Thief River Falls officer pleads not guilty to stolen property charges
A Thief River Falls police officer accused of dealing stolen lawnmowers, all-terrain vehicles and other big-ticket items has been hit with two more charges of receiving stolen property, a Marshall County court official said Tuesday.
Paul Kezar, 37, now faces a total of six felony counts of receiving stolen property: five in Marshall County and one in Pennington County. He pleaded not guilty to the charges this week.
Investigators say Kezar was involved in stealing items such as boats, trailers, snowmobiles and ATVs. A search of his residence turned up several items -- worth a total of more than $50,000 -- that had been reported stolen from businesses and individuals, according to a criminal complaint.
Kezar was arrested Oct. 21 and is no longer in custody. He is due back in court Jan. 29 in Pennington County and Feb. 16 in Marshall County.
The Thief River Falls Police Department hired Kezar in January of this year. City Administrator Jodie Torkelson said Kezar is on paid administrative leave, but declined to comment further.