Almost five months after being charged with trafficking in stolen liquor, Puerto Vallarta Restaurant owner Eduardo Morales-Cardenas has pleaded guilty to two charges. We have been checking the online files weekly and found out today that he appeared before Judge Monica Benton yesterday afternoon to enter the pleas: Guilty to one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property, guilty to one count of attempted trafficking in stolen property. In the documentation, he acknowledges buying what he said he knew was alcohol stolen from Safeway and QFC; he was arrested last September, but charges weren’t filed until November. Morales-Cardenas is scheduled for sentencing on April 11th before Judge Carol Schapira; the prosecution, which says they found no prior criminal history for him, is recommending a sentence of 364 days in work release/electronic home detention.
Checking on the status of the others who were charged at the same time, accused of stealing and selling liquor in the same case, here’s what court documents show: One co-defendant, Eric Olson, also pleaded guilty yesterday and will be sentenced at the same April 11th hearing; a 43-month sentence will be recommended. Another, Amber Vincent, pleaded guilty last month to organized retail theft and trafficking in stolen property, and was sentenced to three months of work release; Shaye Glenn-Nitschke also pleaded guilty last month, to one charge, and was released from jail because he’d served more time than he had been sentenced to. A fourth defendant, Michael Jensen, is scheduled for a plea hearing next week.