Man sentenced to prison for Ahern burglary |

Man sentenced to prison for Ahern burglary

by Sheila Gardner

A 29-year-old California man who admitted breaking into Ahern Rentals and taking $18,000 in equipment, was sentenced Monday to six years in Nevada State Prison and ordered to repay the victim for the uninsured loss.

District Judge Michael Gibbons told Jose Corona he must serve at least two years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Even if he gets deported, Gibbons ordered Corona to repay $17,947.14 in lost items to Ahern Rentals and $1,405.05 in extradition costs at $100 a month.

Corona pleaded guilty in December to burglary. He said he was paid $1,200 for his part in the Feb. 2, 2011, break-in at Ahern Rentals that netted nearly $18,000 in tools and generators.

Corona was found through a DNA match to blood on a piece of broken glass at the scene. He claimed he was accompanied by a man named “Henry” who was never apprehended. None of the stolen items was recovered.

Shards of glass were collected from the front of the store that were covered with dried blood. A search of the national DNA database showed a match between the evidence swab and Corona who was in custody in Los Angeles on an unrelated offense.

A security tape video showed two men gaining entry by breaking a glass door at Ahern Rentals. A white minivan pulled into the parking lot at 1:30 a.m., with the van door already open. One of the suspects broke out the front door window with a rod.

The pair, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, was shown inside the store removing generators and chainsaws worth $18,400, and driving away in less than three minutes. The van turned south on Highway 395.

Speaking through an interpreter Monday, Corona apologized and asked Gibbons for mercy. He claimed his methamphetamine use led to a life of crime.

He denied being a professional burglar as suggested by District Attorney Mark Jackson.

“I would like to ask for forgiveness for my actions. My record is because of drugs I consumed. In two or three years, my life changed completely,” he said. “I lost my family, friends and my freedom. I am not a professional. I never planned anything. I only did it to satisfy my addiction and to try to help my kids because I had no job,”

Jackson has asked that Corona be sentenced to eight years in prison.

He pointed out that Corona had prior arrests for domestic battery and drug offenses in addition to an additional burglary in California.

“He is violent, uses drugs, commits burglaries,” Jackson said. “He is the type of person we need to protect our community from.”

“You appear to be very sorry, but you did commit a very serious crime. It was planned, you drove 400 miles (from Los Angeles), and had plenty of time to think about it, but you did it anyway,” Gibbons said.

If Corona is not deported, Gibbons ordered him to appear in court the first Monday after his release from prison to set up a payment plan.

Jackson said Ahern Rentals was insured for losses of more than $25,000, and won’t receive any money for the stolen items.

Gibbons gave Corona credit for 104 days in Douglas County Jail.