Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Suspected gun thief given suspended jail sentences

Daily Inter Lake | February 13, 2024 12:00 AM

A Kalispell man accused in 2022 of stealing guns from a house guest and later selling them earned a pair of suspended jail sentences in November. 

Initially brought up on a count of felony theft in Flathead County District Court, Steven Salvador Reyes, 45, struck a deal in the fall that saw prosecutors amend the charges to three misdemeanor counts of theft. Reyes pleaded guilty to all three by way of an Alford plea on Nov. 3. 

In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains their innocence, but acknowledges a jury likely would find them guilty based on the evidence. 

Judge Heidi Ulbricht sentenced Reyes the same day. She handed down a pair of suspended six month sentences in the county jail and ordered him to pay $525 in fines and fees. 

Reyes fell under suspicion in January 2022 after his house guest reported the theft of several guns, according to court documents. She told Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies that she brought the firearms with her when she moved into Reyes’ home in 2021. 

Reyes allegedly offered to clean the guns and store them in his garage. She moved out in May of that year, but did not ask after the weapons until December, court documents said. Reyes allegedly told her he lost them. 

The plea deal, filed in district court, listed the stolen guns as a Rough Rider 22, Ruger Charger 22 and a Remington 700 BDL 7 mm. 

In March 2022, the victim followed up with investigators, telling them that she learned that Reyes’ sold the guns to another man, court documents said. The alleged buyer later told investigators that he purchased the guns from Reyes for $3,000.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.