Crime

Benton City man to serve 1 year for stealing

A Benton City man caught selling stolen electronics on Craigslist will spend a year in prison.

Rafael Gonzalez Jr., 21, owes nearly $4,000 to the victims of his crimes after pleading guilty to two separate charges of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

The first case stems from a Jan. 11 posting on the online classified site for the sale of a MacBook Air laptop.

Gonzalez was contacted by a Kennewick man, who purchased the computer for $400, court documents show. However, once the buyer realized the laptop was stolen he sold it back to the original owner for the same price.

That man later explained to Kennewick police where he got the computer, and his girlfriend identified Gonzalez as the seller, documents said.

Gonzalez, when questioned by police, admitted selling the MacBook knowing it was stolen.

He owes $679 in restitution to the original owner and $445 to the Craigslist buyer.

Officers searched Gonzalez's home March 14 and found an Xbox 360 and Xbox Kinect taken in a Feb. 29 residential burglary on North Demoss Road, court documents show. Police got the search warrant after finding postings on Craigslist for the stolen items, documents said.

After his arrest, Gonzalez claimed that someone else gave him the stolen property and that he knew it was wrong to be selling it.

Gonzalez has been ordered to reimburse $2,169 to one victim and $682 to another. His history includes a felony conviction for second-degree possession of stolen property.

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