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'Mountain Man' accused in string of Utah cabin burglaries pleads guilty to federal charges

A man accused of eluding authorities for several years while burglarizing remote cabins across a wide swath of Utah has pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah says the 46-year-old Troy James Knapp accepted the plea deal Monday in a St. George courtroom.

The agreement calls for a prison sentence of 10 ½ years, pending a judge's approval in June.

Charges of assault against a federal officer and felony weapon possession were dismissed against Knapp, known as the "Mountain Man."

He is accused of shooting at a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter and aiming an assault rifle at other officers before surrendering in April 2013.

Knapp also is charged with more than 40 burglary-related crimes in seven Utah counties.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A man accused of eluding authorities for several years while burglarizing remote cabins across a wide swath of Utah is scheduled to take a plea deal Monday afternoon in St. George on federal firearm and assault charges.

Troy James Knapp, 46, known as the "Mountain Man," is accused of shooting at a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter and aiming an assault rifle at other officers before surrendering in April 2013.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and federal prosecutors said no plea deal is finalized until it is made official in court.

Knapp has been charged in federal court with one count each of assaulting a federal officer, use of a firearm during a violent crime and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

No matter what happens with the federal charges, Knapp's legal troubles are far from over. He also is charged with more than 40 burglary-related crimes in seven Utah counties: Beaver, Emery, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Sanpete and Sevier.

Last week, prosecutors in central Utah's Sevier County filed two more charges of aggravated burglary and two firearm theft charges against Knapp.

Authorities say Knapp, on parole after a California burglary conviction, went on the run in 2004 and lived in and ransacked remote cabins across Utah. He eluded police for years while stealing guns, whiskey and supplies.

The charges from the seven Utah counties go back to 2009, but authorities believe Knapp was breaking into cabins for several years before that.

He carried a heavy backpack and often used snow shoes as he trekked through Utah's mountains. His legend grew when police released a cabin surveillance photo of him, in the snow shoes with a rifle slung over his shoulder, in December 2011.

Federal prosecutors stepped in and took the lead on the case in mid-September, postponing a plea hearing in Sanpete County.

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