Man sentenced in Carson car theft later used in Cali chase

A Carson City man who stole a sheriff's deputy's personal car and used it in a high-speed chase with Placerville, Calif., police, was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

Daniel Lee Mondragon, 27, received two to 10 years in prison for the April 16 theft of a 1999 Jeep Cherokee. In a separate case, Mondragon was sentenced to two to five years in prison for cashing over $1,000 in forged checks at Carson City casinos.

District Judge William Maddox ordered that the sentences run consecutively, meaning Mondragon will not be eligible for parole until he has served a minimum of four years. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

"This defendant committed over a dozen felony crimes during a 10-day crime spree in three states," District Attorney Neil Rombardo said in a news release. "He is a threat to the welfare of any community he sets foot in. A long prison term is appropriate and necessary to protect our community and our neighbor states from his escalating criminal conduct."

According to court records, police received the car theft report after the owner awoke to find it missing from his driveway.

Six days later, Mondragon allegedly attempted to cash a stolen check at a Placerville bank. Armed with a description from the bank tellers, Placerville police pulled over Mondragon a short time later in the stolen Jeep.

Mondragon allegedly fled from the scene, striking a patrol vehicle and escaping.

Four days later, he was arrested in Oregon in another stolen vehicle. He led Oregon police on a high-speed pursuit, reaching speeds of nearly 130 mph. Mondragon eventually stopped, and he and his female passenger were arrested. He was sentenced to time served.

In the fraud case for which he was sentenced Tuesday, Mondragon was caught on casino surveillance cameras at the Carson Nugget and at Slot World in December 2006 cashing two forged business checks. An arrest warrant had been outstanding in that case since 2007.

In addition to the prison terms, Mondragon was ordered to pay $1,810 in restitution to the owner of the Jeep and $1,116 to the Carson Nugget and to Slot World.

Charges are pending in the Placerville case.


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