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Three more teens sought in connection with gunshot

Law enforcement officials are seeking three more local teens in connection with an April 6 altercation that included a pistol being fired. Police say the incident behind a West Second Street apartment was a failed robbery attempt and had connections to a series of earlier thefts in and around Powell.

Warrants recently were entered into a national law enforcement database for the arrest of William Hamilton, 19, of Powell, Jonathan Bentley, 17, of Powell and Jesse Villarreal, 17, of Lovell in connection with the altercation.

All three face charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated (armed) robbery.

Sage Miears, 19, of Powell was arrested on April 7 on a charge of aggravated assault and battery in connection with the incident. Miears is alleged to have threatened one of the apartment’s residents with a gun.

The pistol was fired after the man began fighting with Miears. No one was shot.

The man and his friends who witnessed the incident told police they weren’t sure who fired the gun, but generally didn’t think it was Miears.

However, Miears allegedly told Powell Police Investigator Dave Brown that he fired the gun on accident as he was putting it away, says an affidavit filed by Brown in the new cases.

According to the affidavit, Miears said Villarreal and Hamilton were with him in the alley while Bentley waited in a car.

In an interview with the Tribune, Brown said the investigation has indicated that all four teens — Miears, Hamilton, Villarreal and Bentley — were armed.

Brown declined to say what the teens allegedly planned to steal, but said it wasn’t random.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hamilton, Bentley or Villarreal is asked to contact either Powell Police (754-2212) or the Park County Sheriff’s Office (754-8700). Given that the teens may be armed, police are asking citizens not to approach them.

Powell police and the Park County Sheriff’s Office say a joint investigation has shown the gunshot is connected to two separate burglaries at a Lane 11 residence sometime in March (Miears, Luke Cannon, 18, and John McCarthy Jr., 20, have been charged in connection with those), two break-ins at Powell businesses on the night of March 16 and a residential burglary on Lane 7 reported April 4.

“We believe everything’s related — that the burglaries in the county are related to the burglaries in the city, are related to the shooting,” said Brown.

On Wednesday, additional charges were pending.

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