Theft spree suspects indicted


By Terri Flagg - [email protected]



DOBSON — An Elkin family was indicted Monday on charges alleging their involvement with a multi-county string of break-ins.

Back in March, the Elkin Police Department announced the arrest of Guillermo Rodriguez, 48, Letonya Ann Sidden, 40, Ashley Nicole Speer, 21, and Christopher Blaine Settle, 24, following the execution of a search warrant at their 225 Pegram St. residence.

Stolen items seized during the search connected the four with many reported thefts in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, and the suspects were subsequently charged with multiple felonies, according to a release on the incident.

Indictments handed down this week formally charge each with 15 counts of felony possession of stolen goods or property. In addition to that, they were individually indicted for these violations:

• Settle – two counts of breaking and/or entering, two counts of larceny after breaking and/or entering and three counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property.

• Sidden – one count each of breaking and/or entering, larceny after breaking and/or entering and obtaining property by false pretense; two counts each of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property.

• Speer – one count each of breaking and/or entering and larceny after breaking and/or entering; two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods.

• Rodriguez – one count each of simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance; two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods and/or property.

Rodriguez, who remains in the custody of the Surry County Detention Center under a $125,000 total secured bond, appeared in Superior Court on Thursday.

His attorney, Marion Boone, asked Presiding Judge Eric Morgan to reduce her client’s bond.

She argued that while Rodriguez was considered by investigators a “more minor participant,” in the operation, Settle, the “alleged ringleader,” had been released from custody under reduced, unsecured bonds.

“I’m asking if the court will allow Rodriguez out under the same conditions,” she stated, noting that her client and Siddens are married and had been living in Elkin for 13 years.

Siddens, who is also known as Tonya Ann Speer, remains in custody under an $85,000 secured bond, according to information provided by the Surry County Detention Center.

Her daughter and co-defendant, Ashley Speer, was released March 1.

Assistant District Attorney Mike Beal confirmed that Settle, believed to be Ashley Speer’s boyfriend, is considered the principal defendant and expressed concern about the bond reduction.

“I had a bond hearing in District Court and thought his (Settle’s) bonds were left the same,” Beal stated. “I don’t know what happened.”

Information provided by the county jail indicated that Settle’s bond had been lowered several times and he was released June 24.

The prosecutor argued against a bond reduction for Rodriguez.

Considering “the sheer number of charges and victims,” he stated, “we felt like we needed to expedite this process for all concerned.”

He described the four defendants’ Pegram Street home as “literally crammed to the rafters with stolen property,” and that investigators had discovered a “treasure trove of stolen goods.”

Beal indicated that plea offers had been extended to all four at their first setting.

After determining that Rodriguez had no prior criminal record and that his existing bond levels were in the middle of the range suggested by Judicial District 17-B guidelines, Morgan declined to reduce the bond.

Rodriguez was scheduled to appear in Superior Court during the administrative session that begins July 11.

By Terri Flagg

[email protected]

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Elkin Tribune

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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