Burglar gets 8 years in prison
April 15, 2014 11:00 AM

A northern Indiana County man has been sentenced to serve up to eight years in a state prison for his guilty pleas to charges stemming from a burglary spree last year in central and northern Indiana County.

Virgil Small, 27, of Lucas Road, Gipsy, was ordered to serve 3 1/2  to eight years in prison, and is required to pay almost $19,000 in penalties for three counts of theft and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under suspension.

Prosecutors charged Small and two suspected accomplices in connection with a series of home burglaries July 24 on Bethel Church Road, Rayne Township; July 31 on Allison Road, Green Township; and Aug. 4 on Route 286, Montgomery Township, where residents reported eight firearms, a crossbow, cash and a safe had been stolen.

According to state police, Small made a purchase Aug. 9 at Hills of Home with two rolls of half-dollar coins that were later identified as missing by the victims of the Aug. 4 incident. During the investigation, Small admitted to the other incidents as well, troopers said.

In plea agreements with Small, prosecutors set aside three counts of burglary and criminal mischief, one count of possession of a controlled substance and three summary traffic offenses.

Small was ordered to serve consecutive terms of one to two years in a state prison, two to five years and six months to one year for the felony theft counts, and concurrent terms of 30 days to six months for paraphernalia possession and 30 days for driving under suspension.

In the four cases, he was assessed $18,963.07 in fines, costs and restitution to unspecified victims of the thefts.

In further action, Small was removed from probation and parole that he had been serving for convictions for theft in 2010, theft in 2012 and criminal trespass in 2012.

One of the co-defendants, Richard Huffman, 27, of Rural Valley, Armstrong County, formerly of Marion Center, was sent to Indiana County Jail for a term of six months to two years less one day, and was ordered to pay $3,142.27 in fines, restitution and court costs for one count of theft. Two other charges were dropped in a plea bargain.

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