A Red Lake man was sentenced Wednesday, Feb. 17 in Pennington County District Court for burglarizing the home of a Thief River Falls family.
Christopher James Buffalo Beaulieu, 28, was sentenced for felony offenses of motor vehicle theft, and aiding and abetting a first-degree burglary. Felony charges of first-degree burglary and aiding and abetting a motor vehicle theft were dismissed.
For the aiding and abetting first-degree burglary charge, Buffalo Beaulieu was sentenced to 42 months in prison. He was ordered to not contact the victim or victim’s family, or enter the victim’s residence. Buffalo Beaulieu was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition, or explosives. He was ordered to supply a DNA sample. Buffalo Beaulieu was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines and $57,923.54 in restitution.
For the vehicle theft charge, Buffalo Beaulieu was sentenced to 13 months in prison to be served concurrently with the above charge. He was also ordered to pay a $50 fine. The same non-monetary conditions apply.
The charges stemmed from a May 3 call for assistance from a Minnesota State Patrol trooper, according to the complaint. He asked the Pennington County investigator to assist in an attempt to locate suspects who were allegedly involved in a Polk County burglary in which a firearm had been reported stolen. The two suspects were last seen traveling northbound on Highway 59.
The trooper later ended the pursuit after reaching the border of the Red Lake Reservation. He told the investigator that another vehicle – a Chevy Tahoe – had been following along during the pursuit. The Chevy Tahoe then followed the car onto the reservation. A short time later, the investigator was granted permission to enter the reservation and assist in locating the suspects.
Red Lake police officers located Buffalo Beaulieu and Dayon Anthony Lussier at the home of the Neptune woman to whom the car was registered. Behind the home, police found a purse belonging to a Thief River Falls woman. It contained her Digi-Key identification card, some of her medical records, and miscellaneous other items.
They also found a 2018 Chevy Tahoe that belongs to the Thief River Falls woman and her husband. It had been hidden in a wooded area near the Neptune home.
The Tahoe, which had sustained some damage, contained a handbag, a wooden box, and a Michael Kors purse with an emergency glucose shot prescribed to the woman.
Red Lake police also recovered a pistol and secured it in a patrol car. However, it was “mostly destroyed” after the patrol car started on fire after the idling vehicle was parked on dry grass.
In another vehicle, they found a Milwaukee impact driver, multiple keys, and a diamond inside a box. It was later determined that the items had been stolen from the home below.
The Pennington County investigator soon went to the couple’s home, 23233 Center St. E., to check on the family. He found tire tracks leading out of an open garage door. Portions of the unlocked home had been ransacked.
Stolen were a Winchester .243 rifle, a Ruger .22 pistol, jewelry, and a case of Bud Light.
The rifle hadn’t been located at the time that the complaint had been written. Lussier has since been sentenced for his role.