Two Sahuarita men indicted in connection with a crime spree in June have entered plea agreements that could land them in prison or see them placed on probation.

Matthew Donovan, 21, and Ruben Alvarez, 24, were arrested in early June after Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Nunez spotted a truck parked in a park next to Sopori Elementary School in Amado that had bullet holes, no door handles and a missing ignition switch.

Nunez learned the owner of the truck lived near the Sahuarita home of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was a burglary victim. During the burglary, someone had stolen the agent's Taser, guns and $50,000 in jewelry.

He also learned the owner of the truck was a suspect in the burglary. While speaking with Sahuarita police on the phone, Alvarez, who was also a suspect, arrived at the school and was questioned.

Sahuarita Police arrested Alvarez at the scene. Donovan was arrested at short time later.

As a result of their investigation, Sahuarita Police Sgt. Michael Falquez said detectives believe Donovan burglarized at least three homes, stealing checks and other items. He said police have evidence Donovan forged several of the checks and pawned and sold some of the stolen items with the help of Alvarez.

The value of the checks and stolen property is estimated at more than $50,000.

Alvarez was arrested on suspicion of 11 counts of trafficking in stolen property. Donovan was arrested on suspicion of three counts of burglary in the second degree, 27 counts of forgery, 27 counts of fraudulent schemes, and 11 counts of trafficking in stolen property.

However, Alvarez was only indicted on 10 counts of trafficking in stolen property and Donovan was only indicted on 17 theft, fraud scheme, burglary and trafficking counts.

Deputy Pima County Attorney Malena Acosta said Alvarez pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of facilitation to traffic stolen property. He could be placed on probation or he could receive up to two years in prison when sentenced Oct. 29.

If he's placed on probation and successfully completes it, his crimes could be designated misdemeanors, Acosta said.

Donovan pleaded guilty Sept. 5 to one count each of facilitation to commit fraud schemes, theft and facilitation to traffic in stolen property. He faces the same range of possible sentences as Alvarez when sentenced Oct. 10.

Kim Smith | 520-547-9740

Assistant Editor Kim Smith moved to Arizona from Michigan when she was 16. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism in 1989. She has worked at seven newspapers of varying size in Arizona, Texas and Nevada.

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