Ritchie Valens thief to stand trial for dealing meth

Pleaded guilty to one crime, not guilty to the other.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 5:15 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa – A man who pleaded guilty to stealing some Ritchie Valens memorabilia is going to stand trial on drug dealing.

Mark Hobbs, 59 of Rudd, entered a guilty plea to 3rd degree theft for stealing two photos and a framed movie poster belonging to Valens’ family from the Best Western Hotel on February 2. The theft took place during the Winter Dance Party, which is held in memory of Valens, Buddy Holly, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, who all died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake in 1959.

Hobbs was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail for the theft.

He was also arrested in August after the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office says more than a pound of methamphetamine was found in a storage unit in Mason City, along with baggies, a scale, and drug notes. The Sheriff’s Office says the estimated street value of the meth is over $20,000.

Hobbs pleaded not guilty Tuesday to possession with intent to deliver meth and failure to use a drug tax stamp. His trial is scheduled to begin on November 5.

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