LOGAN — A 34-year-old Richmond man has pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of hemp from a Smithfield storage shed last year. Jeremy Breding accepted a plea deal that will allow him to be released from jail until sentencing.
Breding participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a second-degree felony; and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, both class A misdemeanors.
Last November, deputies received a report of a theft at a storage shed near 405 W. 4600 North in Smithfield. Eight large blue 55 gallon drums were stolen, containing approximately $40,000 worth of hemp product. A 15 foot flatbed trailer was also taken.
Surveillance video from the storage center showed at least two individuals driving a dark colored Jeep Grand Cherokee. Investigators identified one of the men as Jeremy Breding.
On Dec. 31, Jeremy was pulled over during a traffic stop near Wellsville. He was a passenger in the Jeep seen in the surveillance video. Deputies found a small baggie containing a brown/white powder inside the vehicle, along with a glass pipe. The items later tested positive for meth.
During the course of the investigation, deputies learned that the Jeep was also seen during a burglary of a storage unit in Idaho. Some of the stolen items were allegedly being kept at a home in Richmond belonging to 40-year-old Wayne Breding.
Deputies report, video footage showed Jeremy and another person, later identified as 34-year-old Matt Littler unloading the suspected stolen items from the Jeep and carrying them onto the Richmond property.
During Monday’s hearing, public defender Ryan Holdaway said as part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped four remaining charges against Breding. They also agreed to allow the defendant to be released from jail, so he could receive drug treatment and work through the outstanding case in Idaho.
Judge Brandon Maynard expressed hesitancy, releasing Breding but said he would go along with attorney’s recommendations. He ordered the defendant to return to court Nov. 8 for sentencing.
According to court records, Wayne Breding also previously accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to serve 120 days in jail. Littler’s case is continuing through the court system. He is scheduled to appear again Oct. 4.