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Prison for property damage, probation for burglary, car theft
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The book is now closed on multiple area burglaries, including the December 2011 burglary and vandalism of Fennimore High School.

Dillon J. Potts, 19, Platteville, pleaded guilty in Grant County Circuit Court to four counts of party to burglary–building or dwelling, a felony, June 18. Potts also pleaded guilty to one count of party to felony damage to property of more than $2,500.

Three counts of party to theft–movable property up to $2,500, and three counts of party to criminal damage to property, both class A misdemeanors, were dismissed but read in. As a result of the charges being read in, Potts admitted those crimes happened for the purposes of sentencing the case.

Joined by his attorney, Mark W. Frank, Potts appeared before Grant County Circuit Court Judge Robert P. VanDeHey for sentencing July 26.

VanDeHey sentenced Potts to seven years probation in relation to each of the four burglary–building or dwelling charges. The sentences will run concurrently, meaning Potts will serve seven years probation for those charges.

Potts was sentenced to two years in prison followed by one year of extended supervision on the charge of felony damage to property.

VanDeHey ruled the one year of extended supervision will run consecutive to Potts’ seven years of probation. In total, Potts will serve eight years probation.

Potts was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $26,989.41, in addition to a 10 percent restitution surcharge. The restitution is to be paid at the rate of $200 a month.

VanDeHey ordered Potts to maintain full-time employment or seek work at a rate of three job applications per week.
Potts was also ordered to pay court-appointed attorney fees of $1,797.03. Wisconsin Circuit Court Access records indicate he has paid $500 toward that amount.

The burglary charges carried maximum sentences of 12 years and six months in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines per count. The felony damage charges carried maximum sentences of three years and six months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines per count.

Potts’ accomplice, Ryne D. Stanko, 20, Fennimore, was sentenced for his role in the burglaries in April. Stanko will serve seven years probation and will spend one year in jail. Stanko was deemed eligible for Huber work release.

Stanko was ordered to pay restitution, joint and several, with Potts. Both Stanko and Potts are responsible for the full amount. Once the full amount has been received by the court, it will no longer accept payments. This ensures that if one defendant does not pay, the victims will still be fully reimbursed.

Stanko was expected to write a letter of apology to each victim no later than July 1, according to court records. A review hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17.

A narrative filed with the criminal complaints against Stanko and Potts alleged both played a role in several burglaries in late 2011 and 2012.

The Liberty Mutual Insurance Office in Stitzer reported on Nov. 28, 2011 a break-in  that resulted in the theft of a safe. The safe, which weighed in excess of 200 pounds, was recovered near Blue River.

Fennimore High School was burglarized during the early morning hours on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. Many items were stolen and the school was vandalized, according to the criminal complaint.

The narrative alleged Stanko, Potts and a third suspect gained roof access to the high school and entered through a window above the choir room.

After gaining entry, Stanko, Potts and the third suspect entered classrooms, stole items and vandalized some rooms, according to the criminal complaint.

The burglars allegedly gained access to the high school’s technology education room and stole a cordless drill, which was used to gain access to additional rooms.

Bolt cutters were used to break into lockers and steal bookbags. Laptops, computer hard drives, cash from the office safe, student medication, electronic scales, snacks from the kitchen and more were stolen, according to the criminal complaint.

The Golden Eagle at the center of the gymnasium floor was vandalized as well.

Stanko and Potts allegedly were part of burglaries to cabins on Castle Rock Creek Road in early January 2012, as well as a burglary at Hickory Grove Golf Course last July 24.

Potts also was placed on two years probation after he pleaded no contest June 18 to charges of driving or operating a vehicle without consent and operating a vehicle without consent–passenger. Two counts of felony bail jumping were dismissed.

Grant County Circuit Judge Craig Day ordered the probation term run consecutive to the prison sentence.
Those charges are in connection with a car theft and vandalism incident in downtown Platteville April 4.