Sentencing delayed for former justice of the peace in cactus crime
Tuesday, April 29, 1997 | 11:59 a.m.
The judge delayed sentencing for Daniel Ahlstrom after learning he had not paid $25,000 in restitution to the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona.
U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll rescheduled the hearing for May 16 after Ahlstrom said he would return for sentencing. Ahlstrom’s attorney, Clark Derrick, said Ahlstrom was prepared to pay the restitution within 30 days, if not sooner.
Ahlstrom pleaded guilty to a felony last year as part of a sealed plea agreement. As part of the deal, Ahlstrom resigned his Las Vegas justice of the peace position and agreed never to seek a judicial office anywhere in the country.
The plea bargain calls for the judge to dismiss the felony and let Ahlstrom plead guilty to a misdemeanor. The deal also requires Ahlstrom to stay out of trouble and to cooperate with prosecutors.
Ahlstrom and a co-defendant, Ronald Stanley, were named in September 1995 in a nine-count indictment that included several felonies. Federal authorities secretly recorded 29 conversations in which the pair arranged to buy saguaro cactuses and ocotillo plants from Arizona.
Stanley, 52, pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of purchasing a plant taken in violation of federal law. He admitted acquiring a saguaro cactus in September 1994, knowing it had been stolen.
Stanley was sentenced to two years probation, fined $5,000, ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay $10,000 restitution.