Felon detained after overstaying visa in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Felon detained after overstaying visa in Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — An Indian man convicted of a felony while working as a seasonal worker in Steamboat Springs was detained two weeks ago by federal authorities after he overstayed his visa.

Chandra B. Pratap was 25 years old when he was arrested March 13 on suspicion of theft and identity theft.

Steamboat police began investigating Pratap after arresting two other Indian men suspected of stealing thousands of dollars through a scam.

Police found more than $15,000 worth of suspicious deposits into Pratap's account. One of the deposits came from a business in New York. The business owner told police that nine of his checks had been forged and deposited for a total loss of more than $24,000.

Pratap never posted bail and stayed in jail for nearly four months until he was sentenced.

Pratap was originally charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor.

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He pleaded guilty to a felony and misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of identification documents.

Pratap was sentenced to the time he had already served in jail and two years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay $8,500 in restitution.

According to Steamboat Police Chief Cory Christensen, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Marshals Service apprehended Pratap at a coffee shop in Steamboat.

Christensen said the agents had been looking for Pratap for a couple weeks because he was a convicted felon and his visa expired.

Christensen said he was informed that the federal agents were going to apprehend Pratap, but the agents did not ask for help from the police.

After Pratap was apprehended, Christensen said he was contacted by two of Pratap's acquaintances, and they were concerned for his welfare.

Pratap is being held at the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.