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Prescott man pleads guilty in federal court

MADISON - A Prescott man alleged to be part of an extensive farm and lawn vehicle theft ring pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to receiving and possessing property stolen in interstate commerce.

Victor Ernest Trejo, 51, admitted to agreeing in February 2009 to store a 2008 Bobcat skid steer in a shed he rented. Trejo told District Judge Michael Conley that he didn't know the new machine had been stolen from a dealer in Aitkin, Minn. until after it had been delivered.

Trejo said he hauled the Bobcat away, looking for a place to dispose it when the trailer he was using broke down near Zumbrota, Minn.

"When I learned it was stolen, I took it out of there until the trailer broke and I left it," Trejo said.

Conley said the statement may not be enough for him to find Trejo guilty but federal prosecutor Peter Jarosz replied that Trejo was guilty of the crime when he learned it had stolen and got rid of it without calling the police.

Trejo told Conley he didn't call police because the owner of the shed he rented had previous problems with authorities.

Trejo's attorney, Reed Cornia, said "there's more to it but I'm not comfortable going forward with it."

Jarosz added, "there's a lot of evidence we didn't present."

For more please read the Feb. 2 print version of the Herald.