Two suspects in Valley fire looting plead guilty
Two men suspected of looting during the Valley fire have entered into plea agreements with the Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
Jeremiah Patrick McGinnis, 25, of Cobb has pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary, one for each of the two victims, said Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson. The plea is expected to bring a five-year-prison sentence, he said.
McGinnis was arrested Sept. 17 while driving a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee painted to look like a law enforcement vehicle, sheriff’s officials said. Inside the vehicle, deputies found a TV, ammunition and other items believed to have been stolen.
McGinnis pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary for burglarizing a home and second-degree burglary for stealing the Jeep, Anderson said.
In exchange, charges that included being a felon in possession of ammunition, unauthorized entry into a disaster area and possession of burglary tools were dropped, Anderson said. If convicted of all the additional charges, McGinnis would have faced no more than eight additional months in prison, he said.
A second suspect, Royce Sterling Moore, 26, of Lakeport has pleaded guilty to being in a restricted area during a disaster. He was sentenced to 75 days in the county jail and three years’ probation, Anderson said.
Moore was in possession of gloves, a black bandanna, a BB gun and tools when he was stopped Sept. 15, sheriff’s officials said.
Cases against three others arrested in the fire zone — Dyami Gene Connell, 23, of Brisbane, Michael James Jimenez, 28, of Brisbane and David Michael Cesari, 23, of San Francisco — are expected to be resolved soon, Anderson said.
The men, arrested Sept. 17, had in their vehicle a face mask, gloves, flashlights, knives, tools, duct tape, and key rings with keys, among other items, officials said.
The three are charged with conspiracy, possession of burglary tools and unauthorized entry into a disaster zone, Anderson said. Cesari — who also possessed a loaded .40-caliber pistol and ammunition — additionally is charged with multiple firearms charges. The three are scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 2, Anderson said.
Charges against a sixth man arrested in the fire zone — Steven Fredrick Worley, of Whispering Pines, have been dismissed, Anderson said.
Worley fled from police, but the safe found in his vehicle belonged to a friend, he said.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda. firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @MendoReporter.