A man who was accused of breaking into several Williston apartments with his brother was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.
Michael Olds, 22, pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, all class B felonies, as well as criminal attempt and possession of a short-barreled weapon, both class C felonies. Olds was sentenced to five years in prison, with two years and three months suspended and credit for 172 days spent in jail on the charges.
The sentence was part of a plea deal that also included dismissing two counts of conspiracy to commit theft and two misdemeanor drug charges.
Olds and his younger brother were arrested in October and accused of breaking into four apartments in the Eagle Ridge complex and stealing electronics and wallets. While in custody, Olds was charged with having metal pipes, gunpowder and a detonation cord inside his apartment on 26th Street West, along with a modified .45-caliber lever-action rifle.
In court Friday, Olds told Northwest District Judge Benjamen Johnson that those items were in the apartment but that they were in a box that he hadn’t opened in several years.
“Yes, sir, that stuff was there, but that stuff hadn’t been touched in five years,” Olds said. “That’s all I have to say on that.”
Kathryn Preusse, Olds’ attorney, said the sentence would allow Olds to take part in treatment and training while in prison. He’ll also be on supervised probation for two years after his release.
“That will help him ease back into society and get back on his feet,” Preusse said.
Olds told Johnson that he planned to get his GED while in prison so he could come out and start working in the oilfield again.
Olds, like his brother, was raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The FLDS is an offshoot the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I’ve been out in society for five years in total in my life,” Olds said. “It’s been a struggle for me.”
He also said he thought probation would be a good thing for him after his release.
“I think this is the right way to go about it,” he said.
After imposing the sentence, Johnson told Olds that he hoped his time in prison would help him, and reminded Olds of the harm he did to both the victims of the break-ins and to Olds’ brother, who was sentenced last week to 18 months in prison.
“You seem contrite at this point, but I want you to keep this in mind,” Johnson said.