On Monday morning in Stanton County District Court, Gabriel Safty, 17, of rural Leigh pled guilty to First Degree Sexual Assault, First Degree False Imprisonment, Terroristic Threats. Safty was arrested last April by the Stanton County Sheriff’s office following a reported sexual assault north of Leigh and theft of the victims SUV at a southern Stanton County residence. The SUV was located by the Sheriff’s office on Hwy 32 and this led to a police pursuit into Cuming County where the SUV was stopped after driving over deflation devices about three miles west of West Point. Safty was found hiding on a farm trailer after he fled from the vehicle on foot and later confessed to committing the sexual assault and threatening the victim before taking her vehicle during an interview at the Sheriff’s office. Safty will be sentenced in March and faces more than 50 years in prison at that time. He has been in custody since his arrest and remains there until his sentencing date.
Also sentenced to prison terms following their arrest by the Stanton County Sheriff’s office were Jonathan Blekis, 37, of Lodi, CA on a charge of Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetmine). Blekis was originally arrested in the fall of 2021 by the Sheriff’s office following a traffic stop near Pilger on Hwy 275 when he was driving at high speeds in a semi and trailer while under the influence. Blekis later pled guilty and failed to show up for sentencing. Blekis was then arrested in San Juaquin County, CA on a Stanton County felony arrest warrant. He was returned last month from California by the Sheriff’s office completing an extradition. Blekis was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the methamphetmine possession charge and also was ordered to pay more than $2800.00 in the cost of his extradition back to Nebraska. The restitution was paid immediately after his sentencing. Saulo Casillas, 33, of Norfolk was sentenced to 4 to 8 years in prison following his conviction of Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine)-2 counts. Casillas was arrested on an arrest warrant by the Sheriff’s office following his delivery of cocaine on four occasions to an informant at the Country Village trailer court near Woodland Park during a controlled buy. As part of a plea agreement two counts were dismissed. Casillas was sentenced to two to four years each on the two counts that will be served consecutively.
Two Woman were also sentenced to jail following their drug Convictions. Keriann Denney, 31, Norfolk was sentenced to 240 days in the county jail following her conviction for Possession of Methamphetamine and Failure to Appear. Denney was arrested by the Sheriff’s office following a traffic stop on Hwy 275 near Stanton last spring. Rhona Dufek, 55, of Rosalie was sentenced to 90 days in jail along with 18 months of Probation following her conviction for Possession of Methamphetamine. She was also arrested during a different traffic stop by the Sheriff’s office on Hwy 275 near Norfolk in 2021. She also has ongoing felony drug cases in Wayne and Dodge County.
Also pleading guilty in District Court were Joshua Johnson, 40, Alliance entered a guilty plea to Felony DUS for driving during a 15 year suspension. He was arrested by the Sheriff’s office last year driving near Norfolk. He will be sentenced in April along with Zachary Price, 36, Norfolk. Price pled guilty to a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine after his arrest last fall near the Bega School by the Sheriff’s office. A co-defendant who was also arrested at that time has already been given a prison sentence. In a separate case, Price also pled guilty to theft in regards to the unlawful taking of a vehicle in Woodland Park and selling it to Alter metal yard in Norfolk. The vehicle was recovered prior to being crushed by the Sheriff’s office.