Funeral home worker sentenced in theft case

LANCASTER, Calif.

Pete Jacob Lara, 39, worked as an apprentice embalmer at the Halley Olsen Murphy funeral home. Prosecutors say he sold gold crowns and other items at pawn shops and jewelry exchanges. The alleged crimes took place between June 25, 2012 and Oct. 28, 2013.

Officials say Lara pleaded to seven felony counts, one count each of possession of methamphetamine and removal or possession of dental gold from human remains, and five counts of commercial burglary.

Lara was sentenced to seven years in state prison to be served in local custody. He was also ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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