Update 12/5/19 – A third co-defendant charged with the June 1 theft at a Ferndale, Mont., self-storage facility has been sentenced to Montana State Prison for a total of 20 years with 14 years suspended. New details about the investigation have also been released.
Gordon was sentenced to 10 years with seven years suspended on the theft charge and 10 years with seven years suspended for money laundering. He was ordered to pay restitution of $1,038,035 and still faces charges in other jurisdictions, according to a source.
The investigation caught a break when the Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a call on June 21 from Leads Online, a technology service that helps law enforcement reunite stolen items with their rightful owners. The owners of a pawnshop in Kalispell, Mont., used the company to identify a gun that was later determined to be taken from the self-storage unit. It was purchased from Kristen Kliev, Staudenmayer’s common-law wife, who also pawned another gun she later repurchased from the pawnshop.
During his investigation, Lake County Under Sheriff Ben Woods discovered Staudenmayer had traded one of the stolen guns to a man named John Gabrielson for a Jeep. Gabrielson told Woods Staudenmayer had more guns for sale. A search warrant on Kliev’s property led to the recovery of artwork stolen from the storage unit, and the woman claimed Gordon asked her to sell it along with the guns.
Police then served a search warrant for Gordon’s residence, where more stolen items were found. They also discovered two vehicles allegedly purchased with money from the sale of the stolen goods.
Gordon claimed he found the artwork at the dump but had inherited the gold from a brother who had recently died. He admitted that he sold the gold to a coin collector for $1,907.07. Staudenmayer contradicted the story, telling investigators Gordon told him he used a treasure map to dig up the gold from underground. Staudenmayer also confessed that he and Gordon had purchased a trailer in Chehalis, Wash., and a racecar in Seattle with proceeds from the sale of gold.
During his sentencing, Gordon maintained that he found some of the stolen items at the dump. He also said he tried to help recover the stolen property and that he wished he’d found more. The judge called his attempt at showing remorse “hollow.”
10/18/19 – A man was sentenced last week to four years in prison and fined $1.18 million for his part in a June 1 break-in at a Ferndale, Mont., self-storage facility. The unit that was robbed allegedly contained gold bars, coins, artwork, guns and a safe belonging to a retired World War II pilot, who estimated their value at $300,000. The victim told police he hadn’t visited the unit in two years, according to the source.
Joshua Wilson, 39, who has at least four prior felony convictions, was sentenced on Oct. 9 in the District Court of Polson, Mont. Though he actually received a 10-year sentence, six of those years will be suspended on a felony theft charge. Wilson was ordered to pay restitution of $1,185,500. This latest sentence will run consecutively with a previous six-year sentence, with four years suspended, for identity theft in Flathead County.
A second man involved in the theft, Robert Earl Staudenmayer, 33, was ordered to pay the same restitution after pleading guilty on July 24 to charges of theft and money laundering. He was sentenced on Sept. 11 to 20 years.
A third man, Richard Gordon, 50, pleaded guilty on Sept. 18 to felony charges of theft and money laundering. His sentencing will be on Nov. 6.
All three criminals are also facing charges in other jurisdictions. Speaking at the sentencing, the victim told the court it should be tough on them because “citizens are sick and tired of crime.”
During the investigation, some of the items stolen from the Ferndale self-storage facility were found at second-hand stores as well as pawn and coin shops from Northwest Montana to Seattle. Proceeds from the sales were used to purchase a racecar and a trailer, the source reported.
Valley Journal, Man Gets 10 Years for Storage Unit Thefts
Valley Journal, Gordon Sentenced to 20 Years in Storage Unit Theft