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Published May 04, 2012, 09:16 PM

Former pastor faces felony charges in East Grand Forks

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A former associate pastor as Sacred Heart Catholic church in East Grand Forks is facing felony theft charges.

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A former associate pastor as Sacred Heart Catholic church in East Grand Forks is facing felony theft charges.

45-year-old Carlos Felipe Velez Rivera is accused of stealing a wedding ring. After a parishioner took it off to wash dishes at the church. Church officials found the ring in Rivera's living quarters.

Rivera told officials he found the ring in a stairwell, didn't know the value of the ring and forgot about taking it.

Detective Rod Hajjcek with the East Grand Forks Police says, " you take something and you stash it inside a clock in your living quarters, the intent seems to be there for it not to be returned to the owner."

The Catholic Diocese of Crookston has also accused Rivera of misappropriating donations and starting a special missions collection without authorization.

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