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Suspects In Custody Facing Burglary, Drug Charges


Wyatt, Donald
Donald Wyatt Jr.
Leas, Michael
Michael Leas
Wells, Stephanie
Stephanie Wells


Suspects In Custody Facing Burglary, Drug Charges

Two suspects are behind bars facing allegations of burglarizing a rural Cherokee County home early Monday morning.

As a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling the rural area southeast of Crestline at about 3:30 in the morning, he discovered an air compressor and power-washer in the ditch in front of a residence.  The deputy went to the home and discovered it had been broken into.  Learning that the homeowners were out of town, the residence was secured and deputies remained on scene until they could arrive back.

While waiting for their return, 28 year-old Donald Wyatt Jr. and 34 year-old Michael Leas, of Galena, pulled into the driveway on a scooter and upon seeing the sheriff’s patrol unit, turned around and began to leave.  The deputy stopped the suspects and during the course of interviewing them, he confirmed the home had been burglarized earlier in the morning and property, including a safe, guns, money, a car and other items were stolen.   Law enforcement believes Wyatt and Leas were returning to steal more property when they were stopped.

Both suspects were detained and a search warrant for Wyatt’s apartment on Southeast Lynx Drive in Riverton was obtained. 

During the course of the investigation, authorities recovered the stolen property along with suspected methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Arrested during the execution of the search warrant was Stephanie Wells, 36, of Riverton on allegations of Possessing Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia.  She remains in custody on $5,000.00 bond.

Wyatt’s bond has been set at $22,000.00 and he remains in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Residential Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, Felony Theft of a Firearm, Theft, Possession of Meth, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Michael Leas also remains behind bars on allegations of Residential Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary.  Leas’ bond has been set at $10,000.00.

“It’s always nice to put suspected thieves behind bars, and in this particular case, I’m proud that our patrol deputy was able to discover the crime as it was being committed, apprehend the suspects, and recover the victims property in such a short period of time,” stated Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.

Formal charges are expected to be filed by the Cherokee County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday afternoon.



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