Jesse James Witucki, 39, Little Falls, was charged in Morrison County District Court with one felony count of receiving stolen property stemming from an incident that occurred Dec. 28, 2020.

According to the criminal complaint, the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen vehicle on Dec. 28, 2020. The victim told law enforcement he had received a phone call stating that one of his work trucks was seen driving at a high rate of speed on the highway. He advised that he was out of state and nobody should be driving any of his vehicles. The victim said a mechanic checked and confirmed that a vehicle was missing.

A stolen vehicle report was filed, but no suspects were identified at the time.

Later that day, an officer with the Royalton Police Department observed a vehicle matching the description of the one that was stolen while on routine patrol. The complaint said the officer followed the vehicle to Rice, where the driver pulled into a gas station. The driver, later identified as Witucki, was advised to show his hands.

He did not immediately comply, and when Witucki continued to ignore commands, the officer approached the vehicle and opened the driver’s door, ordering Witucki to get out in the process. He allegedly pulled the door back shut and rolled up his window, at which time the officer drew a firearm, backed up a few paces and again ordered Witucki to get out of the vehicle.

Witucki allegedly continued to be argumentative. The officer advised him to open the door or the window would be broken, at which time Witucki complied and was handcuffed.

Witucki allegedly insisted that the owner had given him permission to use the truck and that he intended to return it after completing a job. A search of the vehicle was conducted, during which drug paraphernalia, heroin and methamphetamine were allegedly found.

The officer talked to the owner of the truck on the phone and, upon learning it was Witucki who had taken the truck, he allegedly stated that Witucki had worked “a day or two with him over a month ago.” The victim stated he had never given Witucki permission to use his equipment.

If convicted, he faces up to five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

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