Shawn DeFreece, 49, Ravenwood, was arrested March 21 by the Nodaway County Sheriff’s department for stealing water, tampering with the water service and receiving stolen property from the Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Nodaway County (PWCD #1) for over 10 years amounting to over $20,000 worth of product.
DeFreece faces two felony charges that could amount to 14 years imprisonment and a misdemeanor that could carry a $2,000 fine or up to one year in the county jail if he is found guilty.
The probable cause statement prepared by Nodaway County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Logan provided the following details about the case which began on February 19 when the sheriff’s office received this information concerning DeFreece:
• On September 6, 2012, Don Buhman, a rural Ravenwood resident, reported to the PWCD #1 his water meter was missing and the last reading was for 100,700 gallons.
• On February 4, 2020, the meter with the same serial number was located installed at DeFreece’s residence with 1,767,300 gallons registered on it.
• On December 15, 2009, DeFreece was disconnected for non-payment in the amount of $997.45 and PWCD #1 found a jumper inside the meter pit. At that point the water main to DeFreece’s residence was shut off.
The total gallons used without payment for services was 1,666,600 gallons and the total cost of this water is $19,966.30.
The meter that was recovered has a value of $350.
Four attempts were made by Logan to speak to DeFreece and he declined to cooperate before the arrest was made. He has since been released on bond.