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Engel to release 'overwhelming evidence' after theft case dismissed

 
April 13, 2022

By Mike Weland

Facebook photo
Todd Engel
In a brief hearing Monday, Boundary County Prosecutor Andrakay Pluid dismissed a felony charge of grand theft against a West Virginia man after allegations were raised by Todd C. Engel, Sandpoint, who is challenging incumbent Sage Dixon for State Representative, District 1, Position B.

According to official documents, Engel met with Pluid and two sheriff's deputies to report a burglary that occurred at his former residence on Snow Creek Road sometime after he was taken into custody after his conviction on federal charges of obstruction of justice and interstate travel in aid of extortion for his role in an armed 2014 standoff with federal agents in an attempt to stop the removal of Cliven Bundy's cattle from federal lands in Nevada over $1.1-million in unpaid grazing fees.

Sentenced to 14 years, Engel served just over four years before a Nevada U.S. District Court judge found flagrant prosecutorial misconduct and dismissed charges against Bundy and more than a dozen other defendants, including Engel, who in September, 2021, filed a lawsuit seeking $100-million for federal violation of his civil rights.

Engel complained that Jonathan Anderson, Red House, West Virginia, who he said was a friend but later posted to Facebook allegations that he was an FBI informant, had removed property from his former residence for safekeeping and had been later asked to sell it for him to help his family.

The property included a 2007 Dodge Ram, a utility trailer, a night vision mount, an M&P nine millimeter pistol, a .45 pistol, a Gemtech suppressor, a Swavorski laser guide, a Vortex Viper scope, a 2013 Suziki four wheeler, a 2006 Yamaha motorcycle, a metal detector and $30,000 in silver.

Anderson sent Engel $12,000 in cash, but Engel said Anderson eventually stopped communicating with him.

Based on subsequent investigation, a criminal complaint charging Anderson with grand theft in Boundary County was filed March 8, and a hearing set for March 28.

"On March 28th at 1:15pm," Engel posted to his Facebook page March 21, "FBI Agent/Informant Jonathan Anderson has been summoned to appear in the Boundary County, Idaho (county of Ruby Ridge) District Court on charges of Felony Grand Theft of vehicles and dozens of high powered weapons plus suppressors. We have many questions for the FBI and DOJ concerning Mr. Anderson."

But on March 23, Jarrod Garcia, who Engel had named his attorney-of-fact while in prison in July, 2016, contacted investigators and said that he had given Anderson the right to sell Engel's property to help pay Engel's defense fees. In addition, he said he had sold the utility trailer to Anderson for $500 and produced a bill of sale signed by a second man Engel had given power of attorney, showing that Anderson had purchased the Dodge Ram for $5,000.

Engle responded, saying he would be sending documentation backing his allegations that both Garcia and Anderson were both FBI informants. As of March 30, nothing had been produced to that effect.

"The Boundary County, Idaho prosecutor Andra Kay (sic) Pluid has dropped all charges on Federal Agent Jonathan Anderson for the theft of 30 weapons, 3 registered vehicles and all other property of value that I owned," Engel posted to Facebook April 8. "This is very disappointing. I will now be pursuing federal charges against Anderson. Stay tuned as I will be releasing the overwhelming evidence of these crimes."

On April 10, he posted again, "Tomorrow the prosecutor will be dismissing charges on FBI AGENT Jonathan Anderson. I will be there to witness this travesty of justice which is all too often common."

On Monday, April 11, at an arraignment hearing before Judge Justin Julian, Pluid said she had notarized powers of attorneys and a signed note dated in 2016 from Garcia giving to Anderson the authority to sell and/or dispose of the property he was alleged to have stolen from the victim.

"The victim has made several other allegations against Mr. Anderson, including that he was not authorized to possess any of the alleged victim's property under federal law and that the alleged victim did not receive payment for some of the items that Mr. Anderson was directed to sell or dispose of in the state of Montana," she said. "Neither of these allegations are within my jurisdiction to prosecute as the Boundary County, Idaho, Prosecutor, which I have explained to the victim. We will be providing our investigative files to the federal authorities for investigation of possible federal crimes, and we would be happy to provide that file to any other jurisdiction that requests it. As a prosecutor, it would be unethical of me to pursue this matter further given that the information I referred to indicates that there is no evidence of an Idaho State crime committed in Boundary County, Idaho, nor could I prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt."

She then made motion to dismiss, which Judge Julian granted.

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Mike Weland, Publisher
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