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Gress pleads guilty to five more criminal charges

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Devon Lee Gress

A Dickinson man pleaded guilty to five criminal charges, including felony fleeing.

Devon Lee Gress, 28, appeared in Stark County District Court before Judge Rhonda Ehlis on 10 criminal charges total.

Gress pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, a Class C felony, and driving while license privilege is suspended, a Class A misdemeanors.

In July, while driving under suspension, Gress refused to stop and fled a police officer who was flashing lights and signaling him to stop.

Gress also pleaded guilty to second fleeing and DUS charges, as well as reckless endangerment, all Class A misdemeanors. He was charged in October.

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"When he was leaving a parking lot, he pulled into traffic without signaling or yielding to oncoming traffic, and he cutoff a tractor trailer that was attempting to pull into the lot," Assistant State's Attorney James Hope said.

Two other cases were dismissed.

Gress was charged with possession of a controlled substance -- meth and possession of drug paraphernalia, and another DUS charge.

"The drug case is a circumstantial evidence case. I know how those can go," Hope said. "In recent months, as far as the aspect of rehabilitation, I'm becoming increasingly reluctant to send people to North Dakota Department of Corrections, because the parole just seems to come sooner and sooner."

In North Dakota, a Class C felony carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.

A Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 360 days in jail and $3,000 in fines.

For the misdemeanor driving charge, Gress was sentenced to 360 days straight time with the North Dakota Department of Corrections.

For the felony charge, Gress received three years in jail, with all three years suspended, and three years supervised probation.

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Gress received 360 days in jail for the remaining misdemeanor charges, suspended for two years, with two years supervised probation.

Gress was also ordered to pay a total of $1,000 in fines and fees.

He was granted release for drug addiction treatment.

Hope advised against granting Gress release for work.

"He needs to work on his addiction issues," Hope said.

Ehlis reluctantly accepted the plea agreement, noting Gress's extensive criminal history.

Gress has continuously been on supervised probation since 2014 and sentenced through 2021 between various cases.

Since 2011, he has been convicted of three felonies, 12 Class A misdemeanors, and 11 Class B misdemeanors.

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He has been sentenced by nine different judges, including all four Southwest District Court judges, Ehlis said.

Gress is also scheduled to appear in court on four additional criminal cases.

"When I hear you're going to receive treatment release," Ehlis said, "I wonder why that's even considered, since you've been on supervised probation for six years, and that hasn't been accomplished yet."

Ehlis warned Gress against failing to comply with the conditions of the agreement.

"If you do anything to violate your probation, you're looking at five years from me," she said, "and I will have no problems giving you the straight five years, because this record is where you should be going right now, and you still have a lackadaisical attitude about it."

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