Libby man sentenced on burglary charge

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Gregory Thomas Moss (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

A Libby man was given a 10-year sentence with five years suspended in Montana’s 19th Judicial District Court May 6, after pleading guilty to burglary.

Judge Matt Cuffe sentenced 24-year-old Gregory Moss to a 10 year sentence with 5 years suspended with the Montana Department of Corrections for one count of felony burglary. Moss is required by law to pay all applicable fines, fees and surcharges.

Moss received credit for 139 days served.

Cuffe said he believes Moss has substance abuse issues. The sentence allows for treatment and for long-term supervision to make sure treatment is successful.

Moss initially pleaded not guilty to burglary and theft on Jan. 3, but made a plea deal in March. After he pleaded guilty to burglary, the state dismissed charges of theft, trespassing to property and escape.

Deputy Boyd White, with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, reported responding to a burglary on East 5th Street in Libby, where a garage door had been forced open, in late October.

At the scene, White found two knives with bent tips and a broken spatula laying near the garage door, which appeared to have been used to pry it open, according to the report. The property owner, Tony Berget, noticed multiple tools missing.

White later talked to Ashley Obrecht and Brandon Hughes, according to the report. Obrecht said Moss borrowed their van, brought back some things and left them.

Her brother, Hughes, gave White a camo bag Moss had left there, which contained several tools, sockets, electrical testing equipment, planer blades and a flooring nail gun, according to the report. One of the items had “Tony,” the stolen property owner’s name, written on it.

The day after the garage break-in, White was dispatched to a Libby store that resells items because the store reportedly had possible suspects theft suspects, according to the report. He pulled over Matthew Priebe, who said items he was trying to sell, which the shop would not take, were given to him.

White reported he could tell the questions he asked Priebe about the stolen items were not answered entirely.

Priebe told police they were putting him in a “rough situation.”

Priebe initially denied having any knowledge of the garage theft.

After being detained by White, Priebe told him the property he took to sell was given to him by Moss and Shelby Ward, according to the report.

White interviewed Ward, who said she had been at the house on 5th Street with Moss, according to the report. She told White that she saw Moss take the laser level from the garage and give it to Priebe in order for him to pawn it.

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