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Christopher Berg accepts responsibility for actions

PORT ORCHARD — Poulsbo’s Christopher R. Berg, 23, will serve 57 months in prison for his involvement in a series of residential burglaries.

Berg, who was arrested in March, and 31-year-old Poulsbo resident Michael D. J. McCarroll, who was arrested in February, both plead guilty last week in Kitsap County Superior Court to charges stemming from a months-long string of burglaries.

On April 28, Berg was charged with trafficking stolen property, two counts of possession of stolen property, eluding police and residential burglary. The 57 months was the maximum he could receive.

“He (Berg) didn’t argue for anything less,” said Chad Enright, prosecuting attorney who handled the case. “He basically said he wanted to take responsibility for what he had done. It surprised me and I think it surprised his attorney.”

Originally Berg was only looking at four charges, which would have meant a prison sentence between 33 and 43 months.

“But given what he had done — the standoff that occurred in Poulsbo at the junior high — adding the extra count of residential burglary was appropriate,” Enright said.

The March standoff lasted about two hours at the Peninsula Glen Apartments in Poulsbo, located across the street from Poulsbo Middle School and next to North Kitsap High’s sports fields and Technical building. Law enforcement received a tip Berg was in the apartement complex and attempted to arrest him.

The effort proved fruitless as Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) and a remote controlled camera robot found Berg was not inside the complex.

Berg was arrested two weeks later on March 26.

Berg’s attorney, Steve Lewis, said in talking to Berg it was clear he wanted to demonstrate the sincerity of his remorse for his actions and involvement.

“You know I was a little surprised. He could have asked anywhere between 43 and 57 months, but he chose the maximum,” Lewis said. “I think he felt it was insincere to ask for less. I think in asking for top end he was trying to communicate to the judge and the community he was remorseful.”

Because of the additional residential burglary charge, Berg is only eligible for one-third off his prison sentence. This would make him eligible for release after serving 38 months. With only four conviction counts he could have been released on good behavior after serving half his sentence.

McCarroll, who was arrested Feb. 22, was charged with trafficking stolen property and possession of stolen property. He was also charged with trafficking stolen property in April stemming from a Bainbridge Island burglary in August, Enright said.

McCarroll was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

Enright said he might be eligible for release on good behavior after serving half his sentence.

“But he does have quite a bit of history in terms of felonies,” he said, including unlawful posession of a firearm in 1997. “That might prevent him from receiving the max off his sentence.”

Washington State Department of Corrections will decide the potential for early release.

Authorities are still looking for Donald L. Pugh, 44, in connection with the burglaries, Kitsap County Sheriff Deputy Scott Wilson said. Pugh is known to carry weapons and believed to be living in the surrounding areas in Port Angeles.

The burglaries extended throughout the North End and Bainbridge and included raiding more than 100 mailboxes and burglarizing 50 homes, stealing cars, motorcycles, firearms, stereos and computer systems. Overall, the stolen goods have a combined value estimated at upward of $250,000.

More than $75,000 worth of stolen items have been recovered.

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