Newport man receives year of probation for Springfield gun burglary

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One of four men accused of stealing guns from a town of Springfield home last fall will serve one year of probation.

A St. Croix County Circuit court handed down the sentence to Robert E. Block, a 20-year-old Newport resident who reportedly entered a pole shed on the property with another man, 19-year-old Michael Annis of Maplewood, Minnesota, and took a .22-caliber rifle and 12-gauge shotgun June 5, 2016.

According to a criminal complaint, Mark Holmquist, 28 of New Richmond and Thomas Reyes, 27 of Inver Grove Heights, waited in vehicles parked nearby at the time of the burglary.

St. Croix County investigators learned from police in Hastings, Minnesota that officers recovered two long guns matching those stolen from the shed.

Later that month, the owner of K-Guard All Exteriors, where Holmquist worked, called the victims to inform them Holmquist had worked a construction job at their property in 2015.

Holmquist, who had been a victim of a Newport drive-by shooting told police he planned for the three other men to help with the burglary because he wanted a gun for protection. The complaint did not mention the drive-by location.

Holmquist, who served five years in prison on a 2007 Pierce County conviction for second-degree sexual assault of a child, was on supervised release at the time of the burglary.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison on the burglary charges in December 2016.

Annis, who entered a guilty plea in this case February 2017, has not yet been sentenced.

Reyes was sentenced to a year of probation in June.