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Former Gardner resident receives 4 years for theft


Dennis James Gaede won't be going anywhere for a while.

Monday, a district judge sentenced Gaede, 39, to four years at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck for three theft-related charges.

And since investigators will know Gaede's whereabouts, state and federal agents will have time to try to build a murder case against him.

Court documents name Gaede as the primary suspect in the murder and dismemberment of Timothy Wicks, a Wisconsin man. In January, authorities found pieces of Wicks' body in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Gaede pleaded guilty Aug. 12 in Cass County District Court to theft, theft by deception and insurance fraud.


East Central District Judge Norman Backes adopted the state's recommendation, including ordering Gaede to pay $10,000 in restitution to Compressed Air Technologies, a Fargo-based company that sells and repairs industrial air compressors.

Gaede began working at the company shortly after moving here from Wisconsin in September 2001. He used Timothy Wicks' identification to purchase a house in Gardner, N.D., about 23 miles north of Fargo.

The judge gave Gaede credit for 216 days in custody and rejected a request by defense attorney Monty Mertz, who asked Backes to sentence Gaede to a year and a day in prison.

Mertz said prosecutors looked to hit Gaede with a big sentence because of the media attention on the case.

"I just believe the state's attorney office would have treated it differently," Mertz said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542

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