San Juan man to serve 30 days for drug-related burglary, theft; Orcas man gets treatment in lieu of jail

A San Juan Island man who broke into a neighboring home and stole two television sets, and an assortment of DVDs, and later traded one set for cash at a mainland pawn shop, will serve 30 days in jail or on work crew for felony burglary.

On July 28, Dustin Ryan Hutchison, 27, was sentenced in San Juan County Superior Court to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $1,350 in fines and fees; a restitution hearing is slated for Sept. 5. He pleaded guilty in mid-June to one count of residential burglary, a Class B felony, which carries a standard range of sentencing set by the state of 3-9 months in jail, and maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

Hutchison, who qualified for sentencing as a first-time felony offender, will be allowed to serve 30 days on the Sheriff's Department work crew if he qualifies for the program. A charge of trafficking in stolen property was dismissed.

Hutchison was arrested at his Point Caution Drive on a pair of felony charges April 26, about three weeks after two TV sets, DVDs and a DVR disappeared following a break-in and theft at a neighboring home used as a vacation rental. He reportedly was assisted by a female accomplice who also faced prosecution for the burglary and theft.

Hutchinson was confronted by local authorities about the break-in and theft after footage from a security camera revealed that he sold a 47-inch flat-screen TV at a Mount Vernon pawn shop. He reportedly told investigators that he broke into the home, stole the equipment and pawned what he could to repay a drug debt, according to court documents.

Hutchinson, whose record includes nearly a half-dozen convictions for misdemeanors, qualified for sentencing as a first-time offender because the felony conviction was a first as an adult.

— Scott Rasmussen

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Orcas man pleads no-contest to trespass; treatment in lieu of jail

An Orcas Island man who a year ago helped a female friend break into a relative’s home and steal credit cards, cash and power tools will be allowed to undergo treatment for substance abuse in lieu of jail, after pleading no-contest to criminal trespass.

On July 27, Jason Allen Buehler, 26, pleaded no-contest, also known as an Alford plea, to one count of first-degree criminal trespass, a gross misdemeanor, which carries maximum penalties of one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with 364 days suspended, given two years probation, and ordered to pay $850 in fines and fees, and to pay $1,400 in restitution.

According to court documents, a female friend of Buehler’s, Sierra Frank, told authorities following her recent conviction for residential burglary, a Class B felony, that he had taken part in the break-in and theft at the Deer Harbor home of a relative. She had earlier been banned from the house for reportedly using credit cards without the relative’s permission.

Following the burglary, footage from a surveillance camera at the Country Corner Store in Eastsound reportedly tied Frank to the use of a debit card that went missing following the June 2013 break-in. Authorities initially charged Buehler with residential burglary and third-degree theft, a gross misdemeanor. He failed to appear in court on the charges and reportedly in custody in a neighboring county at the time authorities were searching for him.

Under the sentence, he is required to be evaluated for alcohol and to follow all recommendation. The remainder of the suspended can be impose if he commits a crime while under probation.

— Scott Rasmussen


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