Inept Alan G. Rogalla doesn’t discriminate handing out stays

Two Thief River Falls women were sentenced separately in July for their roles in aiding and abetting two burglaries in March.

They are Sarah Jean Nelson, 29, and Kira Lesha Aehlert, 28. Nelson was sentenced Tuesday, July 25. Nelson was granted a 10-year stay of imposition for a felony charge of aiding and abetting a second degree burglary. As a condition of that sentence, she was ordered to serve supervised probation for 10 years. She was ordered to have no contact with the victims. Nelson was ordered to complete chemical and gambling assessments. She was ordered to have no contact with people associated with illegal drugs. She was ordered to provide a DNA sample. Nelson was ordered to provide a list of her prescribed medications to her probation officer. Nelson was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition or explosives. Nelson was also ordered to pay $260 in fees and fines. The right to restitution has been reserved. Nelson was granted a five-year stay of imposition for a felony charge of aiding and abetting financial transaction card fraud. As a condition of that sentence, she was ordered to serve supervised probation for five years. Other conditions are concurrent with the above charge. She was also ordered to pay a $100 fine. Nelson was granted a stay of adjudication for a felony charge of aiding and abetting a second degree burglary. That charge was continued. She was ordered to serve supervised probation for 10 years. Other conditions are concurrent with the above charges. She was also ordered to pay a $50 fine. Nelson was granted a stay of adjudication for a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth degree controlled substance crime. That charge was continued. She was ordered to serve supervised probation for two years. Nelson was ordered to follow the conditions for the first two charges. Two felony charges of aiding and abetting a felony theft were dismissed against Nelson.

Kira Lesha Aehlert was sentenced Tuesday, July 18. She was granted a five-year stay of imposition for a felony charge of aiding and abetting financial transaction credit card fraud. As a condition of that sentence, she was ordered to serve supervised probation for five years. Aehlert was ordered to have no contact with the victims. Aehlert was ordered to complete a chemical assessment. She was ordered to have no contact with people associated with illegal drugs. Aehlert was ordered to obtain and maintain employment. She was ordered to complete all programming as required by probation, including cognitive behavioral programming if recommended. She was ordered to provide a DNA sample. Aehlert was ordered to provide a list of her prescribed medications to her probation officer and take her medications in their prescribed dosage and frequency. Aehlert was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition or explosives. Aehlert was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines, and $2,289.93 in restitution. Aehlert was granted a stay of adjudication for a felony charge of aiding and abetting a second degree burglary. That charge was continued. As a condition of that sentence, she was ordered to serve supervised probation for 10 years. That sentence is to be served concurrently with the above charge. Conditions are concurrent with the above charge. She was also ordered to pay a $50 fee. Another felony aiding and abetting a second degree burglary charge, two felony charges of aiding and abetting a felony theft, and a gross misdemeanor charge of check forgery were dismissed against Aehlert.

The charges against Nelson and Aehlert stemmed from the report of a burglary March 2 at 123 Tindolph Ave. N., according to the complaints. About $2,365 in items had been stolen there. Another burglary was reported at 310 Kendall Ave. N., where about $1,000 in items had been stolen. Police also received a report of financial transaction card fraud. A woman said $2,404.88 had been charged on her credit card in 60 transactions between Feb. 9 and Feb. 21.

She suspected Matthew Peter Stengrim, her grandson, since he had stolen from her in the past. Police obtained surveillance video from Falls Liquor, where some purchases were made. Nelson and Aehlert used the card there and at Walmart. Aehlert also passed a check at Pennington Square for gasoline and other items. The check had been stolen from one of the burglarized homes. A search warrant was later executed at Nelson’s residence. Law enforcement saw her in a passenger seat of a nearby vehicle, which was stopped. The unidentified driver was making furtive movements. In plain view, a sheriff’s deputy saw a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine.

Nelson’s purse was searched. It contained two other suspected meth pipes and a small bag commonly used to hold controlled substances like meth. A sunglasses case in the vehicle contained five hypodermic needles, and a small gramtype plastic bag containing a small amount of suspected meth. It also contained a necklace, ring and guitar pick, which matched items that had been reported stolen at the Kendall Avenue home. On the passenger side of the vehicle, law enforcement also found an open container of liquor and a nightgown, which matched some stolen items. Inside her home, additional stolen items were found. Nelson said Stengrim asked her to use the credit card at Walmart to buy items and ask for cash back. She said he isn’t allowed there.

Nelson said she, Aehlert and two men had engaged in such activities for Stengrim in the past. Nelson said she and Aehlert picked Stengrim up at a home near First Street and Tindolph Avenue. She said he had a backpack. All three went inside the home, where Nelson stole an orange suitcase. Police soon arrested Stengrim, who possessed a wallet containing a credit card belonging to a burglary victim, a credit card belonging to a man and a casino card belonging to a second man. Three bags were located near him. A woman said an orange suitcase and a gray suitcase belonged to Aehlert. The other bag –a small backpack – belonged to Stengrim. Police obtained a search warrant for the suitcases. They contained items stolen from the two homes. Stengrim has since been sentenced for his roles in the Tindolph Avenue burglary and the financial transaction card fraud. Aehlert was also sentenced for a separate case of felony theft by swindle. She was granted a five-year stay of imposition.

Aehlert was ordered to serve supervised probation for five years. That sentence is to be served concurrently with another case. The same conditions were ordered as those for the charge of financial transaction card fraud.

Aehlert was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines. The theft by swindle charge stemmed from a Feb. 14 report to police, according to the complaint. Two women used a man’s checks to purchase about $450 worth of items at Fleet Supply. The account had been closed earlier. An additional $383.25 in merchandise was purchased at the Cenex Travel Plaza a day earlier, and about $500 in merchandise was purchased at Hardware Hank. They were allegedly later identified as Aehlert and Toni Elizabeth Lerol. About three hours after the initial report to police, Purdy’s staff reported that two women attempted to purchase merchandise there with a check from the account. Police stopped their vehicle near the intersection of Highway 1 and 210th Avenue. Aehlert said she tried to purchase items at Purdy’s with a check from her boyfriend’s checking account. She said she had his permission to use the account. Police recovered a 25-pack of Craftsman CO2 air canisters and deerskin leather gloves in the vehicle. Both allegedly admitted to passing the checks. Lerol said Aehlert lived two doors away from her at Country Estates and some of the items were at Lerol’s home. Her husband brought several clothing items to the Law Enforcement Center. The items were from Fleet Supply. Applonia Anisa Hill, 25, Naytahwaush, was sentenced for felony conspiracy to commit a theft. A felony charge of attempted theft was dismissed. For the conspiracy charge, Hill was granted a four-year stay of imposition. As a condition of that sentence, she was ordered to serve supervised probation for four years.

Hill was ordered to follow all instructions of probation in a Hubbard County court file. She was ordered to not trespass at Walmart in Thief River Falls unless the court or her probation agent allow her to go there. Hill was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition or explosives. She was ordered to supply a DNA sample. Hill was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines. The right to restitution has been reserved with the state having 30 days to file a certificate and the defense having 30 days to object.

The charge stemmed from a July 7, 2016, report to police at about 10:46 p.m., according to the complaint. Walmart employees reported two suspicious women, and they were concerned the women would attempt to leave without paying for merchandise. At about 12:27 a.m., police were informed one of the women had pushed a cart full of merchandise out of the store without paying. Heather Lenona Oppegard was arrested. She had several empty Walmart shopping bags in her pocket. Oppegard said her sister, Hill, was still inside and waiting for her text, signaling the coast was clear. Police arrested Hill inside the store. She possessed a hypodermic needle and what appeared to be a shopping list. Oppegard said she planned to steal items at Walmart, and Hill was acting as a lookout and loading her own shopping cart. Hill admitted to stealing items. She said she used meth and heroin at about 6 p.m. that day. The items in Oppegard’s cart were valued at $1,189.90, and the items in Hill’s cart were valued at $1,040.05.