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Court news: Ogema man again charged with violating predatory offender law; man faces felony stolen property

The investigator went to the mobile home that the suspect had listed as his address, near the intersection of Bear Clan Drive and County Road 34 in White Earth. He found there was no blue number (911 address) or mailbox. The mobile home was abandoned and not livable. There were holes in the walls and floor, according to court records.

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DETROIT LAKES — Gregory Gilbert Ashley, 33, of rural Ogema has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony failing to follow the predatory offender registration law.

According to court records, Ashley is a predatory offender and is required to register under Minnesota law. On May 2, he registered the address of 35605 Bear Clan Drive in Becker County. On May 17, 2022, a law enforcement investigator received an email from the Minnesota BCA advising him that Ashley was marked as non-compliant due to the BCA's verification letter being returned by the U.S. Postal Service.

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The investigator went to the mobile home that Ashley had listed as his address, near the intersection of Bear Clan Drive and County Road 34 in White Earth. He found there was no blue number (911 address) or mailbox. The mobile home was abandoned and not livable. There were holes in the walls and floor.

The officer checked with a neighbor, and then went to the Round House, Apt 6 (26020 Rattlesnake Circle in Waubun). He noted that the apartment was boarded up and no one was living there.

According to court records, in 2009 Ashley was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 22-year-old woman who came to his house in the early morning hours. The woman and Ashley were acquaintances who occasionally drank together and engaged in consensual sexual activity.

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She was intoxicated, and after she lay down to sleep on his bed, he climbed on top of her, subdued her as she struggled, told her to "shut the .... up," and raped her. Afterwards, he threw her phone at her and told her she better not tell anybody.

Ashley appealed his conviction, and on July 27, 2010, a Minnesota appeals court affirmed the conviction, noting that the victim had told several people about the rape after it happened and was emotionally impacted by it. The appeals panel said it was choosing not to second-guess the jury that convicted Ashley, in spite of limited evidence and some discrepancies in the woman’s statements.

Ashley was previously convicted of failing to register in 2021. He was placed on supervised probation, and was sentenced under a dispositional departure. He also remains on conditional release.

On June 21 a warrant was issued for his arrest, and on July 27, cash bail was set at $1,000 or bond at $10,000, with standard conditions, or bond at $20,000 with no conditions of release.

A settlement conference is set for Oct. 19, and trial will start Oct. 26 if necessary.

Fargo man faces felony for stolen box truck in DL

Jess Matthew Brenk, 35, of Fargo has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony receiving stolen property.

According to court records, on Oct. 17, 2020, a Becker County deputy responded to a report of a stolen dock delivery truck from St. Cloud that was being tracked by GPS and was in the Detroit Lakes area.

The deputy tracked the truck to the GPS location and Inside the truck found numerous paperwork with Brenk’s name on it.

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A cigarette butt was seized from the truck and sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing. The BCA reported on May 19 that DNA on the cigarette matched Brenk.

The deputy spoke with a woman on Oct. 18, 2020, who said she had just seen Brenk the day prior, and he was driving a "large white box truck." The description matched the stolen truck. The value of the truck exceeds $5,000.

On July 28 he failed to make his first court appearance and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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