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DA: Man found trespassing in Camp Fire evacuation area sentenced

Jason Burns-Doak (Courtesy: Butte County Sheriff's Office)

A 41-year-old Chico man was sentenced Thursday in Butte County Superior Court to five years and fourth months in state prison for possession of contraband and stolen property in a Camp Fire evacuated area.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said on November 12, 2018, Jason Burns-Doak was found trespassing in the Butte Creek Canyon area. This area had been evacuated due to the Camp fire. At approx. 12:50 p.m. A Butte County Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down by an employee of PG&E. The PG&E employee said he saw two males on motorcycles on Quail Run Drive wearing backpacks that appeared to be looting.

Deputies saw the men run into a home on Quail Run Drive. After knocking on the door several times with no response the deputies made entry. Deputies found Burns-Doak hiding in a bedroom. Upon contacting him, deputies learned the home belonged to Burns-Doak’s mother. Burns-Doak mother had evacuated and was unaware her son was at her home.

A protective sweep of the home revealed multiple illegal items, including a fully automatic machine gun, ammunition, a loaded handgun, heroin and methamphetamine. When confronted with the items, Burns-Doak denied any knowledge of them.

Also on his mother’s property was a John Deer utility vehicle reported stolen out of Yuba City from a tractor dealership during the Oroville Dam state of emergency evacuations in 2017. Burns-Doak became a suspect of the theft when in February of 2017 he walked into the dealership’s Chico location attempting to buy an ignition switch for the same make/model of the stolen utility vehicle. No further leads were ever found and the investigation got cold.

Burns-Doak was charged with possession of the illegal items, the stolen utility vehicle and trespassing in a disaster area. After previously pleading guilty as charged, Judge Michael Deems heard arguments as to what Burns-Doak sentence should be. The prosecution argued Burns-Doak showed no remorse for his actions and should receive the upper term in prison. Defense argued Burns-Doak deserved a chance on probation.

Ultimately, Burns-Doak got sentenced to the midterm of five years and four months in state prison. Burns-Doak remains in the Butte County Jail until his transport to the Department of Corrections.

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