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Northwest Montana man faces rape charge in Idaho

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Clark Fork Valley Press/Mineral Independent | October 6, 2021 12:00 AM

A Northwest Montana man accused of rape in Idaho is also facing federal charges for his alleged involvement in car theft and gun running conspiracies across the northwestern United States.

Shane Bryan Johnson, 35, is currently locked up in the Cascade County Jail in Great Falls on the federal charges.

Johnson is awaiting extradition to Bonner County for an alleged home invasion rape that occurred in Priest River, Idaho, in June 2020.

According to the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, a man knocked on the door of a woman and spoke with her before forcing his way into the victim’s home, battering her and sexually assaulting her.

Bonner County officials said Johnson became a person of interest in July 2020 and has spent most of his time in custody on other charges. With the assistance of detectives in Montana and the FBI, Johnson’s whereabouts were closely monitored when he was not in custody.

They plan to charge him with rape, burglary, kidnapping and aggravated battery once he is extradited to Idaho.

On the federal charges, Johnson is listed as a co-conspirator with three other men in the vehicle and gun thefts. They include Daniel Forrest Haslage, 26, of Kalispell, Leif Peter Larsen, 42, of Port Angeles, Washington, and Kevin John Audett, 37, of Spokane.

They each face a maximum of 35 years in federal prison if convicted of conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property, stolen vehicles and stolen firearms.

Charging documents state the quartet worked together to commit the alleged offenses between May and July 2020. The transportation of stolen vehicles and guns totaled more than $378,000. Vehicles included camper trailers, pickup trucks and classic cars along with firearms from Flathead, Mineral and Sanders counties.

One incident in June 2020 included a high-speed chase on Interstate 90 on the Idaho-Montana border. Haslage allegedly ran from a Montana Highway Patrol trooper in a Dodge Charger painted to look like the General Lee, the famous car from the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard.” The Charger was allegedly stolen from a Mullan, Idaho, residence.

Haslage stopped and when the trooper caught up to him, he took off and drove the wrong way on I-90 before reversing course on I-90. The Charger eventually wrecked in a wooded area off Montana 28 between Plains and Hot Springs. Haslage was charged with criminal endangerment in Sanders County.

According to court documents, Johnson pleaded guilty on June 29 to one count of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles. His sentencing is set for Nov. 4 in Missoula.

Then, on Aug. 16, Audett pleaded guilty to the sale or receiving stolen vehicles. Some of the stolen vehicles were allegedly taken to Audett’s parents’ property in Medical Lake, Washington. His sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 8 in Missoula.

After pleas by Johnson and Audett, a trial for the remaining two defendants was pushed back from August to Oct. 25.

Larsen is locked up in the Cascade County Jail while Haslage is in custody in the Missoula County Detention Center.

Haslage’s criminal record dates back several years. According to a July 13, 2014 report in the Sidney Herald, Haslage was arrested on a Custard County warrant for probation violations and bail jumping. He was also cited for driving while suspended or revoked and unlawful possession of firearm by a convicted person.

A Oct. 28, 2020 story in the Coeur d’Alene Press story, Haslage was arrested June 1, 2020, and charged with methamphetamine possession.