5 charged in south Idaho gun thefts

5 charged in south Idaho gun thefts

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Gun theft arrests

Top row, from left: Cristian Humberto Escalera, Isaiah Rios and Zack Rios. Bottom, from left: Gregory Allen Hunter and Juan Andres Avila

BURLEY, Idaho — Three men were arrested Sunday in Minidoka County in connection with the theft of guns from a Burley business.

Two men were arrested on Sunday in Cassia County in the same case.

Cristian Humberto Escalera, 20, was arrested at a Rupert resident after police served a search warrant at the home.

Escalera is charged with felony counts of grand theft, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

During a search on Sunday, officers found a black Beretta .38 caliber handgun, reported stolen after a break-in at A & S Auto in Burley at the home.

Zack Rios, 21, and Isaiah Rios, 19, both of Heyburn, were also arrested on Sunday after a search warrant was served at the Heyburn home, where they were living.

Zack Rios told police a stolen Springfield .45 caliber handgun was in his bedroom in a dresser and police also found a Smith and Wesson .22 caliber handgun that had its serial number filed off.

Isaiah Rios told officers that a stolen Metrao Arms .45 caliber handgun was on his bed.

Officers also seized a black shotgun found at the home.

Isaiah Rios and Zack Rios were each charged with one count each of grand theft and misdemeanor counts of possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Preliminary hearings in all three cases are set at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2 in Minidoka County Magistrate Court.

Gregory Allen Hunter, 50, was arrested on Sunday at his Burley apartment after a search warrant was served.

The officers found three firearms in Hunter’s bedroom, that were reported as stolen from the business.

Hunter is charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and three counts of grand theft of a firearm.

According to court records, Hunter was convicted of second degree murder in California in 1992 and convicted in 2005 of sex abuse of a minor and he is on probation in Twin Falls county for violations of a no contact order.

A Hunter told police that Juan Andres Avila, 19, delivered the guns to him and Hunter knew they were stolen.

Avila was charged with felony burglary in connection with the break in at the business.

Preliminary hearings in both cases are set for Oct. 4 in Cassia County Magistrate Court.


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