TRE burglar faces prison
A California man who ransacked a Topaz Ranch Estates home during the two months he lived next door admitted to burglary and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm on Tuesday.
Jeffery Lee Wilson, 43, pleaded guilty in exchange for a recommendation that he receive no more than five years in prison on the two charges.
Wilson faces a maximum of 1-10 years on the burglary charge and 1-6 years for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. The maximum fine is $15,000 for the two charges.
Among the items Wilson said he took were five black powder firearms, including a pistol, three muskets and a shotgun.
Supplies related to the firearms, including lead and black powder were also among the items stolen.
It was Wilson’s attempts to sell 70 pounds of black powder that led investigators to him.
Investigators found a large lump of lead where Wilson apparently tried to melt down the bullets for salvage at the home where he’d been staying. He’d lived at the Walker View Drive home from November 2012 to January 2013.
A neighbor discovered the theft on Jan. 31, 2013. Two weeks later Secret Witness reported that dozens of railroad torpedoes were taken from the home. Liquor and a mountain lion pelt were also among the scores of items removed from the home.
After learning Wilson’s identity, investigators made the rounds of area pawnshops. They discovered he pawned many items that could be identified as belonging to the victim, including a black powder rifle. Many items were recovered but some had already been sold.
According to court documents, a Douglas County investigator interviewed Wilson, who told him he took the items to support his methamphetamine habit.
In confirming that Wilson was an ex-felon, District Judge Tod Young listed a variety of felonies he’d been convicted of in Oklahoma and California.