Lonaker gets 15-year sentence for gun thefts

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By Becky Barnes, Editor

After having previously entered a guilty plea to multiple charges, James Lonaker was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for his part in firearms heists.

Lonaker was the second of the two to be sentenced for his part in a Jan. 21 chase that involved Harrison County’s two law enforcement agencies.

Johnathan Hawkins was sentenced to 13 years in prison in May.

Lonaker’s guilty plea was for 22 counts of theft by unlawful taking (firearms), three counts of first degree burglary, one count of second degree burglary, two counts of theft by unlawful taking (others) more than $500 but less than $10,000, 18 counts of receiving stolen property (firearm) and one count of theft by unlawful taking under $500.

18th Judicial Circuit Judge Jay Delaney denied Lonaker’s request for probation due to the seriousness of the crimes.

He is also required to make restitution and have no contact with the victims or their property.

Included in the 15-year sentence is one year for second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

The two men were seen on Jan. 21 at the CSX railroad bridge at A. Keller attempting to break open two safes. As deputies made their way to A. Keller, Lonaker and Hawkins fled the scene on KY 36 headed towards Cynthiana. The chase continued through Cynthiana to  Wornall Lane and across U.S. 27 South to Rice Road, which is where they were taken into custody.

 The chase included Det. Paul Olin, Deputy Robert Peak, Deputy Dean Hutchison, Ptl. Nathan Linville, Det. Alan Judy and Sgt. Wilbur Gross.