Man found in strangers’ home sent to prisonPublished at | Updated at
IDAHO FALLS — The man strangers found in their home one morning will now go to prison after a judge sentenced him in several cases.
Dakota Logan Clifford, 24, pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault in one case and felony drug trafficking in another in exchange for prosecutors to dismiss a lengthy list of charges. As a result, District Judge Joel Tingey sentenced Clifford on Monday to spend between 10 and 16 years in prison.
In July, local authorities wanted Clifford for felony trafficking of heroin. Police said that in the middle of the night, a woman called 911 and said she saw a suspicious vehicle, and the driver pointed a black handgun at her.
IFPD found the car with Clifford behind the wheel. He drove away at speeds between 60 and 70 mph through town, running stoplights and driving into oncoming traffic to avoid police. Officers kept following and searching for Clifford and found he crashed into a gate on Richards Avenue.
Police sent an alert to those living in the area to lock their doors as they searched for Clifford. Police looked for hours but could not find the wanted man.
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Around 7:30 a.m., someone living on Legends Circle notified police that a man was in their living room. The man was found when the homeowners woke up and was moving around their home. Police discovered this man to be Clifford and believed he entered through an unlocked door.
Those inside the home got out through a window and a SWAT team was involved in the ensuing standoff. Officers entered the home and found Clifford hiding in a closet. He was arrested, taken to the Bonneville County Jail, then posted $100,000 bail and placed on house arrest.
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The same day Clifford got out of jail, investigators found his ankle monitor abandoned blocks from the house he was ordered to stay in. The monitor had been cut, and officers notified Bonneville County Pre-Trial Services. A warrant was obtained for his arrest for violating the terms of his release.
Days later, police spotted Clifford in a car on the road. Four people were inside the vehicle and the driver pulled into the Walgreens Parking lot on 1st street. Clifford told officers he was “Jason Smith.” Police knew this not to be true and arrested Clifford on additional charges that were eventually dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
In addition to the sentence, Tingey ordered Clifford to pay over $11,000 in fees and fines.