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Sheep rustler changes plea, awaits sentence

Posted: Friday, Feb 10th, 2017

SUBLETTE COUNTY – A man who changed his pleas to “no contest” to rustling and altering eight sheep’s brands still faces sentencing in Ninth District Court.

Roberto L. Fuentes, most recently of Wamsutter, appeared before Judge Marv Tyler on Dec. 29, 2016, after reaching a plea agreement two weeks earlier with the County Attorney’s Office. An interpreter was provided to translate the court’s English into Spanish for Fuentes.

Initially, Fuentes pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of livestock rustling and not guilty to the felony charge of misbranding or altering a livestock brand, records show. He was also charged with a 2015 removal of one animal from its Little Sandy home range and removal of eight sheep without proper inspections, according to court records.

Fuentes agreed to change his pleas in an agreement that would drop the third and fourth charges. Ninth District Judge Marv Tyler informed Fuentes he would review the pre-sentence report first before deciding whether or not to accept the changed pleas and dismiss the other charges, records show.

Sublette County deputy attorney Lindsey Blake outlined the proposed plea agreement, which for the rustling felony recommends two to five years in prison to be suspended for a split sentence of four months in the Sublette County Jail.

Fuentes, who is not a U.S. citizen, is currently free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

For the second felony, Blake would recommend three to five years in prison, to be suspended for a split-sentence of four months; both would accept credit for pre-sentence confinement and run consecutively.

If the judge imposed two prison sentences, however, they would occur at the same time.

After completing those terms, Fuentes would then need to successfully complete six years of supervised probation and agree to not work in the livestock industry, it says.

Judge Tyler will set Fuentes’ sentencing hearing after parties review the pre-sentence report. n

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