Penn Valley man pleads no contest to theft of vehicle |

Penn Valley man pleads no contest to theft of vehicle

A Penn Valley man pleaded no contest in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday to vehicle theft in return for a potential sentence of 180 days in county jail.

Casey Don Soward, 25, was arrested Feb. 9 after a passerby reportedly saw people in a white Chevrolet Blazer shooting up drugs. Grass Valley Police officers responded, and a search of the vehicle reportedly uncovered drug paraphernalia, a small amount of marijuana and items used to manufacture honey oil.

Soward reportedly gave a false name but was recognized by officers and arrested.

He was subsequently connected to a vehicle that had been reported stolen the day before on LaMarque Court and that later was recovered at Western Gateway Park. There also had been reports of thefts from vehicles on LaMarque Court and Penstock Drive.

During the investigation, surveillance video reportedly showed a white Chevrolet Blazer had driven to the scene — the same Blazer that Soward was in the following day.

Soward had been charged with vehicle theft, manufacturing honey oil, giving a false name to a police officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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On Thursday, the day that had been set for hearing the evidence against him, Soward entered a plea on the vehicle theft charge with the other charges to be dismissed at sentencing — which was set for April 14.

During the hearing. Soward asked for a pass to take care of some of his belongings, but Judge Candace Heidelberger refused the request.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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