Man who stole General Lee Sno-Cat from Minturn ordered to pay $28K for repairs
General Lee's owners lament not being able to use vintage Sno-Cat this winter
EAGLE — Jason Cuervo apparently did have a plan for the Sno-Cat he stole from a parking lot in Minturn.
Cuervo drove the stolen General Lee out of Eagle County to the high desert west of Grand Junction. From there he planned to put it on a train and ship it to Alaska.
However, he didn’t make it to Alaska and neither did the General Lee. Law enforcement located them both. The General Lee is back in the hands of its owners, and Cuervo is in the hands of the state corrections system.
However, the strange saga of the stolen Sno-Cat is not over for either Cuervo or the victims of his crime. Cuervo damaged the General Lee in all sorts of ways and was ordered Wednesday to foot the repair bill for $28,583.46. He wrecked the tracks and axles, and screwed up the electrical system when he hot-wired it.
The General Lee rests in the parking lot of co-owner Chris Hock’s Denver business, unusable since Cuervo stole it.
“That’s a shame. It was an amazing snow year,” Hock said.
In jail, not court Wednesday
Cuervo wasn’t actually in court for Wednesday’s restitution hearing. Last month he started his three-year sentence in a community corrections facility in Lakewood.
Cuervo admitted he stole the General Lee in broad daylight and in a drug-addled state, and towed it along Interstate 70 from Minturn to a neighborhood west of Grand Junction. As police closed in, Cuervo eluded a SWAT team and fled to the Front Range.
A couple of weeks later his mom exercised some serious tough love and told police they could find him at the Jefferson County auto dealership where he was having his small truck’s transmission repaired. He wrecked that hauling the General Lee. Some of his Jefferson County problems stemmed from trying to swap marijuana to cover some of that repair bill.
Cuervo says he has been an opioid addict, and he told Judge Fresquez that drugs are at the root of his behavior problems. Last month’s sentencing was on the one-year anniversary of his sobriety.
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