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By Carissa Sitki
According to a release, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of vehicle burglaries and a motor vehicle theft in the Village of Hardin on Dec. 1, 2020. Throughout the following week, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office conducted extra patrol in an attempt to prevent any future crimes.
At 1:52 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2020, Deputy Zach Hardin, with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a traffic stop on Childs Street near Park Street in Hardin on a gold-colored 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe bearing Missouri registration.
Following an investigation, the driver, Kristen Marie Zinselmeier, 32, of Saint Peters, Missouri, was originally arrested for Driving While License Revoked, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and Improper Use of Registration.
Two passengers were present in Zinselmeier’s vehicle. Both passengers were taken into custody and were eventually identified as Jacob Daniel Young, 25, and Samantha Louise Rachels, 26, both of St. Louis, Missouri, for the offense of Obstructing Justice.
A subject search of the vehicle revealed stolen property, stolen keys to vehicles in the area, a firearm, and methamphetamine. Stolen property, including a stolen police badge, from other jurisdictions was also recovered.
Zinselmeier and Rachels were further charged with Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Obstructing Justice. Young was charged with the aforementioned offenses as well as Armed Violence, a Class-X Felony.
On May 11, 2021, Zinselmeier pled Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and was sentenced to 30 months of probation. Zinselmeier also pled Guilty to Possession of Methamphetamine, and was likewise sentenced to 30 months of probation.
On July 6, 2021, Rachels pled Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Rachels also pled Guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and was sentenced to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
On Dec. 14, 2021, Young pled Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Young also pled Guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and was sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Young still faces additional charges in Madison and Jersey Counties for Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding a Peace Officer, Possession of Stolen Vehicle and Possession of Methamphetamine.
The guilty pleas are the result of an extensive and thorough investigation conducted by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, which uncovered an auto-theft ring operating out of St. Louis, Missouri. This investigation also assisted in the arrest of numerous other involved individuals in neighboring counties.