Cloquet felon sentenced for theft, possession of a firearmA felon who was still serving out a stay of execution from a 2011 drug charge was sentenced to prison on Monday for possessing and stealing firearms.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
A felon who was still serving out a stay of execution from a 2011 drug charge was sentenced to prison on Monday for possessing and stealing firearms. Carlton County Judge Dale Wolf ordered Riley Robert Rinas, 23, to serve 45 and 27 months in prison for the two felony-level crimes, to be served concurrently. Rinas was also fined $135 for an unrelated petty misdemeanor drug charge.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the first of the cases, on Sept. 13, 2012, Cloquet police officers were dispatched to the Rinas residence on the 1200 block of Doddridge Avenue after learning that Rinas was in possession of a firearm. A Carlton County probation officer had seen Rinas coming out of TJ’s Gun and Pawn in Cloquet in possession of a firearm. The officer learned that Rinas had entered the pawn shop with a 12-gauge shotgun and had attempted to pawn it. The pawn shop owner knew Rinas was forbidden to possess firearms and turned him away.
Further investigation revealed that Rinas had cut open a gun safe owned by his brother and had illegally stolen the firearm from his brother and transported it to the pawn shop. Rinas is prohibited from possessing or transporting firearms after being sentenced on March 21, 2011, for a third-degree controlled substance crime and receiving a felony-level stay of execution for his sentence.
At Monday’s court hearing this week, Judge Wolf sentenced Rinas to 45 months in prison on one count of felon in possession of a firearm. He will be given credit for 298 days already served. A second count of felon in possession of a firearm was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
In the second matter, the complaint stated that on Sept. 24, 2012, Rodney Russell Rinas, a brother to Riley, reported to Cloquet Police that a shotgun he owned had been stolen from a closet in his mother’s residence on Doddridge Avenue. One of the Cloquet police officers then listened to jail phone calls placed by Riley Rinas and overheard him speaking to a friend about how he had stolen the gun from his mother’s closet and brought it to a pawn shop in Richfield, Minn., where he said a friend agreed to pawn the gun for him.
For that offense, Rinas was convicted on one felony count of theft of firearms and sentenced to 27 months in prison, to be served concurrently with the other case.