On February 27, 2018, Aaron Ballard of 13243 Alysha Dr. Denham Springs, LA., age 38, pled guilty to Theft Valued at $25,000 or More and Theft Valued at $5,000 or More, but Less than $25,000. Ballard was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples, and presiding over this matter was the Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert. This guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a heavy equipment theft investigation.
On July 12, 2017, the Gonzales Police Department received reports of thefts from two local construction companies. During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Ballard and another individual had stolen two 40-foot goose neck trailers along with a Caterpillar skid steer from the companies. Detectives were able to locate the stolen equipment by using surveillance video footage from several locations. Detectives identified the vehicles used during the thefts and learned that Ballard was driving a truck belonging to a friend who had allowed Ballard to borrow the vehicle. Detectives also received information indicating that Ballard made attempts to sell the equipment. Ballard was subsequently arrested and booked into the Ascension Parish Jail.
Upon entering a guilty plea to the above-mentioned charges, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, the defendant was sentenced to 6 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served on each count. The imposed sentences are to run concurrent with one another.