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Snowplow joyride gets Hibbing man 18 months in federal prison

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DULUTH - A Hibbing man will serve 18 months in federal prison for stealing a large snowplow from the Bois Forte Indian Reservation and taking it for a joyride, ultimately crashing into a maintenance shed and tearing up a golf course green.

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Shane Alan Simonson, 26, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Duluth. Judge John Tunheim also ordered Simonson to reimburse the band for the full cost of the damage: $68,983.

Simonson admitted at a December plea hearing that he took a band-owned snowplow truck without permission May 9, 2013, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Simonson drove the plow into a maintenance shed, causing significant damage. He then damaged a parking lot barricade and gate, before tearing up the green of the 11th hole of the Fortune Bay Casino golf course.

Public defender Andrew Mohring said in a court document that Simonson was “under the influence of a combination of powerful, mind-altering substances” at the time. Mohring noted that Simonson has completed several drug programs since he was indicted, and asked for time served and supervised release rather than additional prison time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Buzicky asked for a 30-month sentence.

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