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Posted Friday, June 22, 2007
Man convicted 46 times faces new charges
By The Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A man convicted of 46 felony charges involving burglary sprees across 10 counties is facing four new charges in federal court here. Edward Dean Waslaski Jr., 42, is charged in federal court with felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Waslaski was convicted of 46 felonies between 1984 and 2000, court records show.

''I don't know if it's a record, but that certainly is a lot of convictions,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Reisenauer said.

Waslaski, whose last known address was a lake home near Perham, Minn., has felony burglary convictions in Cavalier, Burleigh, Pembina, Grant, McLean, Logan, Emmons, Stutsman and Stark counties in North Dakota, and Marshall County in Minnesota.

Waslaski has been jailed since December after he was arrested in Cass County on charges in a string of offenses, including terrorizing, disorderly conduct, witness tampering and violating a protection order. Some of those charges were later dropped, or amended from felonies to misdemeanors.

Earlier this month, U.S. Magistrate Alice Senechal denied Waslaski's request for bail, calling him a threat to others.

Prosecutors said Waslaski told another inmate at the Cass County jail he ''should have killed'' someone, and asked another inmate whether he knew anyone who could ''take care of'' that person.

The detention order said Waslaski has a ''severe alcohol addiction'' and has recently received treatment for bipolar disorder. He has also used steroids, the order said.

''Based on all the information presented, this court finds clear and convincing evidence that there is no condition or combination of conditions which would reasonably assure the safety of other persons,'' Senechal wrote.

A trial date has not been set on the federal charges. If convicted, Waslaski faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole and a minimum term of 15 years for the weapons charges.

A public defender, Richard Henderson, originally was appointed to represent Waslaski on the latest charges. Henderson withdrew for what he called a conflict of interest, and was replaced by Sara Sorenson, who said she is ''just getting started'' with Waslaski's case.

''His difficulties arose as a young man. He served his time for that,'' she said.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said that if the government proves its case, ''then the federal sentencing guidelines will probably go a long way toward dampening Mr. Waslaski's apparent enthusiasm for committing felonies.''

Authorities believe Waslaski had a Beretta 9-millimeter automatic pistol, a Remington .22-caliber rifle and a Jennings .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. The serial numbers on the Beretta were wiped out, resulting in the fourth charge.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press

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