Mitchell man facing 54 years in prison for allegedly stealing firearm, drug charges, while on probation

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Aug. 30—MITCHELL — A Mitchell man who allegedly stole a handgun and wielded it inside of a Mitchell bar pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the handful of felony charges he's facing .

During Tuesday's Davison County felony court proceedings, Jose Arias-Aquino, 21, pleaded not guilty to grand theft in the amount between $1,000 and $2,500, possession of a loaded firearm while intoxicated, possession of a firearm with prior felony drug conviction, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, distribution, possession with intent to distribute marijuana in the amount between half-pound and 1 pound, drug free zone violation, violating probation and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an arrest affidavit, officers located Arias-Aquino — who was "covered in blood" — on Aug. 18 sitting inside an apartment building on the 200 block of West Second Avenue. The affidavit did not disclose information about why Arias-Aquino was covered in blood.

Officers searched the then-heavily intoxicated Arias-Aquino and found a Ruger style pistol in his pocket, which was loaded with a magazine that had additional rounds in it. After officers conducted a check on the gun's serial number, it was deemed as stolen, the affidavit alleges.

A witness reported to officers that Arias-Aquino "showed the handgun" while entering an apartment building prior to his arrest.

At Tuesday's hearing, Davison County Deputy State's Attorney Robert O'Keefe said Arias-Aquino entered a bar in downtown Mitchell where he allegedly wielded the gun.

He is facing up to 54 years in prison for the charges.

A breathalyzer test on Arias-Aquino read .227, well above the .08 legal limit.

Arias-Aquino's latest arrest comes about two months after being sentenced for a felony that stemmed from his role in a 2020 Mitchell robbery that involved multiple suspects robbing a victim under the age of 18 with a threatening weapon. While he was among the four suspects convicted for the 2020 robbery, prosecuting attorneys said Arias-Aquino's role was minimal and he did not cause physical harm to the victim.

He was granted a suspended imposition in early June for the accessory to a felony robbery charge, a Class 5 felony that carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, he was ordered to serve two years of probation for his role in the 2020 robbery.

Judge Chris Giles noted the suspended imposition could be revoked and the five-year prison term that was suspended for the accessory to a felony charge could be imposed on the new charges he's facing.

Giles denied Arias-Aquino's request to modify his bond on Tuesday. He remains in custody on a bond hold.

He is scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December unless he changes his plea prior to the trial date.