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Montevideo, Minn., man sentenced for selling stolen batteries to Willmar, Minn., business

WILLMAR -- Nicholas Scott Turbes, 21, of Montevideo, was sentenced Friday to 65 days in jail, a $1,500 fine and five years of probation on a felony charge of receiving stolen property for selling stolen tractor and truck batteries to a Willmar business that recycles batteries.

Turbes was also ordered to pay $137.55 in restitution and follow the recommendations of a chemical use assessment as part of his sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court. He received a stay of imposition on his sentence. Under the stay, the felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he complies with the conditions of sentence.

Turbes and Jordan Dean DeGrote, 19, of Raymond, were both charged with one felony charge of receiving stolen property in the case. DeGrote pleaded not guilty and has a jury trial scheduled for Aug. 24.

According to the complaints against the pair, on May 19 a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy began investigating a report of stolen batteries sold to Battery Wholesale in Willmar for their salvage or recycling value.

An employee reported that two people had brought in about a dozen batteries on Wednesday and that the check to pay them was written to a "Nick Turbes." In addition, Turbes had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The same Battery Wholesale employee later contacted law enforcement to report the same two people were at the business attempting to sell more batteries. Turbes was arrested at the scene.

DeGrote was also at the scene and was interviewed. He admitted to helping unload the batteries at the business and appeared very nervous, with his hands visibly shaking, when questioned by the deputy.

The batteries matched the description of batteries reported stolen in Chippewa County and were large batteries used in semi and farm tractors. The 13 batteries sold to the business were tested and 12 of the 13 were still in usable condition. The value of the batteries was $1,020.

DeGrote was questioned about where the batteries came from and said that Turbes had come to his residence with the batteries in his car and that Turbes paid him $20 to help unload the estimated 500 to 700 pounds of batteries.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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