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A Morton man, Paul John Belmares, age 38, was sentenced in Redwood County Court for trying to flee from law enforcement in stolen vehicles on two separate occasions last year.

On Feb. 9, 2022, a Lower Sioux Tribal Police Officer noticed Belmares driving a car into the parking lot of a local business. The officer was then notified that Belmares had left the Redwood County courthouse for a scheduled jury trial in another matter, and a warrant for Belmares’ arrest had been issued, and that his drivers license had been revoked.

The officer turned on his emergency lights to chase, but Belmares escaped the officer. The vehicle was later found in Renville County, that the vehicle had been reported stolen several weeks earlier, and that the front license plate had been stolen from a second vehicle.

About nine months later, on Nov. 2, 2022, a Redwood County deputy observed a Ford Escape traveling on County Road 24. A license plate check showed the vehicle had been reported stolen. The deputy pursued the stolen vehicle. The Escape was eventually located in a grassy field, stuck in the mud. The driver, Belmares, ran away when deputies tried to stop him, and deputies finally located Belmares lying in the grass nearby.

On May 8, Belmares was sentenced to 19 months in the correctional facility in St. Cloud for two counts of felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.