Deputies arrested three men on New Year’s Eve for alleged theft of “hemp product” valued at approximately $40,000.
Wayne Van Breding, 40, Jermey Shan Breding, 34, and Matthew Ryan Littler, 33, were booked into the Cache County Jail on Thursday following a monthlong investigation of a storage unit theft in Smithfield.
Eight blue 55-gallon drums of “hemp product” valued at $40,000, in addition to a flatbed trailer, were stolen from the unit in November, Cache County Sheriff’s deputies allege. According to a probable cause affidavit, video surveillance footage showed at least two suspects — believed to be Jeremy and Matthew — stealing the hemp and trailer with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
According to documents filed with the courts, a search warrant for electronic monitoring was approved the day after the Smithfield theft allegedly occurred. The court authorized officers to install a mobile tracking or GPS device on the distinctively marked Jeep as part of the investigation.
“Officers may enter any property to install, maintain or remove the device at any time, day or night and without notice of authority or purpose,” the warrant states.
On Thursday, according to the affidavit, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of the Jeep and Jeremy was detained for questioning.
During the investigation, deputies wrote the Jeep had also been associated with a storage unit theft in Idaho and stolen items may be at Wayne’s residence in Richmond.
“Video footage shows Jeremy and another person, later identified as Matt Littler, unloading suspected stolen items from the Jeep and carrying them onto the property in Richmond,” deputies wrote.
The affidavit does not specify where the video footage originated.
A search of Wayne’s home, according to deputies, yielded stolen items from the Idaho theft. Two medium-sized duffel bags containing “several buds of hemp flower” were located on the property. The barrels and trailer were located in a remote location north of Richmond, deputies wrote, and controlled substances were also located in the home and in the Jeep.
Matthew and Jeremy were booked into jail on suspicion of felony theft and burglary charges and additional controlled substance misdemeanors; both men were ordered to be held without bail. Wayne was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor theft by receiving stolen property and controlled substance charges; he was ordered to be held on $500 bondable bail and to comply with various release conditions.
Formal charges have not been filed.