Former tribal official pleads no contest to 2018 drunken-driving charge in California

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The former Mashantucket Pequot tribal official jailed in Los Angeles since being charged in a 2018 car crash in which his two teenage sons were injured, has pleaded no contest to a single felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing injury, and has been released, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Anthony, or Antonio, Beltran Sr., 55, of Waterford also admitted “causing great bodily injury,” Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Megee said in a statement.

Beltran, the tribe’s chief of staff at the time of the crash, entered the plea June 3 and immediately was sentenced to the 469 days he already had served in jail, five years of formal probation, nine months of alcohol classes and one year of parenting classes. He had been held on $380,000 bail.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Beltran was free to return to Connecticut.

The crash occurred April 18, 2018, in Santa Monica, Calif., when a car Beltran was driving went through a red light and was struck by a commuter train at a crossing, Santa Monica police said at the time. Beltran and his two sons, who were passengers in the car, were injured. One of the sons sustained a serious head injury.

Beltran and the sons, both of whom were 16 at the time, had been drinking, according to police and the district attorney's office. Beltran’s blood alcohol concentration was measured at 0.27 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. 

As chief of staff for the Mashantuckets, who own Foxwoods Resort Casino, Beltran had direct oversight of tribal police, fire and emergency services, public affairs, utilities, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, nongaming regulatory affairs, public works and tribal member services. Soon after his arrest in Santa Monica, the tribal council placed him on leave without pay and eventually removed him from his position, appointing Alice Munyan chief of staff.

Beltran was a member of the tribal council from 1997 to 2000.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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