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Elem arrested in Illinois, returned to court here

By Staff | May 4, 2009


A man wanted in connection with two break-ins at a Winnebago business was recently arrested by Illinois authorities and made his first court appearance on Monday.

Faribault County authorities say 31-year-old Derrick Anthony Elem of Mankato was apprehended by Cook County authorities following a traffic stop.

According to the sheriff’s department, Elem was a passenger in the vehicle and offered no resistance when taken into custody.

A county deputy made the 900-mile plus trip to Chicago to pick up Elem.

Defense attorney Bill Grogin asked Judge Douglas Richards if Elem could be released on his own personal recognizance.

“He has strong connections to this community. His brother and wife have offered to act as personal sureties for Mr. Elem,” says Grogin.

County Attorney Brian Roverud didn’t oppose the defendant’s release on con-dition that he does not leave the state. He also had no problem with his brother and sister-in-law serving as personal sureties.

“As long as they understand that responsibility and the seriousness of that responsibility,” Roverud told the court.

Richards reminded Elem’s brother and sister-in-law that if he fails to appear at future hearings they could face legal action.

In February, an arrest warrant was issued in connection with the break-ins that occurred Sept. 13 and 23 and more than $40,000 in tools and equipment were stolen.

Elem has been charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property valued at more than $5,000 and aiding an offender-obstructing investigation of a third-degree burglary.

A court complaint says on Sept. 13 Elem sold three of the stolen items at a Mankato pawn shop for about $1,000 and two more items at another pawn shop for the same amount.

Seventeen days later, says the complaint, Elem returned to one of the pawn shops and sold a drill valued at $6,000.

The maximum penalty for receiving stolen property is 10 years and a $20,000 fine. Aiding an offender and obstructing an investigation has a maximum sentence of two and a half years and a $5,000 fine.

Elem is the second person to be charged in the break-ins.

Jose Alfredo Martinez of Blue Earth was turned over to federal immigration officials after serving 60 days in the county jail. He also was fined $1,080.

In March, Martinez agreed to plead guilty to a felony count of receiving stolen property valued at more than $5,000. He was originally charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and aiding an offender/accomplice after the fact.