Charges say burglary suspects held victims at gunpoint
Criminal complaint stated a deputy looked through the window of the camper and observed a man holding what appeared to be a long gun, with the stock of the long gun up by the subject’s arm.
A man and a woman face multiple burglary and assault charges stemming from a 911 hang up call at a residence in Fort Ripley to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.
Joseph William Leone, 42, Little Falls, was charged Nov. 5 in Crow Wing County District Court with five felonies — two counts of first-degree burglary using a dangerous weapon and assaulting a person inside the building; two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon; and the fifth count of possessing machine guns and short-barreled shotguns.
Trisha Jean Huerta, 30, Backus, was also charged Nov. 5 with five counts of felony aiding and abetting Leone in the incident.
According to the criminal complaint filed, Crow Wing County sheriff deputies were called at 3:09 a.m. Nov. 3 to the 3300 block of Legend Lane in Fort Ripley for a domestic disturbance/911 hang up. The 911 dispatcher advised they could hear a male’s voice whispering for help, and stated someone was going to shoot him. While deputies were en route, dispatchers received two more 911 hang up calls. The dispatcher was unable to call the phone number back as the phone calls were coming back from a 911 only phone.
Deputies arrived on scene, and located a white Dodge truck parked in front of a fifth wheel camper trailer. The truck was running and had its headlights on. Deputies checked the truck and found no one inside, but could hear voices coming from inside the camper trailer. It also sounded like things were being thrown around inside the camper trailer, the complaint stated. Another vehicle, a Dodge Magnum, was parked on the other side of the camper trailer.
A deputy looked through the window of the camper and saw a man holding what appeared to be a long gun, with the stock of the long gun up by his arm.
The deputy gave loud verbal commands for people to exit the camper. Leone was the first to exit and he was taken into custody. Three other people exited the camper, including Huerta. According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects and the victims appeared to have known each other. Near the front of the camper, a Remington Wingmaster 870 shotgun with one shell in the chamber and two in the magazine tube was located.
One of the men who exited stated he was the person who had called 911. He said he and the other victim were in the camper when Huerta and Leone arrived. Leone opened the door to the trailer and shined a flashlight inside. Leone chambered a round in the shotgun, entered the camper trailer and pointed the gun at the two victims. Leone demanded the key to his vehicle and Huerta damaged the trailer looking for the key.
Heurta told the deputy she brought the shotgun and loaded it in the truck after they arrived at the camper trailer. She admitted she and Leone entered the camper and demanded that the victim give her the keys to the car. She claimed she was the one holding the shotgun, the complaint stated.
Leone and Heurta were both taken into custody and charged in district court. They both continued to be in the Crow Wing County Jail Thursday, Nov. 12, and both have separate court appearances Nov. 19.
During their arraignments, the judge posted conditional bail or bond at $25,000 or $100,000 without conditions.