Three accused of buying stolen property from addicts are bound over for trial

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Nico Savidge
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

JANESVILLE—Three Beloit residents accused of operating a fencing operation where burglars traded property stolen from Janesville homes for drugs were bound over for trial in Rock County Court on Tuesday.

A string of burglaries around Rock County last spring led Janesville police to a home at 924 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, shared by Christopher R. Harrell, Christopher J. Wright-El and Christine M. Wulf.

That's where one of the burglary suspects, 35-year-old Misty Kvistad of Janesville, told police she received heroin in exchange for the televisions, laptops, jewelry and firearms she had stolen from area homes, according to court documents.

When police searched the Beloit house in May, they needed two cargo vans to haul away all of the stolen items they recovered, officer Drew Severson said Tuesday.

Testifying at a preliminary hearing for Harrell, Wright-El and Wulf on Tuesday, Severson said the nearly two-dozen flat-screen TVs police found in the house filled a van.

Rock County prosecutors in June charged each of the three with one count of felony theft.

The three co-defendants and lawyers for each took up both the defense and prosecution tables in a courtroom Tuesday, as defense attorneys argued the cases should be dismissed.

Kvistad told police that after burglaries she turned over stolen property to two men later identified as Harrell and Wright-El, as well as Harrell's girlfriend, Wulf, according to the complaint. They gave Kvistad amounts of heroin based on the value of items she brought in, authorities said.

Defense attorneys pointed out that although police investigating the burglaries tailed Kvistad to the East Grand Avenue home after a burglary, they didn't see her sell any of the items.

Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer found enough evidence the three probably committed a felony, and bound them over for trial.

Harrell and Wright-El will be arraigned Friday, while Wulf will be on Monday.

Kvistad is facing 19 charges, 10 of them felonies, for her role in burglaries around Janesville and Rock County. She pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.

A man accused of helping Kvistad during the burglaries, 31-year-old Janesville man Kenneth E. Harris II, has also been charged with six felonies and six misdemeanors. He has also pleaded not guilty.

Last updated: 4:27 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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