Monday, Brian Allen Patton pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property during a change of plea hearing before Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking.
In exchange for the plea, Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer submitted an amended criminal complaint that changed the nine original burglary counts, including aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, to felony counts of receiving stolen property.
The other eight receiving stolen property counts were dismissed, Schafer said, adding Patton had no prior felonies.
Wilking will set a sentencing date later, and said she would not levy any prison time if the pre-sentence investigation shows he had no prior felonies.
However, Patton will be required to pay restitution for the stolen property, she added.
During his plea, Patton said he believed the property may have been stolen.
The lead defendant in the case was Jonathan Casey Burton, who pleaded guilty in December to four burglary counts with the prosecution dismissing five others, according to Natrona County District Court Clerk records.
After the hearing, Schafer said that Burton probably would receive a maximum of five or six years imprisonment for his plea to the burglary charges.
Burton was the ringleader, and the district attorney's office could not prove Patton committed the actual burglaries, Schafer said.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Casper police began investigating after eight separate burglaries were reported at KaLo Storage, 2736 S. McKinley, between May and July. A .22-caliber rifle was taken during one of those burglaries.
On June 29, an unnamed source told a Casper police sergeant that Patton and Jonathan Casey Burton had burglarized businesses and storage units in the area.
The source said Burton was renting a unit at KaLo Storage to get the keycard necessary to enter the gated property. He and Patton would travel to the facility and burglarize four or five units a night. They filled Burton's SUV with stolen items and drove to Patton's home in Evansville at the time to divide up the goods.
The two later moved to north Casper, where police in July found items that appeared to match those reported stolen. Police also found reportedly stolen items in storage units on East Yellowstone Highway rented by Burton and Patton.