Three of four truck thieves to prison

Friday, January 24, 2014

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The third of four offenders arrested for stealing a pickup truck from a rural Red Willow County residence in July received prison time last week in Red Willow County District Court.

32-year-old James W. Bonacci III was sentenced to 20 months in state prison after accepting a plea agreement admitting guilt to a Class IV felony offense for possession of methamphetamine stemming from the crime.

Bonacci was originally arrested along with 34-year-old Jason M. Stephens, 22-year-old Jessica Cole of Palisade and 28-year-old Vincent D. Bonacci of McCook, after a drug sniffing dog indicated the presence of narcotics in their vehicle. The vehicle they were driving had been pulled over near Norris Park because a trailer they were pulling had no license plates on it, in addition to being loaded with what was suspected and later confirmed to be the stolen pickup.

Stephens was sentenced to 20-60 months in state prison in November after similarly admitting guilt to felony possession of methamphetamine. He was also sentenced to an additional 20-60 months for violating his probation in an unrelated case. The sentences were ordered by Red Willow County District Court Judge David Urbom to be served consecutively, meaning Stephens received a minimum sentence of just under three and a half years, with a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Vincent Bonacci was ordered to serve 20 to 60 months in state prison in December, after he accepted a similar plea agreement admitting guilt to a Class IV felony offense for possession of methamphetamine.

Cole was originally sentenced to probation in October for her involvement with the stolen pickup and Norris Park arrest. She was convicted of a Class IV felony offense of possession of methamphetamine and a Class I misdemeanor offense for theft by receiving stolen property stemming from the incident.

She was arrested again a little more than two weeks after the probation sentencing, charged with another Class IV felony methamphetamine possession offense, as well as a Class IV felony offense for escape.

Cole accepted a plea agreement last week admitting guilt to the possession offense and dismissing the escape charge. She was subsequently scheduled for sentencing at 1:45 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2014. She will face sentencing on probation violations stemming from the original probation sentence at the same time.

Other activity Jan. 13, 2014, in Red Willow County District Court:

* 25-year-old David A. Ely Jr. of 806 West K Street was sentenced to 24 months probation after accepting a plea agreement admitting guilt to attempted distribution of marijuana. Ely was also ordered to serve 30 days in jail, however, the jail sentence was suspended and can be waived at the recommendation of his probation officer. The charges against Ely stem from an incident at 1401 West First Street during which he sold 1/4 ounce of marijuana to a confidential informant, according to court documents.

* 37-year-old Gil M. Green was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in state prison stemming from an October 2013 burglary at Jansen Kool Honda in McCook. Green also received 12 to 36 months prison time stemming from violating his court ordered probation in a felony methamphetamine case, that sentence was ordered to be served at the same time as the burglary sentence.