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Two Lincoln County men plead not guilty to burglary charges

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | June 17, 2022 7:00 AM

Two Eureka men pleaded not guilty to felony burglary on June 6 in the Montana 19th Judicial District Court.

Colin C. Wolf, 24, and Vaughn Grier Rouse, 25, of Rexford, are accused of stealing guns and fishing rods, an inflatable raft and an outboard motor from a home located on Berger Lane, north of Eureka on March 9. Rouse is also facing a felony charge for the alleged possession of methamphetamine.

According to the charging document in the burglary case, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Bobbie Noel investigated the scene and lifted fingerprints from the inside of a window on the house which appeared to have been used to enter the home.

She sent the fingerprints to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for analysis.

A few weeks after the burglary was reported, on March 12, Deputy Noel was conducting a welfare check at the home next door to where the incident had occurred when she saw Wolf. The defendant said he was at the house to meet two other people. One of them was Vaughn Grier Rouse.

Then, on March 29, a man brought two guns to authorities. He said the firearms belonged to his son, who was in custody on other charges at the time. The guns matched the description of the stolen firearms. When Deputy Noel spoke to the son on April 12, he said he had traded for the two guns with the people, one of them being Rouse, Wolf said he was meeting on March 21.

On April 13, Deputy Noel and Sheriff’s Office Det. Dan Holskey served a search warrant where Rouse was living.

According to the court document, Rouse fled the back of the house where he was stopped by Det. Holskey. Holskey reported that Rouse had a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun with 11 cartridges in the magazine. The search allegedly turned up small bags containing a white substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Rouse allegedly told Deputy Noel the narcotics belonged to him.

On April 18, the lab reported the prints found on the window belonged to Wolf, according to court documents.

On April 26, Deputy Noel and other officers served a search warrant at Wolf’s home and found him hiding behind a chair under a blanket, according to court documents. During the search, officers found a raft that was allegedly stolen from the home.

When Deputy Noel spoke to Wolf, he allegedly said he and Rouse entered the Berger Lane home, took the raft and some alcohol. Wolf also said Rouse told him later that he returned to the home and found some rifles.

According to court documents, on April 27, Deputy Noel and other officers met with Rouse’s parents at their home where they reported finding an outboard motor and fly fishing rods in a shed on the property.

Rouse was released on his own recognizance and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device. He was also ordered to live with his mother in Rexford.

Wolf remains in the Lincoln County Detention Center.

A conviction for felony burglary could result in a maximum term of 20 years in the Montana State Prison.

The next court appearance for both men is scheduled for Oct. 17.