Casteel sentenced in Roberts’ case


Daniel Casteel

In 2009 Dan Casteel was arrested at Sierra Gardens Nursery in Bishop where he allegedly stole close to $150,000 from owner Nancy Roberts, according to family members.  Earlier this month, the court sentenced Casteel on charges of grand theft, possession of methamphetamine and a transaction with insufficient funds – all felonies.  His sentence was satisfied with time served.

In 2010, Casteel also faced other charges, according to the Sheriff’s Department.  Records showed he had failed to appear on cases involving possession of stolen property, weapons charges and violation of probation.  Casteel also made news when District Attorney Art Maillet reportedly called on him to wear a wire to tape murder suspect Lousi Leplat in jail when they were both inmates.  Casteel then testified against Leplat.

In May of 2011, Leplat’s public defender in Ventura County wrote a letter to DA Maillet, accusing him of making a deal with Casteel to testify in exchange for not filing full charges in the Nancy Roberts’ case. Shortly after that, Maillet did file charges of grand theft and forgery charges related to the crimes against Roberts. Maillet has refused to comment.

According to Inyo Court, Judge Brian Lamb recently sentenced Casteel to 3 years in county jail for grand theft, 8 months for possession of methamphetamine and 8 more months for a transaction with insufficient funds.  The Judge deemed that Casteel’s time already served in jail satisfied his 4 year and 4 month sentence. Casteel had earlier been released on his own recognizance.

While he no longer needs to serve time in jail, Casteel will have to appear for a restitution hearing in the Roberts’ case on February 14th.

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23 Responses to Casteel sentenced in Roberts’ case

  1. Amazed in Bishop January 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    I am not certain if everyone knows but Nancy Roberts passed away- I believe it was sometime last year. So restitution would be made to her family. Also, has anybody, actually counted up the amount of time that Casteel served? I am no accountant but do the math…it does not add up. I wonder what that is all about?!

  2. Rob January 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    He should have to make payments to Nancy to stay out of jail until he has repaid the 150k in full.

    And the payments should be substanital, Nancy ran a nursery, not a loan office.

    Most judges handle embezzlement case in this manner so the victim can recover they’re loss and made whole by the court.

    Benett I’m surprised there was nothing about restitution with his release?

    • Benett Kessler January 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      The story does say there is a restitution hearing in February.

  3. ESierra62 January 25, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Smilin Dan has been hurting folks in our area for more years than I care to think about. What he did to Nancy who was a good friend shall never be able to be forgiven by anyone other than Christ himself. I doubt the family will ever recover one dime from smilin Dan. The main thing we need to remember however is the fact that our DA should not be re-elected when he is next up for office, nor should Judge Lamb. I mostly blame the DA for this grave miscarriage of justice as he does not prosecute hardly any of the crimes filed in this county. He is doing a lousy job, and should be thrown out of office. In the mean time I would hope that all citizens who come in contact with Smilin Dan will treat him with all the discourteous greetings possible, and hopefully he will be run out of the county. He is a true example of pure white trash!

  4. JJ January 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I got to meet Nancy a few times and she was avery caring person. It is sad that or local City Attorney let this guy off the hook.

  5. Wilfred S. January 24, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    He should get 10 years just for that hideous mullet.

  6. Rob January 24, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    As long as Casteel is on the streets and Nancy doesn’t have her $150,000 back, the courts failed to make the victim whole. Like someone mentioned 50k a year plus room and board. sic

  7. Agree with Amazed January 24, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    “Amazed in Bishop” I think you are on to something…..Do you know him well enough to make this statement? And do you know for sure about specific incidences….? It’s chilling and sad.

  8. Eamon January 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Nancy was a great woman and it’s a shame she put her faith and trust in this guy. Despite his pittance of jail time he will get his in the end “Karma’s a B***H!”

  9. Amazed in Bishop January 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    The only thing that Judge Lamb succeeded in doing is put a criminal back on the street. I think this guy is a Psychopath and he has a long history of malicious, hurtful behavior and now numerous felonies. A Psychopath is defined as a personality disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deception. Let’s hope that he is smart enough to leave the area.

    • Eamon McNamara January 24, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Nancy told me he was a surfer from San Diego before he came here, I’m sure he’s down there now riding the waves on a new surf board paid for by her (and Teddy’s) retirement money.

      • Rob January 24, 2012 at 9:59 am #

        We’d be a lot better off in the Eastern Sierra if “surfers” would stay at the beach. I’ll take meadow muffins and cowboys over sand and surfers anyday.

  10. JaneE January 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Come on you guys, look at the bright side. No one in the county will ever trust this guy again. Not even his cellmates.

  11. yogibeara January 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Don’t blame the Judge, the DA made this deal with smilin’ Dan. Maillet could have charged him with more crimes, special enhancements, etc. It was obvious (years ago now) that the DA wasn’t planning on charging Casteel at all, and only did so under extreme pressure from the legal community and bad press. The DA giveth, and the DA taketh away. You could be completely guilty, and if the DA refuses to charge the only other avenue is Civil court (for the victims) or perhaps Federal charges if the case is extreme such as when the civil rights workers were murdered in the South in the 60’s. The local boys refused to bring charges so the Feds came in and charged the murderers with violating the civil rights of the victims.
    The Judge can only act upon what is brought to court.

  12. Rob January 23, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    So far this is the first time we have all agreed. no negitive votes.

    We have found common ground! Congrats to all 🙂

    • Big Rick O'Brien January 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      I got ONE!

  13. Nes Lessman January 23, 2012 at 10:21 am #


  14. Rob January 23, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Released OR, to offend more victims before he’s sentenced most likely.

    what a joke.

    • Wayne Deja January 23, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      Rob….Worse than that……..Sounds like he’s already served his time……no more jail time…

  15. Reality Bites January 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    I think this means he made 50K a year with free room and board!

  16. Wayne Deja January 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Isn’t that great……grand theft,possession of meth,failure to appear,weapons charges,possession of stolen property,violation of his probation,and the bad check writeing charges…and he gets time served (looks like less than 2 years on a 41/2 year sentence)…Don’t know what is worse…the short sentence of 4 years and 4 months for all those felonies,or that sentence reduced to less than 2 years,or the fact he had been released on his own recognizance while he was awaiting sentencing…(HUH???)…..Oh,but he still has to pay back all that money(the $150,000) he stole from the nursery ….yeah,I’m sure that’s gonna happen.What a deal this guy got!!!!!……No wonder he’s smiling.

  17. Big Rick O'Brien January 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    I don’t even know where to begin. Let’ review… He puts 150 grand of someone else’s money up his nose, guns, theft, bad checks, failure to appear , violation of probation. Is this guy related to the judge? Since he was sentenced to 3 years for grand theft ,he should have been doing STATE time. And don’t even bother with a restitution hearing…the only money this idiot will ever have will come from victimizing more people. TRAVESTY, OUTRAGE, JOKE!

  18. Bobbie Lee Swagger January 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    As you get older, you realize one of life’s truisms is “never trust a man w/ a goatee” (especially when combined w/ a mullet).


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