ELKO – An Elko man was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges after police received a tip from a national task force aimed at protecting children.
James A. Rector Sr., 51, of Elko was arrested at 1805 Ruby View Drive for possession of visual presentation depicting sexual conduct of a person under 16 years of age.
The Elko Police Department was contacted by the group Internet Crimes Against Children, which reported a local resident was possibly downloading child pornography. Lt. Mike Palhegyi said detectives used the tip to obtain a search warrant.
Police recovered evidence including electronic devices that will be forensically examined. No local children are believed to have been involved.
For the first offense, a person convicted under the category B felony could be sentenced to 1-6 years in prison and fined up to $5,000.
According to ICAC’s website, the group is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing more than 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.
ICAC advises anyone who suspects child sexual exploitation to contact local police, the ICAC Task Force or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline (www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678).
ELKO – A Spring Creek man with a long arrest record has been formally charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to hit an Elko Police Department officer with a vehicle following a pursuit.
The officer fired multiple shots at the vehicle during the incident that began early on the morning of Dec. 21, according to court records.
Police were called to an area near Northern Nevada Regional Hospital at about 6 a.m. on a report of a domestic dispute. Officer Joshua Taylor arrived first and observed a white truck leaving the scene. He attempted to pull it over but the vehicle continued east through the traffic light on Lamoille Highway and then turned onto Powderhouse Road, where it reached a dead end.
According to another officer, the truck drove around a shed and Taylor drove around from the opposite direction, so the two vehicles met face to face. Taylor then got out of his patrol car and the truck reportedly accelerated and drove toward him.
“Officer Taylor dove back into his vehicle, while firing rounds at the truck,” stated police.
The truck then ran over a barbed-wire fence and through a field, where it became disabled. The driver, who police identified as Tony A. Pressler, 37, then got out of the truck and allegedly stole an SUV.
Later that morning, an Elko County Sheriff’s deputy spotted an SUV matching the description and license plate on Merino Drive in Spring Creek. It was towing another vehicle.
The deputy drew his gun and commanded both vehicles to stop.
At that point, Pressler accelerated and broke the towing mechanism attached to the other vehicle. The deputy chased the SUV onto Spring Valley Parkway at speeds of 80-100 mph.
Deputies attempted to stop the SUV from two directions as it continued on dirt roads toward Boyd-Kennedy Road. Pressler then drove through a barbed-wire fence and hit several embankments but continued through the sagebrush and evaded them.
The vehicle was later spotted in a driveway on Sterling Drive.
Pressler was arrested that morning and charged on Dec. 31 with attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon (vehicle), attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of eluding a police officer in a manner posing danger to persons or property, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
This was not Pressler’s first encounter with police.
He was one of two men arrested on charges related to a March 2 robbery at Dotty’s casino in the Smith’s shopping center on the west side of Elko.
Two masked men entered the casino at about 6:50 a.m. and sprayed employees and patrons with what is believed to have been bear spray, a potent type of mace.
They got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. A few minutes after they fled the casino in a vehicle, police and firefighters were called to Dotta Drive on a report of a car fire. The robbers are believed to have set fire to the vehicle to conceal evidence, possibly fleeing from there in another vehicle.
Police released surveillance photos of the men both inside and outside the casino. One of the suspects – James B. Squires, 33, of Elko — was already in jail after being picked up on a parole violation.
Pressler was arrested two days later at a downtown casino.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Pressler and another man were arrested in July 2013 on burglary charges after allegedly taking a backpack from a car in the Gold Dust West casino parking lot. Heroin was reportedly found in Pressler’s wallet, police said after the arrest.
He made the Elko County Sheriff’s Office’s “most wanted” list in August 2015 due to felony warrants for assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance.
Pressler was arrested the following year for failing to show up for his court appearances.
He was arrested again in February of 2018 at Stockmen’s Casino for use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
ELKO – A Montello man has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly threatening ambulance personnel who responded to a call for help.
John L. Hornback, 76, is also accused of owning or possessing a gun by a prohibited person, and failure to register as a sex offender.
On the night of August 22, Elko County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from Hornback’s caregiver who said he was having chest pains and had lost his nitroglycerin pills. He said the pain got worse after he drank too many straight shots of vodka.
While the ambulance was en route, Hornback reportedly became “uncooperative and irrational,” and believed the ambulance crew was “out to get him,” according to a deputy’s report.
Deputies were told that Hornback had several firearms. When one of the two female ambulance crew members approached him, he allegedly moved toward a .22-caliber weapon sitting on the bench next to him. The crew members quickly moved down the road and later were told by the caregiver that Hornback “has a .30-06 and they needed to get farther away.”
Deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers arrived again on Oct. 6 when Hornback, using the name John Hanson, reportedly became “uncooperative” and demanded they leave his residence. Several firearms were located.
Deputies determined that Hornback had a prior conviction of theft/larceny from Wyoming in 1970, and a prior arrest for sexual assault from Montana in 1992. He was determined to be a registered sex offender out of Arizona but had not registered in Nevada.
Hornback was arrested Jan. 3 on a warrant, with bail set at $45,075.
ELKO – A former Elko resident has been charged with cheating and conspiracy in an alleged “card flashing” operation involving three blackjack dealers at two West Wendover casinos.
Braulio Carrillo, 27, of Reno faces three counts of cheating at gaming, three counts of conspiracy to cheat, and burglary related to his winnings at the Montego Bay and Rainbow casinos.
A criminal complaint filed in Elko Justice Court accuses Carrillo of being shown the “hit card” by three dealers between November 2017 and January 2018. Dealers Jeantte Carlos, Anthony Neilson and Jesus Rodriguez were arrested in January 2018.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board conducted an extensive investigation after a table games director reported cheating at the Montego Bay.
On one night, Carrillo was seen winning a blackjack hand three times after being shown by Carlos what card he would receive, a gaming enforcement officer reported. When confronted, she at first denied knowing Carrillo but eventually told investigators that he had approached her about cheating at the game.
Carlos said Carrillo won about $1,000 and she received about $300.
ELKO – An Elko man on probation for grand larceny at one hardware store was arrested again for grand larceny at another.
Mark P. Werner, 46, of Elko was booked Jan. 11 at Elko County Jail on a felony warrant for two counts of burglary and one count of grand larceny.
Werner is accused of taking a cart full of items from Home Depot on Nov. 28.
Police were called when he returned to the store on Dec. 10 and was reportedly seen carrying out a drill box. When a store employee confronted him, Werner claimed his wife had the receipt. They went back into the store to find her but Werner allegedly fled, putting on a yellow raincoat and leaving the store.
The items allegedly taken in November were a drill, ceiling fan, electric pressure washer and a drill-impact driver kit. Total value was just over $755.
Werner was arrested in April 2016 on similar charges involving Franklin Building Supply. Police were notified of multiple thefts at the business, and they identified a suspect after some of the stolen items were posted for sale online.
More than $10,000 worth of items were recovered by police.
Werner pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny in a plea agreement and was given a suspended sentence of two to three years in prison with credit for 127 days served. He was also placed on probation for five years, ordered to complete drug court, and ordered to pay restitution to two pawn shops.
Bail on Friday’s charges was listed at $50,000.
Upon review of the 2016 case, Werner was found to be in violation of his probation.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man is accused of stabbing two people and forcing one of them to hide in a bathroom while Elko County Sheriff’s deputies investigated a report of a domestic disturbance.
Deputies were called to 720 Spring Valley Parkway Friday evening but were told by the people at the residence that “everything was alright,” the sheriff’s office reported.
About two hours later, deputies were told that one man from the residence was in the emergency room at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital with stab wounds.
“The victim stated he was told to go into the bathroom at the residence when deputies were at the residence on the prior call,” and that Rufus G. Polanco had threatened bodily harm to a female at the residence if he came out, the sheriff’s office reported.
The man in the hospital said he and the female had been stabbed “several times” after Polanco began drinking heavily and using prescription drugs.
Polanco, 35, was arrested on two counts of battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of battery, two counts of coercion, battery to commit mayhem, robbery or grand larceny, and false imprisonment with a deadly weapon.
He is being held at Elko County Jail on $232,280 bail and on a parole and probation hold.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Polanco was also arrested in February of 2015 for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend in the temple with a metal thermometer.
ELKO — A witness observing the theft of a car led to an arrest with multiple charges of a California man in Elko on Jan. 22.
At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, police were notified that a vehicle had been stolen. A concerned citizen witnessed the theft near a business on West Silver Street where a vehicle was parked with the keys inside, according to a statement from the Elko Police Department. The witness reported the incident to dispatch.
Officers caught up with the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The suspect led police on a short pursuit that ended near Fifth and Silver streets. He attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended.
Joseph K. McGhee, 19, of San Diego was apprehended and charged with grand larceny of a motor vehicle; felony eluding; possession of stolen property; driving under the influence, first offense; minor in possession of alcohol by consumption; and driving without a valid license.
The victim vehicle sustained minor damage from striking curbs and leaving the roadway; no other vehicles were damaged and no persons were injured, according to the Elko Police Department.
ELKO – An arrest was made in connection with a kidnapping in August that led to a manhunt in Spring Creek.
John Glenn Hebel, 21, of Elko, was booked in Elko County Jail on multiple felony charges including first degree kidnapping, robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon and coercion and destroying evidence in the commission of a felony.
He was also charged with firearms charges including unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, changing, altering, removing or obliterating the serial number of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
His bail was set at $377,500.
On Aug. 30, a manhunt was launched in Spring Creek when two women in their early 20s were found on Boyd-Kennedy Road. They told an Elko County Sheriff’s deputy they had been kidnapped at a Southside residence in Elko earlier in the day.
That afternoon, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper pursued a vehicle thought to be in connection with the crime. The trooper said he ended it when the high-speed pursuit endangered the public.
The vehicle was abandoned on Pleasant Valley Road near the Spring Creek Campground later that day and taken into evidence by law enforcement.
Hebel was one of three suspects identified by Elko Police Department, which handled the investigation.
Charges against Hebel in connection with the kidnapping were filed on Jan. 11 by the Elko County District Attorney’s office.
According to court documents, the incident stemmed over a suspected theft of $600 from the boyfriend of one of the victims.
The victims were not harmed in the incident, authorities said.
The Elko County Sheriff’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.
Hebel has been arrested six times between 2016 and 2018 on various drug and weapons charges, according to Elko Daily Free Press files.
On Oct. 3 in Elko District Court, Hebel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and pleaded no contest to receiving, possessing or withholding stolen goods. He was given suspended sentence of 68 months in prison and was placed on probation for five years.
Hebel will appear Jan. 24 in Elko Justice Court to set a date for his preliminary hearing.
He has been in custody at the Elko County Jail since his arrest on Nov. 7 for trespassing on a parole and probation hold without bail.
ELKO – An Elko man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison on charges related to an arrest for child pornography.
Brandon K. Evans, 24, pleaded no contest to four counts of statutory sexual seduction in a plea agreement that dropped six counts of lewdness with a 14 or 15 year old; one count of visual presentation depicting a person 16 or younger in a sexual portrayal; luring a child less than 16 years old with intent to engage in sexual conduct with the child; and encouraging, enticing or permitting a minor 14 or older to be subject to a sexual portrayal.
Evans was sentenced Jan. 29 by Elko District Judge Al Kacin to 15 to 48 months on each of the four counts, to be served consecutively, an aggregate of five to 16 years, with credit for 232 days previously served.
Evans made the plea Oct. 29 before Judge Nancy Porter, who recused herself from the sentencing phase.
Evans was arrested on June 12 along with Jake M. Vega after a four-month investigation by the Elko Police Department, the Elko County Sheriff’s office, the Elko Combined Narcotics Unit.
The Nevada Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations and the Major Crimes Unit out of Carson City were also involved.
Upon their arrest, authorities alleged the two had lured a minor under the age of 18 to participate in sexual activity and used digital media to exchange images of a sexual nature.
Vega’s preliminary hearing is scheduled March 8 in Elko Justice Court.
ELKO — A traffic stop on Carlin Court led to the arrest of an Elko woman in possession of suspected drugs on Feb. 1.
An Elko police officer made a traffic stop and found that the driver, Crystal M. Ayers, 31, had a warrant and probation hold.
“Upon arrest, she had drug paraphernalia upon her person,” said Elko Police Capt. Ty Trouten.
Additional paraphernalia, and substances suspected to be a small amount of methamphetamine and 15 grams of heroin were found in the vehicle, he reported. A rifle was also in the car.
In addition to being arrested for the warrant and probation hold, Ayers was also arrested for two counts of unlawful possession of a schedule I, II, III or IV controlled substance; unlawful possession to sell a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance; unlawful possession for sale of a schedule I or II substances; and owning or possession of a gun by a prohibited person, according to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office media report.
Her bail was set at $126,015.
Ayers was previously arrested in April 2018 for felony possession of a controlled substance, and in March 2016 for domestic battery, battery, disturbing the peace and two NCJIS detainers, according to Elko Daily Free Press archives.
ELKO – Charges against a Spring Creek man who was allegedly involved in a stabbing in October have been dismissed without prejudice.
Steven L. Terry, 31, was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Elko Justice Court on two counts of burglary with the use of a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm.
District Attorney Tyler Ingram explained that witnesses in the case were not cooperative and authorities were unable to serve subpoenas on them. They also failed to appear in court after being subpoenaed on an earlier scheduled date.
“Without cooperation from the victims, we cannot prosecute this case,” Ingram said.
Deputies were called to a Merino Drive residence early on the morning of Oct. 21 after receiving a report that a man had been stabbed by Terry. Terry was spotted leaving the residence and followed to Maverik, where he was confronted along with a female passenger who claimed she had been taken against her will.
Deputies determined that the male and female had entered a back room in the residence to discuss their relationship, when Terry allegedly entered and swung a baseball bat at the male. The female put her hand up to stop the bat and was struck, according to a deputy’s report.
Terry reportedly told the deputy that the altercation continued, during which Terry stabbed the male.
The female complained of broken fingers and was taken to the local hospital. The male had what appeared to be a stab wound in his chest and was flown to a Utah hospital, then-Sheriff Jim Pitts said at the time.
Terry was booked on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, possession of a hypodermic needle and driving while his license was revoked, but those charges were not included in the complaint filed against him.
Department B Justice of the Peace Elias Goicoechea had scheduled a preliminary hearing for Terry on Tuesday afternoon. Goicoechea ordered the charges dismissed Monday at the request of the Elko District Attorney’s Office.
Dismissing the case without prejudice means that charges could be filed again at a later time.
ELKO — An Elko man who has been arrested 15 times in the past three years was booked into Elko County Jail Tuesday on a robbery charge.
Police were called to Walmart at about 9 p.m. Monday on a report of a shoplifter who attempted to take a cart full of items out of the store, said Elko police Lt. Mike Palhegyi. A female employee attempted to stop him and he allegedly knocked her to the ground as he fled.
Palhegyi said the suspect left a trail of items in the parking lot but got away with a pair of boots.
He was identified as Wade A. Knight Jr., age 30.
Knight was arrested about four hours later in the Burger King parking lot off Mountain City Highway.
He was booked on charges of robbery, felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic device, false statement to obstruct a public officer, and resisting a public officer.
Physical contact elevates a shoplifting charge to a robbery charge, Palhegyi explained. A bag of meth was reportedly found in his possession during booking.
Knight has been arrested on multiple misdemeanors, including trespassing and disturbing the peace, according to Elko Daily Free Press articles. He was arrested in January 2018 for felony drug possession but received a suspended sentence in June after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance.
RENO – A member of the Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone pleaded guilty Wednesday to stabbing an elderly man multiple times, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
Jean Angela Ortega, aka Angel Jim, 41, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. U.S. District Judge Howard D. McKibben scheduled sentencing for May 29.
According to court documents, on Feb. 1, 2018, an officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs responded to a possible stabbing incident at a house within the territorial boundaries of the Elko Indian Colony. Upon arriving at the house, the officer found a 78-year-old man on the floor bleeding from multiple stab wounds. He was transported to the Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital and later flown by an emergency medical helicopter to Salt Lake City for further treatment, including surgery.
Ortega admitted that she assaulted and stabbed the victim in the abdomen, arm and back.
Ortega faces the maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sue Fahami is prosecuting this case.
ELKO – An Elko woman has been charged with embezzlement and forgery that allegedly siphoned away more than $7,000 from a local theater company.
Anne R. Kufeld, 38, faces charges of embezzlement or theft of an amount greater than $3,500; and seven counts of forgery.
According to court documents, Kufeld served as treasurer of the Elko Overland Stage Theatre Company and is accused of transferring money to the High Desert Dance Company, which she co-owned.
The dance company’s co-owner reported the transactions to officers in the theater company, after which the Elko Police Department opened an investigation. Police identified checks totaling $7,700 that had forged signatures or initials of the theater company’s president.
Police were also told that Kufeld was in charge of ticket sales at the theater company’s plays, including counting the money and depositing it into an account. They reviewed deposits from shows performed between November 2013 and August 2017, and found “several where the deposits do not seem to match the amount of tickets that were sold.”
Police interviewed Kufeld in May 2018, when she reportedly admitted signing the theater company president’s name on some checks. One was used to pay for a storage unit for her dance company.
Police said Kufeld told them “she would embellish the ticket sales on the shows to show higher ticket sales in order to make it look like they had larger attendance.” The cash would be used “to pay for bills” and not be deposited in her account.
A complaint was filed against Kufeld in October by the Elko District Attorney’s Office. She was booked and released Tuesday on the charges.
ELKO – An Idaho man’s alleged admission of molesting children for decades has extended to Elko County because he lived here from roughly 1996 to 2003.
Mac William Henderson, 58, was arrested Dec. 15 by police in Caldwell, Idaho, on two felony charges of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 16.
During the Caldwell Police Department’s investigation, detectives discovered that Henderson was alleged to have sexually assaulted a boy and girl over the course of many years and in one case over a decade, according to a release from the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.
The release said Henderson initially denied the accusations and then later admitted to detectives “I have been molesting kids for a while.” He also said “This goes back years. I should have been taken back in the late ‘70s.”
The Idaho victims told police that Henderson would not only physically sexually assault them, he would also make the victims watch pornography, including child pornography.
Henderson previously lived in California, Oregon and Nevada, prior to Idaho. The Elko County Sheriff’s Office listed five addresses with the hope of discovering prior victims.
“Members of our community may not know they have information, but by releasing the previous addresses where Henderson is reported to have lived, we are hoping it can trigger some memories,” stated the sheriff’s office.
The addresses are 670 Dillon Drive in Spring Creek; and 1805 Ruby View Drive Apt. 44, 299 Douglas St. No. 4, 755 Washington St., and 673 Third St. in Elko.
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office and Elko Police Department would like to speak to anyone with more information about Mac William Henderson.
Anyone with information can contact the Elko County Sheriff’s Office at 775-738-3421 or the Elko Police Department 775-777-7310.
ELKO – A former Elko resident was booked on $40,000 bail this week after allegedly pointing a knife at a woman last summer and asking her “what was behind door number two.”
According to court records, Kaden S. Guymon, 23, confronted a woman at an Elko residence while looking for her brother. He allegedly pointed a knife at her several times and made the comment which she took as a threat to her two young children who were sitting in her car.
He reportedly fled when he heard police sirens.
Guymon, currently of Idaho Falls, Idaho, faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, coercion with force or threat of force, and petit larceny.
The petit larceny charge refers to a separate case in which Guymon allegedly admitted taking money from a tip jar at Dotty’s casino in Spring Creek.
ELKO – Police investigating a report of an Elko woman getting a refund from Home Depot for an item she did not purchase spotted the woman in the store allegedly rounding up a cartload of items for which she had matching receipts.
Elizabeth J. George, 38, was arrested Saturday on a felony warrant for two counts of burglary.
An Elko Police Department officer was called to the store on Feb. 13 after George was given a refund for a miter saw on Feb. 12. Store video shows her entering the store with no items.
As the officer entered the store he saw the suspect with a flatbed cart containing a table saw, grinder and air compressor. He asked what she was doing with them and she said she was buying them. George was also carrying receipts in her hand, which the officer asked to see. They matched the items but were dated Feb. 11 and 12. The officer’s report was forwarded to the Elko District Attorney and a complaint was filed against George on Feb. 20.
CARSON CITY — Two Salt Lake City residents arrested in a stolen pickup on Interstate 80 face felony drug charges after nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine and half a gram of heroin were later found in the impounded vehicle.
A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper stopped a pickup for speeding in Wells on Jan. 30. The vehicle, driven by Sheila Villalobos, was determined to have been stolen out of Utah. During the investigation, officers recovered methamphetamine and a handgun from the vehicle.
Villalobos and a passenger, Jesus Bernal Montes, were arrested for narcotics, firearms and stolen vehicle violations.
The stolen vehicle was impounded at a facility in Wells.
On Feb. 14, a member of the Elko County Sheriff’s Office used a narcotics-detecting K-9 to conduct an exterior sniff of the pickup truck. The K-9 alerted for controlled substances, so the vehicle was transported to Elko for further investigation.
On Feb. 15, members of the Elko Combined Narcotics Task Force obtained a search warrant and recovered almost 3 pounds of methamphetamine and .55 grams of heroin hidden inside.
Bail was set at $300,000 for Villalobos and $280,000 for Bernal Montes. The Elko County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges on Bernal Montes and Villalobos. They were bound over to Elko District Court on March 1.
This investigation involved the collaboration of the Elko Combined Narcotics Unit and the Nevada Highway Patrol. The ECNU is staffed by detectives from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Investigation Division, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, the Elko Police Department, and receives additional support from the West Wendover and Carlin police departments.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man who served prison time a decade ago for drunken driving causing death or substantial bodily harm was arrested late Friday night for driving under the influence.
Leonard M. Treis Jr., 35, was arrested at Jiggs Highway and South Fork Road around 11 p.m. His bail was listed at $50,470.
Treis pleaded no contest to a felony DUI charge stemming from a crash in July 2009 on Lower Lamoille Road in which a 2-year-old child suffered a broken pelvis. Deputies said Treis was drunk, speeding and had failed to properly restrain the child. His vehicle struck a fence and rolled over.
He was sentenced in September 2009 to 32 to 144 months in prison.
Charges in Friday’s arrest included driving under the influence with prior felony DUI, failure to yield at a stop or yield sign, speeding, and open container of alcohol in vehicle.
ELKO — A Lamoille man is facing burglary charges including one case involving a home invasion in an upscale Elko neighborhood during which the homeowner fired three gunshots.
Ryan M. Gallagher, 24, of Lamoille was booked March 12 at Elko County Jail in connection with separate crimes that occurred in April 2016 in Lamoille and Elko.
Police were called to a residence on Woods Court near Ruby View Golf Course at 7:45 a.m. April 25. While en route, Central Dispatch was informed that the suspect was fleeing the home in a blue Chevrolet pickup.
The homeowner told police she was awakened by the sound of papers ruffling in her office. She assumed it was her cats playing, but went in to find a man in blue jeans and a dark hoodie rifling through her file cabinets. She went back to her room and retrieved a .22-caliber revolver. When she confronted the suspect he picked something up off the floor and ran from her office.
As the suspect ran out the front door the homeowner fired three shots over his head, according to the police report.
Police determined that the man entered the home through a window that had been cracked open and the lock broken. Several rooms in the home had been gone through.
Construction workers in the neighborhood gave police a good description of the truck, which was found the following day parked at Home Depot, and impounded by police. It was driven there by a different man who was arrested on a shoplifting charge. The man later told police that Gallagher had access to the truck.
Meanwhile, the homeowners found a backpack that the suspect had left at their residence, marked with the letters R.G. The backpack also contained identification and items linking it to an earlier burglary of thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment, ipods, jewelry and tack from a truck and horse trailer parked at a home in Lamoille.
Also found in the Elko home was an empty Coke bottle. Police took DNA swabs from the bottle and from the impounded truck.
According to police reports, the Elko homeowner was unable to identify Gallagher in a photo lineup but his DNA came back as a likely match to the swab taken from the Coke bottle.
Gallagher is charged with two counts of burglary, grand larceny, home invasion, and buying, possessing or receiving stolen property.
ELKO – Three local residents were arrested Tuesday on more than 40 charges involving drug trafficking and animal abuse in Osino.
Bail for one suspect added up to more than $1 million.
Nevada Division of Investigation, Elko County Sheriff’s Office and the Elko Police Department’s SWAT team were involved in the bust.
A large number of birds reportedly remained on the property through the night, and windows in the home were broken. NDI plans to release details about the case once the investigation is complete.
Arrested at about 11:30 a.m. were Hector H. Ramirez-de la Torre, 34, Eduardo Ruiz, 33; and Jorge L. Ruiz, 42.
Ramirez-de la Torre was booked on four counts of trafficking a schedule 1 controlled substance; four counts of possession to sell a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance; four counts of possessing a controlled substance; instigating or attending fights between birds or other animals, five counts of overdriving, torturing, injuring, abandoning or starving an animal; and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. His bail was listed at $1,153,200.
Eduardo Ruiz was booked on charges of trafficking a schedule 1 controlled substance; two counts of possession of a controlled substance; instigating or attending fights between birds or other animals, five counts of overdriving, torturing, injuring, abandoning or starving an animal; and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. His bail was listed at $268,200.
Jorge Ruiz was booked on a charge of operating a place for the sale, gift or use of a controlled substance; conspiracy to commit an unlawful act concerning place kept or used for baiting or fighting birds or other animals unlawful; instigating or attending fights between birds or other animals; and five counts of overdriving, torturing, injuring, abandoning or starving an animal. His bail was listed at $33,200.
The drug trafficking charges apply to a variety of substances in excess of 28 grams.
A felony conviction can result in a life sentence or 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
ELKO – An Elko man is accused of raping a woman in her parents’ home in the Hamilton Stage area after she met him through an online dating site and invited him there.
Ernesto Cruz-Castaneda, 26, was arrested Friday on a charge of sexual assault.
Elko County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the residence on Jan. 3. They were told that the adult victim, whose age was not listed in a detective’s report, had meet Cruz-Castaneda a few days earlier through the online dating site MeetMe.
After sitting on the couch in the living room for a short time, Cruz-Castaneda reportedly attempted to kiss the woman and “look down her shirt,” according to the detective’s report. He also allegedly gave her a “hickie” she did not want.
The two then went into her bedroom to “cuddle,” the report said. When Cruz-Castaneda began making sexual advances she reportedly told him “no” and got out of bed, but he prevented her from leaving and allegedly raped her on the bed.
The detective collected possible DNA evidence at the scene, including a portion of a fingernail or toenail that appeared to have been ripped at the edge.
ELKO – A former Carlin school teacher received five years probation for possession of methamphetamine for sale Monday in district court.
Charlotte E. Rhoden, 37, had pleaded guilty in Elko District Court to one count of possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance for the purpose of sale, a category D felony.
She was given a suspended sentence of 19 to 48 months in prison with credit for five days served, and was placed on probation for five years by Judge Nancy Porter.
As conditions of her probation, Rhoden was ordered to abstain from alcohol, gambling and marijuana use; and obtain a substance abuse evaluation within 60 days at her own expense.
She was also ordered to refrain from teaching, except for online classes.
Rhoden was arrested shortly after midnight Sept. 7 in a construction zone outside of Carlin after Carlin police officers found 13.5 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in her vehicle. She resigned from the Elko County School District later that month.
Her sentencing on April 1 comes about two months after she was arrested on a warrant for failure to complete DUI school stemming from a drunk driving conviction in 2017. Upon being booked into the Elko County Jail, authorities said 5.8 grams of meth was found hidden on her person.
ELKO – A Las Vegas man recently arrested on drug charges apparently hanged himself in the Elko County Jail.
Detention deputies responded at 8:28 a.m. April 9 to a medical call inside cell block C of the jail. They found inmate John Tanian hanging from a bed sheet tied through the top bunk in the cell, according to an April 15 release from the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies moved the inmate to the floor and began life-saving measures, which were continued until City of Elko Fire and Rescue responded and took over. EMS personnel declared the inmate deceased at 9:01 a.m.
Tanian was alone in his cell at the time of the incident.
He was arrested March 30 on U.S. Highway 93 on charges of trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance for sales, display of fictitious license plates, a windshield tinting violation, and improperly mounted headlamps.
Bail was listed at $255,665, but Tanian also had a no-bail arrest for violation of probation.
The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing. Further information will be released when it becomes available.
ELKO – A Lamoille man who has been jailed for more than a year on charges of lewdness and statutory seduction has been denied a federal grand jury investigation after filing a civil rights complaint against Elko judges and the county’s public defender.
Joseph C. Sustacha, 28, claimed he has been refused a jury trial, that he was sexually assaulted by a cellmate in Elko County Jail, and that he is receiving inadequate legal representation and medical care.
Sustacha was arrested in January 2018 at a Spring Creek gas station after being interviewed by two school resource officers, then-Undersheriff Ron Supp told the Elko Daily Free Press at the time.
“They were talking to him about allegations of lewdness with a minor, and in that conversation he admitted to sending pornographic materials to this person and receiving some from this young girl,” Supp said. He also reportedly admitted to having sex with her, Supp said.
Sustacha’s bail was listed at $252,500 when he was booked into jail. His handwritten lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 26.
In an order filed Feb. 21 by U.S. Magistrate William G. Cobb, Sustacha was granted indigent status in the lawsuit because of lack of income. He will be required to pay the $350 filing fee, however, on an installment basis from his prison account.
The magistrate rejected Sustacha’s claim of being denied a speedy criminal trial, saying he first must file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. He also dismissed Sustacha’s other claims, saying they did not contain sufficient facts.
According to court officials, a competency hearing that was recently scheduled for Sustacha has been postponed until June.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man jailed on multiple charges — including attempted murder and a casino robbery – has filed a civil rights complaint against the Elko County Jail, Sheriff and a dentist who pulled two of his teeth while incarcerated.
Among other things, the lawsuit filed March 22 in U.S. District Court by Tony A. Pressler, 38, claims the jail is in violation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 because there are no shower curtains.
According to a prison grievance form contained in the lawsuit, Pressler stated “Inmates can watch me shower. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
The jail officer responded, “They can, but they aren’t.”
Pressler also claims he “had a lot of chest pains” on Jan. 17 and was taken to the hospital but did not receive follow-up care.
He also states that two of his teeth were pulled by a dentist without his consent.
Pressler’s complaint requests relief in the amount of $300,000, plus dental implants.
The parties listed in his lawsuit have not yet filed any responses.
Pressler was scheduled to go on trial in Elko District Court last month on seven counts in connection with the March 2, 2018 robbery of Dotty’s Casino in the Smith’s shopping center, but the case was continued.
According to court documents, Pressler is accused of aiding and abetting James Squires and another suspect yet to be charged by texting them to let them know when to enter the casino to commit the robbery.
An amended criminal complaint charges Pressler with two counts of principal to robbery with use of a deadly weapon, principal to burglary with the use of a deadly weapon, principal to assault with a deadly weapon, principal to grand larceny, and conspiracy to commit robbery, all category B felonies.
Since then, Pressler also has been charged with attempted murder following a Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly tried to hit an Elko police officer with a vehicle.
Charges in that case include attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon (vehicle), attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of eluding a police officer in a manner posing danger to persons or property, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
The latest civil rights complaint follows one filed three months earlier against Elko judges and the public defender.
Joseph C. Sustacha, 28, claimed he has been refused a jury trial, that he was sexually assaulted by a cellmate in Elko County Jail, and that he is receiving inadequate legal representation and medical care.
Sustacha has been in jail for more than a year and is awaiting a competency hearing in June.
ELKO – The Elko County Sheriff’s Office and several other law enforcement agencies assisted the U.S. Marshals Service in last week’s Operation Silver STAR, netting 27 warrant arrests.
Charges included attempted murder, failure to appear after bail, possession of a controlled substance, domestic violence and coercion. Bail for those arrested totaled more than $260,000, and a number of subjects were held on no-bail warrants, the sheriff’s office reported.
Participating agencies included Elko Police Department; Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Investigations Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Investigations; Nevada Department of Public Safety – Parole and Probation; Nevada Department of Corrections; and the Wendover Police Department in a week-long operation targeting violent offenders with active local, state and federal arrest warrants.
The sheriff’s office reported the following arrests were part of the operation:
Trevor Adams: Failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $25,000
Nicole Duncan: Failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, $15,000; failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $415; Failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $1,640
Kimberly Nye: Failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, $15,000; Failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $1,855; failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $500
Christian Ochoa: Possession of a stolen vehicle, $20,000; possession of stolen property, $20,000; possession of a controlled substance, $5,000; trafficking a controlled substance, $75,000
Cody Paschal: Failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, $20,000; possession of a controlled substance, $5,000; driver disobeying a peace officer and endangering others, $20,000
Amber Rose: Failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, $5,000; failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime, $855
Brian Rowley: Attempted murder with use of deadly weapon, no bail
ELKO – A man accused of shooting his wife and then cutting his own throat has been taken into custody in Salt Lake City, where he was hospitalized after the incident earlier this month.
Brian Rowley was being held without bail on a charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, according to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service as part of last week’s Operation Silver STAR (Strategically Targeted Apprehension Response).
Deputies were dispatched April 7 to a residence on Holiday Drive in Spring Creek on a report of shots being fired. Inside the home they found Courtney Rowley with gunshot wounds to the chest/abdomen and Brian Rowley with a knife wound to the neck.
They were both air-lifted to a Utah hospital.
Courtney Rowley also is out of the hospital and recovering from her wounds, Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza reported last week.
According to a detective’s statement attached to Rowley’s criminal complaint, Courtney Rowley called 9-1-1 “and informed the operator, not verbatim, that her husband, Brian Rowley, shot her with a gun.”
The couple had been in a domestic dispute during which Brian Rowley allegedly attempted to push Courtney Rowley to the floor in a bedroom. Courtney Rowley then went into the dining room but Brian Rowley allegedly followed her and shot her.
When law enforcement arrived, “Brian Rowley was lying in the kitchen with a laceration across his throat and a knife near one of his hands,” the detective reported.
A .357-caliber handgun was found on the floor of the living room.
ELKO – A charge of sexual assault against an Elko man was reduced to two misdemeanors Friday in justice court.
Ernesto Cruz-Castaneda, 26, is now charged with one count of battery and one count of coercion in an amended criminal complaint, dropping a charge of sexual assault, a category “A” felony.
On March 22, Cruz-Castaneda was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident on Jan. 3 when he visited the alleged victim at her parents’ home in the Hamilton Stage area. They had met several days earlier on an online dating site called “MeetMe.”
The woman, whose age was not given in the police report, and Cruz-Castaneda sat on the couch in the living room together where he allegedly tried to kiss her, “look down her shirt,” and gave her a “hickie” that she did not want.
After the two went into her bedroom to “cuddle,” the woman told police detectives that she rejected his sexual advances and tried to leave, but he prevented her from leaving and sexually assaulted her.
In the amended criminal complaint, Cruz-Castaneda is accused of “willfully and unlawfully [using] force and/or violence” upon the victim, and restraining “her legs with his arms and refusing to let go.”
Cruz-Castaneda entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Mason Simons and the case was set for trial on June 28.
ELKO – A man was fatally shot by a homeowner in Wells after deputies received a report of someone “yelling and screaming” outside the residence late Monday night in the 1100 block of Wells Avenue.
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting, in which 33-year-old Cory J. Bobb was killed.
A deputy was called at approximately 11:32 a.m. on a report of a man screaming outside a residence. Prior to arrival at the scene, the deputy received information which indicated the male had been shot by the homeowner.
The deputy found Bobb outside the residence, lying on his side. Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the scene where Bobb was later pronounced dead.
The sheriff’s office reported Tuesday morning that detectives were on the scene and investigation into the incident continues. The homeowner was not identified.
Elko Daily Free Press files show that Bobb has been arrested multiple times in recent years. He pleaded guilty to battery in September 2018 and was given a suspended sentence of six months in jail and ordered to submit to alcohol monitoring.
He also pleaded guilty that month to disturbing the peace and was ordered to serve 30 days in jail with credit for 17 hours served.
He was also arrested Aug. 29 for battery on a protected person, and on July 8 for battery, four counts of intimidating a public officer or other public employee, and resisting a public officer.
Bobb was also arrested in June for disturbing the peace and again that month on four tribal charges.
He also pleaded guilty April 12 to battery on an officer or protected person and was sentenced to 51 days in jail with credit for time served.
Prior to that, Bobb pleaded no contest in March 2017 to battery resulting in substantial bodily harm and was sentenced to 36 months in prison with credit for 824 days served.
That case stemmed from an August 2015 incident in which Bobb allegedly projected bodily fluid and committed battery against an officer while he was being transported to a high-security psychiatric facility in Sparks.
Bobb was also arrested in January 2016 for assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct; and in March 2016 for battery by a prisoner or probationer.
Three counts of battery and resisting a public officer were dismissed in April 2014. In that incident, police reported that Bobb tried to swallow a bag of methamphetamine when he was arrested at an Elko casino for trespassing.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man has been arrested in last summer’s kidnapping of two women, a week after an Elko man pleaded guilty in the case.
Matthew M. Kennah, 36, of Spring Creek was arrested Wednesday at 861 Parkridge Parkway on a felony warrant for first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon; robbery with a deadly weapon; and two counts of coercion with force or threat of force. He was booked into Elko County Jail on $340,000 bail.
Kennah is accused of aiding and abetting John Hebel, 22, in the crime.
Hebel pleaded guilty April 22 to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the first degree; one count of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of principal to eluding a police officer a manner posing a danger to persons or property.
His pleas on the category “B” felonies were part of an agreement that dropped charges of robbery, coercion and other firearms violations.
According to a complaint filed April 23 in Elko Justice Court, Kennah is charged with kidnapping the women “with the intent to hold or detain … for ransom, or reward, or for the purpose of committing sexual assault, extortion or robbery ... or for the purpose of killing the victim or inflicting substantial bodily harm on the victim, or to extract money or valuables from others.”
The complaint says a firearm was used in the crime, and that Kennah took cellphones and/or car keys from the victims.
The women were kidnapped in Elko on Aug. 30. After they were found on Boyd-Kennedy Road, a manhunt was launched by the Elko County Sheriff’s Department for the suspects. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper located the vehicle and began chasing it through Spring Creek but backed off because of concerns about public safety. The vehicle was found abandoned on Pleasant Valley Road hours later.
A third man who was arrested at the scene that night on a parole violation was forced into participating in the kidnapping and/or forced to flee from law enforcement officers who were trying to pull him over, according to the complaint.
He was not charged in the kidnapping but he told police that the crime occurred after he told Hebel that some money he had given one of the women had been stolen from a hiding place.
The manhunt was complicated by a wildfire that broke out less than 100 yards away from where the third man was walking before he was apprehended. Elko County Fire Protection District was not able to determine the cause of the blaze, which burned more than a thousand acres at the base of the Ruby Mountains.
ELKO – A woman accused of providing “bear spray” used in the March 2018 robbery at Dotty’s Casino and providing the getaway vehicle was arrested Tuesday on a felony warrant.
Kerri A. Dooley, 40, of Elko is charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, grand larceny and conspiracy to commit grand larceny. James Squires of Elko has already pleaded guilty in the case. Tony Pressler of Spring Creek was set to be tried for his alleged role in March, but the case was continued.
A fourth suspect, Kenneth Patrick Cook, was also charged April 23 but his whereabouts are unknown, according to Elko police.
Dooley is also accused of providing money to Pressler to gamble at the casino on the morning of March 2, 2018 while he allegedly watched for the casino’s bill containers to be exchanged on the casino floor.
Squires and Cook then entered the casino wearing masks, two employees were sprayed, and the bill containers were stolen, according to the complaint. More than $3,500 in cash was taken.
A car belonging to Dooley and used in the robbery was set ablaze on a residential street a few blocks from the casino shortly after the robbery.
Dooley was booked into Elko County Jail on $60,000 bail.
ELKO – An Elko man who has had prior methamphetamine related arrests was taken into custody Sunday at a casino parking lot on numerous charges.
Jonathan W. Brady, 27, of Elko, was charged with buying, possessing or receiving stolen property worth more than $3,500, grand larceny of an automobile worth more than $3,500, possession of a controlled substance and possession of burglary tools.
According to Elko Police Sgt. Jason Pepper, the vehicle was reported stolen at around 11 p.m. May 5. Police located the vehicle and suspect a short time later at the scene. Another male was also found but not charged with a crime.
“We have dealt with Mr. Brady on numerous occasions with drug charges,” said Pepper.
Brady was booked into Elko County Jail on $32,500 bail.
ELKO – A Montello man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly threatening to kill his mother with a machete.
An Elko County Sheriff’s deputy and a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper responded to a domestic violence report Saturday in the Pilot Valley area. Yount, 32, apparently had been drinking earlier in the day and allegedly slapped the woman before going to get a machete out of the shed.
He was not at the residence when law enforcement arrived. He was found a short time later by the trooper, who stopped the vehicle he was driving.
Yount faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, driving under the influence, battery and second-offense domestic battery. He was previously charged with domestic violence in Florida.
His bail at Elko County Jail was listed at $25,420.
RENO – An Elko cardiologist who was one of the first doctors to be targeted by federal prosecutors for overprescribing opioids has been sentenced to prison.
Dr. Devendra I. Patel, also known as Devendrakumar I. Patel, was sentenced Tuesday to three years and one month in federal prison for prescribing highly addictive pain pills Oxycodone and Hydrocodone at a high rate to his patients without a medical purpose, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Patel, 60, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to distribution of controlled substances, after being indicted by a grand jury in December 2017. His DEA license was suspended upon his arrest in December 2017.
The indictment included 36 counts with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count.
Patel owned and operated Northeastern Nevada Cardiology. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks sentenced Patel to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $500,000 fine. Patel was ordered to self-surrender to begin serving his sentence on August 6.
U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Division, Resident Agent in Charge Marc C. Kuzmicki of the DEA’s Reno Office, and Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the Office of Inspector General, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office Los Angeles Region made the announcement.
“Medical professionals who violate their oath and the law by prescribing addictive opioids without a legitimate medical purpose will be investigated, prosecuted, and held accountable for their actions,” said Trutanich. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is fully committed to the investigation and prosecution of medical professionals who abuse their position of trust and by a stroke of the pen directly contribute to the opioid crisis.”
“Let those who would betray their oath to do no harm take notice of the penalty for such callous mistreatment of their patients,” said Rouse. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in a unified effort to battle the opioid crisis in the state of Nevada.”
“This case is a direct result of the hard work of the investigators and prosecutors from the DOJ and their partners in Reno, Nevada,” said Kuzmicki. “This should serve as a warning to practitioners in Northern Nevada who are helping fuel the opioid epidemic. While the vast majority of medical professionals are following the appropriate guidelines and prescribing well within the law, we will find those who are harming members of our community and bring them to justice.”
“It is difficult to believe that a physician, sworn to do no harm by his Hippocratic oath, would needlessly prescribe these highly addictive opioid medications,” said Schrank. “Yet our investigation revealed that Dr. Patel did exactly that. Physicians using prescribing privileges to fatten their profits rather than easing the pain of patients should expect aggressive investigation and prosecution.”
Between September 2015 and February 2016, Patel prescribed Oxycodone and Hydrocodone to patients without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice. His prescribing practices allowed him to see a high volume of patients and easily prescribe opioids, while not addressing any legitimate medical concerns of his patients, investigators said.
The case was investigated by the FBI, DEA, Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Secret Service, the Elko Combined Narcotics Unit, Elko Police Department, Elko County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nevada Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sue Fahami prosecuted the case.
More than 42,000 people died from a prescription opioid overdose in 2016, and over 1,000 people are treated in the emergency room daily for improper use of prescription opioids, according to the Center for Disease Control. In 2016, there were 408 opioid-related deaths in Nevada, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
The Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection unit is a program that utilizes data to help combat the devastating opioid crisis. In 2017, the District of Nevada was selected as one of 12 districts nationally to participate in the program. The District of Nevada has assigned an experienced prosecutor that focuses solely on investigating and prosecuting health care fraud related to medical professionals who prescribe opioids, that unlawfully divert of dispense prescription opioids for illegitimate purposes.
ELKO — A third inmate at Elko County Jail has filed a federal lawsuit against the jail and sheriff, this one claiming that his outgoing mail is being opened by jail staff, he has not received medical tests that he requested, and that the jail is not following Prison Rape Elimination Act guidelines.
Wade A. Knight, 30, seeks compensatory damages of $1.8 million and punitive damages of $1.8 million for offenses that jail officials said did not occur.
Knight filed a request form in March asking why his mail is being opened before it is sent out of the facility.
Jail staff responded “Because we monitor all incoming and out going mail.”
Knight also filed multiple requests for TB and Hepatitis C tests, as well tests for any other diseases he may have contracted from getting tattoos in prison, but he did not express any symptoms. He also asked to see a doctor “about medication I take on the streets.” He was eventually prescribed pills for high blood pressure.
Knight also claims the jail is not following the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The law provides grants and sets deductions for violations involving sexual assault, however Knight did not claim he was assaulted. Instead, he complained about being strip-searched during his booking, and the lack of privacy getting in and out of showers.
Jail officials said “Jails are not required to follow PREA,” and undressing is part of the booking process.
Knight was most recently arrested for allegedly shoplifting items from Walmart in February, and knocking a store employee to the ground as he fled.
Two other lawsuits have been filed by inmates in the past five months.
Tony A. Pressler, 38, claims the jail is in violation of PREA because there are no shower curtains. He also says two teeth were extracted without his permission and he has not received dental implants.
Inmate Joseph C. Sustacha, 28, claims he has been refused a jury trial, that he was sexually assaulted by a cellmate, and that he is receiving inadequate legal representation and medical care.
Sustacha has been in jail for more than a year and is awaiting a competency hearing after being arrested on charges of lewdness and statutory seduction.
ELKO – A former Wells resident was booked Saturday on more than $100,000 bail after being charged with exploiting and neglecting her father.
Marie A. Cichy, 58, moved to Oregon prior to the case coming to the attention of state Aging and Disability Services staff in June 2017, according to court documents. She is accused of making more than $4,000 worth of withdrawals from her father’s account while he was hospitalized for a medical condition and while he suffered from severe cognitive impairment.
Cichy had power of attorney or guardianship over the man at the time. She is also accused of leaving him unsupervised after it was determined that he required 24/7 care.
Bail on the exploitation charge was listed at $100,000, and bail on the neglect charge was $10,000.
ELKO -- An Elko man was arrested Monday on a warrant charging sexual assault and two counts of open or gross lewdness.
Roman M. Cervantes, 32, was booked on $160,000 bail.
The case filed by the Nevada Attorney General’s office accuses Cervantes of sexually assaulting a woman on or about Dec. 29, 2017. The complaint does not say where the offense is alleged to have occurred.
Cervantes also is accused of lewdness with the woman and one other woman, by grabbing their bottoms and squeezing or groping.
The case was investigated by Elko Police Department.
Bail on the sexual assault charge is $150,000. The lewdness charges are gross misdemeanors with $5,000 bail each.
ELKO – An Elko homeowner was arrested Wednesday morning for first degree arson following an investigation into an April 10 fire at his residence on Pine Street.
William J. Armstrong, 42, is charged with starting the fire at his home, which was declared a public nuisance by the City of Elko in December.
Firefighters responded to 403 Pine St. at approximately 11:15 p.m. after witnesses called to report flames visible from the home.
“The home suffered significant fire, heat, smoke and water damage as well as a collapse of the roof into the second story,” Deputy Fire Chief Jack Snyder said.
No injuries were reported, and no one was in the home at the time, Snyder said. Firefighters were able to prevent damage to adjacent homes.
Elko Police and Fire departments conducted an investigation with the cooperation of the Elko District Attorney’s Office, and a warrant was issued for Armstrong on May 9.
According to a detective’s report, Armstrong told police he was using a torch to clean his meth pipe, and he set the lit torch down in the corner of his room next to a blanket and some clothes. He went outside and smoked two cigarettes, and when he came back inside the house was on fire.
Armstrong said he could only find a half-full fire extinguisher, and he left the building without calling the fire department. The fire had been going for 45 minutes to an hour before firefighters arrived, he said.
Later, Armstrong reportedly told detectives he used the torch to set a blanket on fire because people were taking things from his house, and he thought lighting the fire “would stop them from taking his stuff.”
The city started receiving complaints about the residence in February 2018. The issue came up for a hearing at the Dec. 11 Elko City Council meeting. Neighbors told the council that over the years they watched as old vehicles, trash and debris piled up around the home.
The property was declared a public nuisance and Armstrong was ordered to clean up the trash and old cars that littered the home.
Armstrong’s bail amount on the arson charge was listed at $50,000.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Armstrong has been arrested multiple times in the past year.
He was arrested in March for failure to appear in court after bail on a misdemeanor crime. He was arrested in June 2018 on charges of burglary; petit larceny; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; and trespassing.
Armstrong also was arrested twice in May 2018. Charges included grand larceny of an automobile and buying, possessing or receiving stolen property.
ELKO – A Utah man was booked into Elko County Jail on half a million dollars bail on charges of sexually assaulting a child eight years ago at a West Wendover hotel.
Gerald W. Bates, 33, of Salt Lake City was arrested Thursday on a felony warrant in the case, which dates back to February 2011.
A West Wendover police detective investigated the report of a sexual assault on a girl younger than 16. DNA was collected and analyzed by the FBI. It was “found to be associated with Bates; however, a reference sample from Bates was necessary to make any conclusions about the source of the DNA,” the detective wrote.
A sample was obtained through a search warrant in 2017, after which the FBI confirmed a match.
Bates also admitted to having sexual intercourse with the girl, according to the detective.
He faces charges of sexual assault against a child younger than 16 or, in the alternative, statutory sexual seduction, according to a complaint filed in September 2018.
ELKO – An Elko man who was injured when a family member intervened during a potentially deadly domestic dispute has been arrested on charges of attempted murder and domestic violence with strangulation.
Randy A. McGee, 38, was booked into Elko County Jail on $120,000 bail.
The charges stem from an incident prior to May 6, according to the Elko Police Department.
“Investigation revealed a domestic battery in which the victim was strangled,” stated a release from the department.
Police said a family member had to intervene to save the life of the victim, resulting in injuries to McGee.
He required medical treatment out of the Elko area.
McGee was arrested Thursday afternoon at the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services office in Elko, according to jail records.
ELKO – One of two men charged with murder in an Elko County home invasion pleaded guilty to first degree murder this week in district court.
Tieres Allan Lopez, 24, pleaded guilty to first degree murder, a category A felony, in Elko District Court before Judge Nancy Porter on May 14.
In exchange, he agreed to a sentence of life in prison to be eligible for parole after a minimum of 25 years, according to court documents.
District Attorney Tyler Ingram told the court the family of Bradley Smith had been informed about the plea deal and Smith’s family “was in agreement with the terms noted in the plea agreement.” A family member was present in court and confirmed the statement.
In the plea agreement, Lopez pleaded guilty to first degree murder in perpetration of burglary, home invasion and attempted robbery.
On July 7, intruders kicked in the front door of Smith’s home on Wrangler Circle and a gunfight ensued. Smith, who had been shot multiple times, was transported to Northeastern Nevada Hospital where he died of his injuries.
Lopez was arrested the following day and charged with first degree murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and attempted home invasion. He remains in custody at the Elko County Jail.
About 10 days after the crime occurred, a second suspect, Alan Joseph David Honeyestewa, 24, was arrested and booked on charges of open murder and burglary while in possession of a gun or deadly weapon.
Honeyestewa was injured in the gunfight and was transported to Salt Lake City for treatment of his wounds. He was arrested after he returned to Elko.
According to court records, Honeyestewa is expected to go to trial by the end of the year.
Law enforcement identified two other suspects: Taylor Robert Miller and Tyrell Mitchell Holley.
Miller was arrested April 17 on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, according to Elko Daily Free Press files. On May 9, he pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and was sentenced to 512 hours in jail.
Holley was arrested April 20 on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime.
ELKO — One Idaho man was arrested and another turned himself in to authorities after the Elko County District Attorney’s Office filed 27 charges stemming from an investigation into the illegal killing of two mature mule deer bucks near Jackpot.
Nevada Department of Wildlife reported that the case began after concerned sportsmen witnessed the alleged violations and called the Operation Game Thief hotline. Nevada game wardens conducted a lengthy investigation with assistance from Idaho Fish and Game Conservation officers and provided the case to the Elko County District Attorney.
Arrest warrants were issued and Wade Asher of Burley was arrested May 2 in Burley. Blake Asher, who resides in Boise, turned himself in by contacting a lawyer the following day.
“This is a perfect example of how the public can play a crucial part in protecting Nevada’s wildlife,” said Tyler Turnipseed, chief game warden for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “This is a big state and while our game wardens do an excellent job covering extensive areas, we still need the public’s help to more effectively protect Nevada’s wildlife.”
The two brothers are charged with multiple wildlife violations including felony charges of unlawful killing of a big game animal. They are scheduled to be arraigned July 3.
Individuals charged with crimes are not convicted until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. To report wildlife crime, sportsmen and members of the public can call the OGT hotline at 800-992-3030.
To learn more about game wardens and wildlife in Nevada visit NDOW at www.ndow.org.
WEST WENDOVER – A West Wendover man faces charges of kidnapping and attempted murder after allegedly trying to force a woman to jump out of a second-story window.
West Wendover Police Department officers responded to a report of a domestic violence on May 15. The incident was originally reported in Wendover, Utah, but the people involved travelled into West Wendover.
“Based on descriptions provided by witnesses the officers were able to recognize the description of Ivan Abarca from previous incidents,” stated police. Officers then went to his last known residence.
Officers said they could hear sounds and voices coming from within the residence that led them to believe a female was being threatened and restrained. They spoke with Abarca and a female inside, during which time Abarca denied physically injuring the woman. He claimed that her injuries were self-inflicted.
The victim provided a brief statement to officers before being transported to a hospital in Salt Lake City. Abarca was initially arrested and booked for suspicion of domestic battery.
The victim was able to provide more information after she was released from the hospital. Police now believe she was taken by Abarca from her residence in Utah by force, and transported to the residence in West Wendover.
“While there, Abarca refused to allow her to leave while he accused her of cheating on him,” police stated. “Abarca allegedly held the victim against her will while striking her with ‘weights,’ holding her by her neck and trying to force her to jump out of a window on the second floor of the residence.”
The original domestic violence charge was upgraded to attempted murder, battery with a weapon causing substantial bodily harm and kidnapping.
West Wendover police said Abarca is currently in the Elko County Jail awaiting a court appearance. No booking information was immediately available from the jail.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Abarca was arrested in July 2015 at an Elko casino on a charge of possessing a stolen vehicle. He was 29 years old at the time.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man was arrested Friday on a warrant charging multiple counts of indecent exposure.
Matthew E. Doney, 30, was arrested on Munchkin Drive in Osino for indecent or obscene exposure in the presence of a child, two counts of open or gross lewdness, and eight counts of indecent or obscene exposure.
“The arrest was made following a months-long investigation into the man’s activities and involves victims ages 9 to 36 years of age,” stated a release from the Elko County Sheriff’s Office. “Alleged in the report are multiple instances of the man exposing his genitals and engaging in sexual activity where he was observed by the public.”
The offenses are alleged to have occurred from the window of a home in Osino between the first of March and mid-May.
ELKO – An Elko hotelier has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a woman who worked for him.
Champak Lal, 57, was arrested Friday at 1500 Idaho St. on a warrant charging sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, coercion with force or threat of force, and five counts of open or gross lewdness.
The sexual assault is alleged to have occurred last year but the Elko Police Department did not find out about it until March 15, according to a release from the department. They investigated the woman’s claims, and the case was turned over to the Elko District Attorney’s Office at the beginning of May.
According to an unsworn declaration from a police detective, the alleged victim set up a hidden camera in a kitchen where she had been subjected to repeated instances of unwanted touching.
“None of the videos appear to contain consensual contact with [the woman] but rather the Defendant imposing his will upon her,” stated the detective.
Police reviewed the footage and interviewed the suspect, who initially denied touching the woman but later said they had sex but it was consensual, according to the declaration.
ELKO – A 28-year-old Elko man was jailed on a quarter-million dollars bail Wednesday after allegedly posing as a 17-year-old on Snapchat and paying an underage girl to send him nude photos.
An Elko police officer said he was called to a church on North Fifth Street Tuesday evening after the mother of two girls reported that one of her daughters would be meeting a man there for sex.
A man later identified as Juan J. Zuniga de la Riva was seen by the mother and police pulled him over at Fifth and Copper streets.
The mother told police her daughters had been talking to a “Freddy” on Snapchat for about a month. One of the girls sent Freddy a nude photo and he responded by offering her $50 and some marijuana to send more. She did, and sent her sister to meet Freddy for the money, but he only gave her $33, according to the officer’s declaration of probable cause.
Police were shown text messages and Snapchat conversations regarding the photos.
Zuniga reportedly acknowledged receiving photos but denied they were nude. He was arrested for promotion of a sexual performance by a minor, and unlawful contact with a child.
ELKO – An Elko woman has been booked on a warrant charging her with stabbing a man at an Elko residence last summer.
Police reported the stabbing victim told them he was smoking meth with Rosita P. Patino, 21, and another woman on Aug. 18. The other woman left the room and Patino began arguing with him about a chair that Patino had taken from the other woman’s room.
The man told police that Patino stabbed him as he stood up to leave.
Patino reportedly told police the stabbing occurred during what was supposed to be a drug deal, and that she stabbed the man when he came toward her to take her away with him.
The man told police he waited until Patino set the knife down, then he picked it up and fled, jumping over a fence and away to get a ride to the hospital.
A warrant was issued for Patino in April. She was arrested May 29 on charges of battery with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm; resisting a public officer; false statement to obstruct a public officer; felony possession of a controlled substance; possession of a hypodermic device; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; obtaining or using another person’s ID for harmful or unlawful purposes; and selling a controlled substance.
ELKO – One of three men arrested in March for alleged drug trafficking and animal abuse was bound over to Elko District Court this week on 22 charges.
Eduardo Ruiz, 33, of Osino was arrested March 19 along with homeowner Jorge Landeros Ruiz and Hector H. Ramirez-de la Torre after Elko’s Combined Narcotics Task Force led a raid in which more than eight pounds of methamphetamine were confiscated, along with roosters, cockfighting paraphernalia, and hundreds of chickens.
Eduardo Ruiz’s charges include felony drug trafficking, prohibited person possessing a firearm, and 10 counts of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal kept for companionship or pleasure, as well as 10 counts of involvement in fights between animals.
The raid was conducted after members of the narcotics task force reportedly made three large purchases of meth from Ramirez-de la Torre earlier in the month. When they served a search warrant at Jorge Ruiz’s residence, they reported finding half a pound of methamphetamine and a stolen firearm in Ramirez-de la Torre’s trailer on the property.
A container found between two chicken coops on the property contained several bags that tested positive for meth and cocaine.
Narcotics unit detectives, as well as personnel from the Elko Police Department and Elko County Sheriff’s Office, remained on the scene for 10 days and nights conducting extensive searches and investigations regarding the animals, resulting in the location of additional illegal drugs and other evidence. Detectives also provided food, water, and veterinary care for the animals.
In total, 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine, $13,000 in U.S. currency and eight firearms were confiscated. At least one of the firearms had been reported as stolen. Additionally, “several hundred” items of evidence related to cockfighting were recovered from the property.
More than 500 chickens were located on the property, as well as several incubators. With the assistance of the Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Elko County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control, 248 roosters were identified as having been abused and/or treated cruelly. Under a court order, the roosters were euthanized by a veterinarian.
A total of nine dogs and four horses were surrendered to Animal Control, with one horse reportedly in such poor condition that it had to be euthanized.
Eduardo Ruiz has been held in Elko County Jail on $315,000 bail since his arrest. He was bound over to district court June 5 by Justice of the Peace Elias Goicoechea.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man who offered to fix an SUV but apparently crashed it into a rock instead has been arrested on a felony warrant.
Billy R. Flynn Jr., 35, was charged with obtaining money, property or labor by false pretense or, in the alternative, embezzlement of a motor vehicle.
An acquaintance told the Elko County Sheriff’s Office that she let Flynn take her Suburban on Jan. 26 after he told her he could fix an oil leak. Instead, the vehicle was later found crashed into a large rock in Eureka County, according to a deputy’s report. Near it was an overturned trailer that had been hauling propane tanks.
The vehicle’s owner told the Elko Daily Free Press it was not heavily damaged and she did not want to press charges.
When deputies contacted Flynn they discovered he was wanted on an outstanding warrant.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Flynn was arrested in June 2018 on Lamoille Highway for six counts of obtaining or possessing a credit or debit card without the holder’s consent; possessing a controlled substance; possessing a dangerous drug without a prescription; owning or possessing a gun by a prohibited person; and using or possessing drug paraphernalia.
He was also arrested in September in Carlin for felony possession of a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance, trafficking a controlled substance, two counts of owning or possessing a gun by a prohibited person, and carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun in vehicle.
Flynn was arrested again in October on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a felony crime and four counts of failure to appear on a traffic citation.
Flynn’s bail on the June 5 arrest was listed at $20,000.
ELKO – Two Elko residents have been charged with multiple counts of burglary and grand larceny, including the theft of boxing shorts signed by Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Joel S. Varnum, 48, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant for two counts of burglary; grand larceny; grand larceny of an automobile; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; and taking possession of a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
Marilou Ottenbacher, 48, was arrested in January on the same charges.
The pair is accused of burglarizing the home and business of a former employer of Varnum.
Ottenbacher was pulled over in Carlin shortly after midnight on May 31, 2017, when an officer noticed one of her vehicle’s tail lights was not working. He asked to search her vehicle. She consented, and the officer found shadow boxes containing boxing memorabilia. The officer checked with dispatch and determined that the items had been reported stolen two weeks earlier.
The signed boxing shorts from the two world champion heavyweights were valued at approximately $15,000, according to the officer’s report.
Ottenbacher reportedly told the officer that the items belonged to Varnum.
Varnum and Ottenbacher also are accused of stealing a truck from a shop in February 2018.
Varnum’s bail was listed at $90,000; Ottenbacher’s was $92,513.
Varnum was also arrested in January 2016 on a charge of possessing a counterfeit bill, according to Elko Daily Free Press files.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man waited for his girlfriend to fall asleep and then drove to her parents’ unoccupied house and stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, alleges a complaint filed in Elko Justice Court.
Brett L. Loyd, 22, was arrested this week on a felony warrant for burglary, grand larceny, petit larceny, and use of a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent.
Elko County Sheriff’s deputies were called to an Elko Summit residence on April 22 and found open drawers, an open jewelry box and items strewn on the floor of a bedroom and closet.
A deputy noticed fresh tire-spin marks in the driveway that matched Loyd’s vehicle, according to a report filed with the criminal complaint. A detective later spoke with Loyd’s roommate, who reportedly implicated Loyd in the burglary and credit-card offenses.
Loyd reportedly told police he needed the money to buy cocaine and methamphetamine because he was addicted to the drugs. He said he returned some of the jewelry to the home and tossed other pieces into the field across from his residence.
Gold and diamond jewelry was found in the heavy brush. A detective later returned to the field with a metal detector, and found a gold and diamond wedding ring.
The owner stated the items were worth more than $20,000. Loyd’s bail was listed at $41,140.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Loyd was also arrested in May in an unrelated embezzlement case.
He also pleaded guilty in May to theft, and was ordered to serve 306 hours in jail and pay $842.27 in restitution.
ELKO – A California man was booked into Elko County Jail on felony charges early Sunday morning following a high-speed chase.
Johnny J. Thymiakos, 20, of Benicia was kicked out of Cowboys Bar for being under the legal drinking age, according to Elko police. He got into a verbal altercation with people in the crowd out front and as he pulled away in his vehicle he allegedly pointed a gun at them.
Police were called with a description of the vehicle and quickly spotted it. The chase reached speeds of about 70 mph on Lamoille Highway before Thymiakos pulled over near the hospital.
He was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, driver disobeying a peace officer, minor purchasing or consuming alcoholic beverage in a premises where sold, speeding 31-40 mph over limit, failure to obey traffic control device, and failure to maintain lane or improper lane change.
ELKO – An Elko woman was booked Monday on a felony charge of attempted insurance fraud regarding damage that she reported to her vehicle more than two years ago.
The Nevada Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint earlier this month against Cacye L. Freyensee, 36. It states that she is accused of seeking payment from Progressive Insurance on or about March 3, 2017, by falsely claiming that the front of her vehicle had been damaged in a March 2 crash at Mountain City Highway and Spruce Road.
The complaint states that damage to the vehicle was pre-existing. It also states that Freyensee falsely claimed her vehicle struck a concrete barrier at the intersection when there was no concrete barrier in the area.
The category D felony charge has a maximum penalty of one to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
ELKO – A domestic dispute on Saturday night escalated into a knife fight between a 29-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, according to the Elko Police Department.
Officers were called to a residence on South 12th Street at about 8 p.m. on a report of domestic battery involving several people, with two known to be injured.
When officers arrived they found a woman and several children in the apartment but the male suspect had fled the area. The woman told officers that Kendrick Johnson, 29, had physically attacked his girlfriend, who then contacted police.
“During the attack several children in the residence came to her defense, at which time Johnson stabbed a 15-year-old female in the arm with a metal object,” an Elko Police Department release stated. “The juvenile defended herself with a knife and Johnson received several stab wounds before fleeing the area.”
Officers located Johnson a short time later and treated his injuries until medical personal could arrive. He was then transported to Northern Nevada Regional Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The 15-year-old female was also transported to the hospital where she was treated and released.
Police said Johnson was taken into custody without further incident and booked into the Elko County Jail on charges of attempted robbery, third-offense battery which constitutes domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, and battery with a deadly weapon.
ELKO – Two inmates being held on drug charges are facing additional felony counts following a March 16 fight at the Elko County Jail.
A deputy said the fight occurred shortly before 5 p.m. after dinner was delivered to their cell block.
Jesus M. Bernal Montes, 32, of Salt Lake City and Erick Estrada, 24, of Tempe, Arizona are charged with battery by a prisoner, conspiracy to commit battery by a prisoner, and fighting or challenging to fight.
The inmates wanted a third inmate removed from the block because he was a “snitch,” according to a deputy’s report. Video camera footage appeared to show Bernal Montes attempting to take the inmate’s dinner tray, and Estrada stepping in and striking the inmate on the face. Then Bernal Montes got struck by the dinner tray.
The third inmate was taken to the hospital with an eye injury.
Bail for Bernal Montes and Estrada was listed at $25,000 each.
Bernal Montes was originally arrested in January after nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine and half a gram of heroin were found in a stolen pickup he was riding in on Interstate 80 near Wells. The Nevada Highway Patrol had pulled the vehicle over for speeding.
Bernal Montes was booked on charges of possessing, receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; possession of a controlled substance; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. His original bail was $45,640.
Estrada was jailed in December after being pulled over for speeding on U.S. Highway 93. He was arrested on charges including trafficking a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance, and possessing a dangerous drug without a prescription.
ELKO – A local woman who worked for a relative’s quick-loan business has been charged with siphoning thousands of dollars a month in profits.
Natasha C. Kolsch, 31, of Spring Creek was booked Wednesday for felony embezzlement from E-Z Cash and/or KKC Inc. She was charged in April 2017 with 13 counts of embezzlement or, in the alternative, 13 counts of theft, dating from January through December 2015.
“Total amount of monies missing from E-Z Cash during the year 2015 is $28,368,” states an officer’s report filed with the complaint.
Kolsch was terminated from the company in December 2015 after working there for five years, according to the document.
Her termination came four days after going shopping with a relative at Walmart but first stopping at E-Z Cash “so she could get some money.” She was seen leaving E-Z Cash with an envelope from which she later produced three $100 bills to pay for items at Walmart, the officer’s report stated.
After that, video cameras in the business were repositioned and Kolsch was reportedly seen removing the E-Z Cash money bag from her desk and putting it in her purse. She then went shopping at Raley’s.
Later she was recorded pulling money out of the bag and putting it in her purse, the owner told police. The videotape was taken into evidence.
On five occasions in 2015 Kolsch reportedly made deposits into her joint checking account matching the amount of cash that was determined to be missing from the business.
A check of the books showed that money was missing every month in 2015 except during a three-month period when Kolsch was on maternity leave.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Kolsch pleaded no contest to insurance fraud in a separate case and was given a suspended sentence in October 2018 of two years in prison with credit for one day served. She was also placed on probation for five years, and was ordered to submit to electronic monitoring, abstain from alcohol, gambling or marijuana use, pay $3,800 restitution to Aflac, and pay $1,000 restitution to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
ELKO – An Elko man received up to 12 years in prison Monday for his part in kidnapping two women last summer and sparking a manhunt through Spring Creek.
John Glen Hebel, 22, was one of three suspects involved in the scheme that started in the southside area of Elko and ended up in Spring Creek when the women were released on Boyd-Kennedy Road and discovered by Elko County Sheriff’s deputies, according to court records.
The incident led to a manhunt for the suspects and a high-speed chance by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper that was discontinued due to concerns for public safety. The suspects’ vehicle was later found abandoned on Pleasant Valley Road.
Further complicating the manhunt that evening was the Owl Creek wildfire that broke out nearby and burned about a thousand acres at the base of the Ruby Mountains. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Hebel was arrested on Jan. 22 and charged with multiple counts related to the incident, including robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, coercion and destroying evidence in the commission of a felony.
Matthew Kennah, 36, of Spring Creek was arrested May 1 on one count of kidnapping in the first degree, robbery with a deadly weapon, and two counts of coercion with force or threat of force.
A third suspect has not been arrested by police.
On April 22, Hebel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the first degree; one count of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of principal to eluding a police officer, all category “B” felonies, in a plea agreement that dropped robbery and firearms charges along with kidnapping in the first degree, which is a category “A” felony.
Hebel was sentenced by District Judge Nancy Porter on counts one and two to 2-6 years in prison, to be served consecutively. For count three, Hebel was sentenced to one to two years in prison to be served concurrently with counts one and two. He was given credit for 237 days served in Elko County Jail.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Mills asked Porter for a “severe” sentence due to the dangers posed to the women and the community on that day.
“The case involved the use of firearms … there was a high-speed chase as well,” Mills said. “The facts of this case are pretty outrageous.”
According to court documents, the events stemmed over the suspected theft of $600 from the boyfriend of one of the men. He thought she and her friend were involved and expressed his suspicions to Hebel.
Mills also pointed to Hebel’s record within the past year that included a conviction in Elko Justice Court in May for driving under the influence, reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
Additionally, Hebel was convicted in October of violating the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and receiving or possessing stolen goods. He was given a suspended sentence of 68 months in prison and placed on probation for five years. In March, his probation was revoked.
Attorney Sherburne Macfarlan asked for a lighter sentence of 12 to 32 months in prison on each count to be served concurrently by his client, explaining that Hebel was an example of what happens when someone becomes addicted to controlled substances at a young age.
“Unfortunately, that addiction grabbed a hold of him and would not let go,” Macfarlan said. “He’s going to prison, and I just hope that he is able to … get help for his addiction, because he understands that he is just sliding down the drain.”
Hebel read a prepared statement to the court.
“I’m taking full responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I know that what I caused was wrong. I am truly sorry for my actions. I would like to apologize to the people involved and the families for all the trouble I caused.”
“I will be taking the time I will receive from my actions as a lesson and get help for my drug addiction,” Hebel continued.
Before rendering her sentence, Porter said she believed Hebel seemed to understand the fact that drugs have had a negative impact on his life based on what he wrote in the pre-sentence report, but that his actions were putting the community in danger.
“You committed this crime when you were on probation only for a matter of days, and many people were put at risk by your behavior,” Porter said. “It is amazing nobody was killed.”
“I do think you are genuinely remorseful, but this crime was very dangerous,” Porter said.
“It is amazing nobody was killed.” — District Judge Nancy Porter
ELKO – An Ohio truck driver was jailed in Elko this week on a sexual assault charge after the alleged victim told law enforcement she was repeatedly raped and beaten during a trip to California.
Thomas S. Allen IV, 40, of Toledo is charged with sexual assault and coercion with force or threat of force.
The Elko County Sheriff’s Office was informed by California authorities on Nov. 15 that a rape had recently occurred here. The victim had called 911 on Nov. 4 from inside a big-rig truck, which was located by California Highway Patrol on the shoulder of Interstate 80 in Pinole.
The woman said one of the attacks occurred at a truck stop in Wells. She told authorities “she was afraid to resist because of the ongoing abuse, and because Allen had made statements that she construed as threats to harm or kill their baby,” according to a declaration of probable cause.
Allen did not deny having intercourse but claimed it was consensual.
“During his interview, he acknowledged that to an outsider looking in, the sex would not have appeared nonconsensual,” the declaration stated.
In March, the sheriff’s office received an audio recording in which the woman accuses Allen of raping her and he responds, “That was bad … and I’m sorry for it.”
A warrant for Allen’s arrest was issued April 9. He was booked June 30 into Elko County Jail on $270,000 bail.
ELKO – A Carlin woman and an Elko man were arrested Sunday in Winnemucca after being chased a day earlier in Winnemucca following a burglary at the Players Bar.
According to Winnemucca police, a cleaning woman discovered the burglary at about 5 a.m. Saturday. Police were en route when they spotted a vehicle matching her description.
A chase ensued for several miles until the vehicle crashed into a slough of the Humboldt River at the Heckman Ranch. The couple then fled on foot across the river, escaping police despite assistance from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Nevada Highway Patrol and Humboldt General Hospital’s Air One Helicopter.
On Sunday morning a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper with a “keen eye” spotted two people walking around an apartment complex who matched the descriptions of the suspects.
When the trooper approached the couple they reportedly began to run away. He followed them in his patrol car through a residential and business area while ordering them to stop on his PA system.
The Winnemucca Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department arrived to assist, and the suspects finally surrendered.
Jessica Woods was arrested on charges of accessory to burglary and eluding police. Shannon McCoy was booked on charges of resisting a public officer and interfering with a public officer, according to the jail.
Woods’ bail was listed at $25,000. McCoy’s bail was $3,640.
Police would not say what was taken in the burglary.
“This investigation is on-going and more charges are anticipated,” stated police. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Winnemucca Police Department at 775-623-6396.
According to Elko Daily files, Woods was also arrested in September 2015 in Carlin on drug trafficking charges after 51 grams of methamphetamine were confiscated during the serving of a search warrant.
ELKO – A man was stabbed in a southside neighborhood Friday morning and police have arrested a suspect.
Officers were called to the 500 block of Bullion Road at 11:16 a.m. when a passerby notified dispatch that a man had been stabbed. The victim was transported for medical treatment but his injury was not life-threatening.
Police found Javon Keester, 19, of Elko approximately three blocks away from the stabbing, and a knife was recovered approximately one block from the scene along his path.
Keester was arrested for battery with a deadly weapon.
“Preliminary investigation indicates an argument over a debt was the cause of the stabbing,” stated the Elko Police Department.
Anyone who was in the area and witnessed the incident is encouraged to notify detectives at 777-7310.
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Keester was also arrested in October for domestic battery and resisting a public officer.
This was the third stabbing reported in Elko over the past five weeks.
Kendrick O. Johnson, 29, of Las Vegas was arrested June 23 after a domestic dispute escalated into a knife fight, according to police. Johnson is accused of stabbing a 15-year-old girl who then stabbed him several times.
Elba Gonzalez, 29, of Elko was arrested Thursday on charges of stabbing her estranged boyfriend early Wednesday morning, police said.
ELKO – An Idaho man was arrested for firing off several shots from a pistol Thursday evening in the Elko Junction Shopping Center but he is not facing felony charges.
Witnesses called police after seeing a man fire a handgun five or six times in the air from the parking lot in front of Ross Dress For Less, according to Elko Police Lt. Mike Palhegyi. The man then got into the back of a black SUV and left the shopping center.
Police quickly located the vehicle at Errecart Boulevard and Silver Street. They performed a “high-risk” stop with guns drawn, Palhegyi said.
Juvenal Cervantes Sanchez, 31, of Jerome was arrested and a .380 pistol was found in the vehicle.
Because the gun was only fired into the air Cervantes Sanchez will not face serious charges, Palhegyi said, even though there was a danger that a bullet could have hit someone.
“What goes up must come down,” he said. “Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.”
Police did not know why the suspect might have been firing a weapon. Palhegyi said alcohol may have been a factor, as the man was picked up from a bar before the incident.
Cervantes Sanchez was booked on seven counts of discharging a gun where a person might be endangered, a gross misdemeanor. His bail was listed at $17,500.
Correction: This article has been modified from the original which stated the suspect was from Elko.
ELKO – An Elko woman – Elko, Georgia, that is – was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon Friday following an incident in Mountain City.
Elko County deputies were sent to the Mountain City Bar on Thursday night after Owyhee Dispatch reported there was a fight at the bar and shots had been fired during a domestic dispute. Two vehicles were seen leaving the area toward Owyhee.
Bureau of Indian Affairs officers stopped the vehicles and detained Ondrea Zink, 34. Deputies were informed that Zink and another woman had been in an altercation at the bar. A pistol and magazine were located in one of the vehicles, according to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputies and BIA officers returned to the bar and located evidence of shots being fired.
Zink was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and transported to the Elko County Jail with bail set set at $20,000.
She is a resident of Elko, Georgia, according to the jail.
ELKO – An Elko woman was arrested Wednesday morning on multiple felony charges following a high-speed police chase through town in which she allegedly struck an Elko Police Department patrol vehicle.
Elko County Sheriff’s deputies originally made a traffic stop on the vehicle driven by Betty J. Freed, 47, about 10 miles east of Elko.
“Freed is known by local law enforcement and has a long history with local law enforcement,” said a release from the sheriff’s office. “Deputies observed unusual behavior of the driver and utilized the Elko County Sheriff’s Office K-9 to conduct a free air sniff of the light blue passenger car. The K9 alerted to the odor of illicit controlled substances.”
While the deputy was returning his K9 to the patrol unit the car sped off. The deputies pursued the westbound car and observed the driver throwing something out the passenger window. Freed pulled off the freeway at the west Elko exit and headed back toward town on the frontage road. By this time the Elko Police Department was also in pursuit.
“Freed then struck the rear and side of an Elko Police Department patrol unit,” the sheriff’s office reported. “As the vehicle passed Gateway RV deputies observed more items being thrown from the vehicle.”
The pursuit continued on Silver Street at speeds of up to 70 mph. Freed then turned onto 12th Street at a high rate of speed and the chase ended at a residence on Wildwood Way.
Freed was arrested and taken to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital to be medically cleared before being transported to jail. She faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon as well as five drug charges and nine driving offenses.
The drug charges include trafficking a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Freed is also charged with driver disobeying a peace officer endangering other persons or property, driver failure to obey traffic control device, driving through private or public property to avoid traffic, speeding too fast for conditions, failure to maintain lane or improper lane change, two counts of duty to stop at an accident with attended vehicle or property damage, felony reckless driving with risk of death or substantial bodily harm, and following too closely.
Her charges also include destroying or concealing evidence.
Freed’s bail was listed at $418,265.
According to Elko Daily Free Press records, Freed was arrested in December 2016 for domestic battery and violation of probation or condition of suspended sentence.
She was sentenced in August 2013 to serve 120 months in prison after being found guilty of trafficking a controlled substance.
Felony contempt of court warrants were issued for her arrest in June 2010 when she fled the Elko County Courthouse after being ordered to submit to a drug test.
Freed had been arrested in February 2010 on charges of attempting to smuggle meth into the Elko County Jail.
ELKO – Another high-speed chase through Elko ended in an arrest, this time involving 21 charges against a male motorcycle driver.
Shortly before midnight Thursday an Elko Police Department officer observed a motorcycle near Fifth Street and Spruce Road. Police said the bike did not have a registration on it and also had a broken taillight. Upon attempting to stop the motorcycle, the driver fled.
The pursuit ended on near Manzanita Road as the driver tried to go off road and crashed.
Brian A. Penola, 35, sustained minor injuries and was taken to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital. He was transported to the Elko County Jail and booked at 2:54 a.m. after being medically cleared.
Penola faces 21 charges, including speeding 31-40 mph over the limit, reckless driving, and driver disobeying a peace officer endangering other persons or property.
Other driving charges included six counts of failure to obey traffic control device, failure to maintain lane or improper lane change, operating an unregistered vehicle, driving without a driver’s license, motorcycle tail lamp violation, and no proof of insurance.
Penola was also booked for use or possession of drug paraphernalia, false statement to obstruct a public officer, and five counts of failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime.
His bail was listed at $28,040.
An Elko woman was arrested July 24 on multiple charges following a high-speed police chase through town in which she allegedly struck an Elko Police Department patrol vehicle.
Betty J. Freed, 47, was booked on $418,265 bail.
Elko County Jail reports indicate Penola was last arrested on May 26 at Albertson’s on charges of burglary and petit larceny.
He has been arrested four times in the past four years for failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime.
According to Elko Justice Court records, Penola received a suspended sentence in April 2015 after being found guilty of destruction of private property.
Penola was also arrested in November 2012 on a charge of third-degree arson. Police said he was suspected of setting fire to a pickup that was left in the sagebrush near Ruby View Golf Course.
He was also sentenced to jail time in April 2010 for conspiracy to fail to submit a sex offender verification form.
ELKO – A Montello man was arrested Friday on multiple charges related to child abuse and lewdness with a girl under the age of 18.
Wade T. Shupe, 48, was arrested at 12th and River Streets Aug. 9 on one count of abuse or neglect of a child and one count of coercion, both category “B” felonies.
He was also charged with 10 counts of open or gross lewdness, a category “D” felony.
According to court documents, a female alleged that starting in 2014, Shupe had “committed numerous acts of sexual conduct upon or with [the victim] against her will which gradually grew in severity.”
The victim told an Elko County Sheriff’s detective that Shupe started with cuddling and kissing, which led to inappropriate touching and conduct “that she did not want or invite.” She also alleged that Shupe would choke her or use force to make her comply.
She told investigators that the incidents occurred between February 2014 and September 2016.
The court documents also stated that Shupe had been convicted of open or gross lewdness in Elko District Court on Nov. 9, 2001.
ELKO – An Elko man will spend up to life in prison with the possibility for parole in 25 years for the home invasion murder of another man a year ago.
Tieres A. Lopez Sr., 24, was sentenced Wednesday in Elko District Court by Judge Nancy Porter in the death of Bradley Smith on July 7, 2018.
Smith died of multiple gunshot wounds after intruders kicked in the front door of his home on Wrangler Circle at about 11:30 p.m. and a gun battle ensued.
Lopez was arrested the day after and charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and attempted home invasion.
On May 14, a plea agreement dropped the two lesser charges against Lopez in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree murder, a category “A” felony.
A second suspect, Alan Joseph David Honeyestewa, 24, was arrested 10 days after the home invasion and was booked into Elko County Jail on charges of open murder and burglary while in possession of a gun or deadly weapon.
Honeyestewa’s case is expected to go to trial on Oct. 3.
Two other suspects identified by law enforcement were Taylor Robert Miller and Tyrell Mitchell Holley. They have not been charged in connection to the incident, said Elko County District Attorney Tyler Ingram.
During the sentencing hearing, Lopez spoke on his own behalf, apologizing to the victim’s family.
“I would just like to say my sincere apologies to the victim’s family and my family, of course, who is here today,” Lopez said. “Just let them know I’m sorry for what I did.”
Two members of Smith’s family gave their victim impact statements as several other family members watched and cried.
“Every one of us who knew Brad has been given a life sentence,” said one family member. “We have to live the rest of our lives without a brother, without a son, without a father. Not a single day will go by that we are not impacted by this crime.”
Another family member said the people in the courtroom were there “because an individual made a choice that affected people beyond himself.”
“There are no words that can reverse the choices that were made that day,” he added. “There’s only moving forward, hopefully.”
Before handing down Lopez’s sentence, Porter said the grief from Smith’s and Lopez’s families sitting in the courtroom was “palpable.” She added that for everyone involved in the situation, including the families of both men, “there is no such thing as closure.”
“All I can do is hand down a sentence and hope that you are all able to move forward, somehow, with your lives,” Porter said.
She went on to explain that she considered imposing a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. If she did so, it could give Lopez “the opportunity to back out of the plea agreement and go to trial, which could result in decades of litigation.”
“I want to spare the family that further sentence on their lives,” Porter said.
“There are no words that can reverse the choices that were made that day. There’s only moving forward, hopefully.”
ELKO – A mother who fired a gun during an argument at the Osino school bus stop on the first week of school last August has been sentenced to three months in jail.
Samantha C. Noel-McLean, 31, was also ordered to complete 25 hours of community service and pay $2,670 in fees and fines.
Noel-McLean was found guilty in Elko Justice Court of one count of drawing deadly weapon in a threatening manner, one count of aiming a firearm at human beings, and one count of discharging a firearm in a public thoroughfare or place of public resort.
Elko County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the bus stop at about 3:45 p.m. that Thursday.
“It was a disagreement between two parents, at which time the suspect Samantha pulled a handgun out,” then-Sheriff Jim Pitts said. “A struggle over the handgun ensued and that’s when the gun discharged.”
No one was hit as the bullet went into the ground.
“The kids weren’t there when this happened,” Pitts said. “This happened before the bus arrived.”
Original charges included assault with a deadly weapon.
Noel-McLean was sentenced last week by Elko Justice of the Peace Elias Goicoechea. She received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail and was ordered to serve 90 days.
William P. Lose, 41, of Taylorsville was arrested Wednesday for attempted murder with a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping, robbery enhanced with deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit criminal contempt, and destroying or concealing evidence.
The case began in August 2013 when a hitchhiker got a ride from Lose along U.S. Highway 93A. According to the criminal complaint, Lose attempted to kill Wayne Gattke by repeatedly striking him in the head with an air gun pistol.
“He lost a lot of blood,” then-Undersheriff Clair Morris said.
A witness in West Wendover told police that Lose claimed he had killed someone, and that he wanted help cleaning a large amount of blood from his vehicle and disposing of the victim’s backpack.
However, Gattke was able to walk from Blue Lakes Road back to the highway where he hitched another ride into Wendover.
A sheriff’s deputy found tire tracks that matched Lose’s vehicle on Blue Lake Road where the beating occurred. But when the case came up in court Gattke was nowhere to be found, and no one had taken a DNA sample from him to match with the blood found in Lose’s car.
A criminal complaint was re-filed by Elko District Attorney Tyler Ingram in July 2018, less than one month before the five-year statute of limitations expired.
Lose was arrested at the Salt Lake County Jail and booked Wednesday on $555,000 bail.
ELKO – An Elko man who was killed Aug. 3 at Angel Park was shot as he and an accomplice were attempting to rob someone, according to Elko police.
Marcus David Rogers, 25, was found lying in the parking lot shortly after midnight. Police said he died from a single gunshot wound.
“The investigation revealed that [Rogers], under the ruse of a drug deal, had arranged with Dustin Johnnie to commit a robbery,” stated a release from the Elko Police Department. “The intended victim of the attempted robbery became involved in a physical altercation with Marcus Rogers during the attempted robbery, resulting in a single handgun round being fired, which mortally wounded the decedent.”
Johnnie, 28, of Elko was arrested Thursday on a felony warrant for conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery. His bail was listed at $100,000.
Police recovered the firearm shortly after the homicide. They did not say who the weapon belonged to, or who the intended robbery victim was.
The case has been submitted to the Elko County District Attorney’s Office, which has been working closely with the detectives.
Both men have criminal records.
In January, Johnnie pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to 12 to 34 months in prison.
He was also arrested in 2016 on charges of criminal contempt, making a false statement to police, and a tribal offense.
ELKO – Police and sheriff’s deputies were led by an Elko car theft suspect on a chase that ended with the man standing naked in a pond in Lamoille.
The incident began during the noon hour Friday when a local resident went to the movie theater. They were inside the Cinema 6 when they noticed their Jeep Cherokee being driven away.
Police were called but they were unable to locate the vehicle.
Then, at about 3 p.m., the vehicle’s owner spotted it again at McDonald’s on Mountain City Highway, just a block away from the movie theater.
This time police were hot on his trail. They “chased” the vehicle through town at speeds of about 35 miles per hour, according to Elko Police Department Lt. Mike Palhegyi. The driver would look back at police vehicles behind him and point a “finger gun” at them, he said.
When the vehicle began traveling out of town on Lamoille Highway the chase reached speeds of more than 70 mph, Palhegyi said. Elko County Sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit.
The chase continued through the roundabout in Spring Creek and ended in Lamoille.
Palhegyi said the driver missed a turn and crashed the Jeep into a pond on the Sustacha Ranch. The suspect got out of the vehicle wearing no clothes, and stood in the pond. He would not come out of the water. The vehicle was completely submerged.
After about an hour of negotiating with deputies and police officers, Jace C. Thompson, 29, of Elko came out of the pond and was arrested, Palhegyi said.
He was booked on a dozen charges, including possession of stolen property, reckless driving, driving under the influence, and driver disobeying peace officer endangering others.
He was also booked in Elko County Jail on a felony charge of violating probation or condition of suspended sentence.
Thompson’s bail totaled $19,145.
According to Elko County Jail records, Thompson was also arrested July 22 at a local casino for violating a domestic violence temporary protective order and on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a felony crime.
He was also arrested in January for felony possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription, possession of a hypodermic device, and on a warrant for failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime.
He was arrested in 2018 for petty larceny, and twice on parole violations.
He was arrested in August 2016 for possession of a controlled substance and destroying the property of another, and in July of that year for disturbing the peace.
Elko County Jail records indicate Thompson was arrested four times in 2015 on charges including battery, false statement to obstruct a public officer, and trespassing.
LAKE COUNTY, California — What are believed to be the remains of an Illinois man reported missing last week were discovered in a remote Scotts Valley property Monday, said the Lake County sheriff.
Grant David Whitaker, a deaf 25-year-old man from Mackinaw, Illinois who was traveling in Northern California, was first reported missing in Illinois to the Tazewell County sheriff on Aug. 20, according to a release published on deaf news outlet The Deaf Report.
On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was informed that a stolen vehicle linked to Whitaker may be located outside a Dollar General store somewhere in Lake County. Deputies found the vehicle near the Clearlake Oaks Dollar General and impounded it for processing.
According to the department, Whitaker’s family had informed law enforcement of an altercation that may have taken place between Whitaker and a man he was traveling with at a campground in Humboldt County. Whitaker’s traveling companion was Maverick William Fisher, a 21-year-old man from Elko, Nevada, said the department.
“Whitaker’s family had not heard from him since the supposed altercation,” said the sheriff’s office.
Fisher, like Whitaker, is also deaf.
On Sunday evening, the sheriff’s office was informed that Fisher had “admitted to killing Whitaker,” and was given “detailed directions as to where Whitaker’s body could be located,” said the department.
Citing an active investigation, the department declined to comment on the source of that information.
On Monday morning, the sheriff’s major crimes unit served a search warrant at a property in Scotts Valley and found what looks like Whitaker’s remains.
“Detectives were able to locate what is believed to be the human remains of Whitaker in a remote area near the 7500 block of Scott’s Valley Road,” said the sheriff.
Later the same day, the department was contacted by law enforcement in Rosarito, Mexico, who stated they had contacted Fisher there, and had determined he was wanted in relation to Whitaker’s death.
Lt. Corey Paulich, a spokesman for the Lake County sheriff’s office, said Tuesday that Fisher had been deported from Mexico and detained at the San Diego County Jail. U.S. Marshals and border patrol agents cooperated to make the move, Paulich said.
Fisher will soon be transferred to Lake County, Paulich added.
Meanwhile, the Lake and Humboldt County sheriff’s offices are trying to locate the scene of the reported altercation between Whitaker and Fisher in Humboldt.
Detectives are “looking for a crime scene in Humboldt County,” Paulich said.
Whitaker’s remains will undergo an autopsy on Wednesday. Information as to Whitaker’s cause of death could be revealed the same day, Paulich noted.
The department requested that anyone with information related to the investigation contact Detective Richard Kreutzer at 707-262-4233 or at Richard.Kreutzer@lakecountyca.gov.
ELKO – An Elko man charged with using stolen credit cards in November 2017 told police he was homeless and was rewarded with a pair of pants and some boots for doing it.
George A. Smith, 28, of Elko was arrested Thursday at Elko County Jail on a felony warrant for two counts of burglary and two counts of obtaining or possessing a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent.
Smith told police he got the cards from someone at a house on Laurel Drive, according to court records. That house was the scene of a major drug bust the following month.
The cards were reported missing by a woman living on Sierra Drive. She reported her purse had been stolen after she found out from her bank that her credit cards were used to make purchases at Big 5 Sporting Goods and JC Penney.
Police said they recognized Smith from video surveillance at Big 5, but there was no video surveillance from Penney’s.
Police asked Smith if he stole the cards. He reportedly told them that they came from someone at 150 Laurel Drive. He said he used the cards “at the request of several people” with a connection to the residence, and he received pants and boots for his effort.
Smith told police he was homeless at the time, according to a detective’s report.
Elko police detectives and patrol officers, along with the Elko Combined Narcotics Unit and SWAT team, served a search warrant at the home on Dec. 20, 2017.
Nine Elko residents were arrested. Drugs including meth and heroin were confiscated, along with a stolen firearm and drug paraphernalia.
Smith would not tell police who gave him the cards because he feared retribution, according to the detective’s report.
The complaint against Smith was filed in April 2018.
He is also charged with obtaining or using another person’s identification for harmful or unlawful purposes, and two counts of failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime. His bail was listed at $85,760.
ELKO – A Colorado fugitive who is suspected of opening fire on a man early Tuesday, wounding him in the neck, was captured Wednesday in Elko County. Christopher Tiffany, 40, of Delta, was arrested on Wendover Boulevard by the Nevada Highway Patrol near his vehicle, according to an article in the Montrose Press.
NHP troopers received an attempt to locate alert from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office at about noon, Pacific Time, Trooper Jonathan Goolsby of NHP told the newspaper.
The alert said only that Delta County was seeking Tiffany in connection with a serious crime and investigators had reason to believe he could be passing through Nevada, Goolsby said.
Just after 4 p.m. Pacific Time, a trooper found Tiffany’s pickup truck in West Wendover.
With assistance from the West Wendover police, the trooper located Tiffany within minutes, not far from his vehicle.
“Luckily, he was taken into custody with no incident,” Goolsby said. “Obviously, we want to get people like this off the streets. Luckily, he was taken without any threat to the public or officers.
My understanding is it was a peaceful surrender.”
Tiffany was booked into Elko County Jail Wednesday evening.
He will be held there pending extradition to Colorado.
Tiffany is suspected of opening fire on a 20-year-old Eckert man Tuesday.
Deputies were dispatched to an area near Oak Creek Road at about 2:45 a.m. when a woman called to report the shooting.
When they arrived, Tiffany was not on scene.
The injured man was taken for medical care.
He remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor said.
Taylor declined, for now, to provide information about what investigators believe ties Tiffany to the shooting.
According to court records, Tiffany’s arrest warrant alleges attempted first-degree murder; first-degree assault as an act of domestic violence; reckless endangerment; possession of a weapon by a previous offender; prohibited use of a weapon, violation of a protection order and violation of bond conditions.
These are not formal charges, which have yet to be filed. The DCSO in a statement reminded the public that Tiffany, like any defendant, is presumed innocent.
According to court records, he was charged in an earlier case with second-degree trespass and theft.
ELKO – An Elko man arrested in the robbery of a Dotty’s Casino last year is facing additional felony charges after making a jailhouse phone call in which he talked about drugs stashed in a storage unit.
James B. Squires, 33, was the first of four people to be arrested in the March 2, 2018 robbery that netted about $3,500 in cash from casino bill canisters.
Four days after Squires was booked into jail he made a call regarding $100,000 worth of steroids and manufacturing equipment that were stashed in a rental unit a few days before the robbery, according to a detective’s report. The detective noted that phones at the jail play a message saying all calls are recorded and subject to monitoring.
Police served a search warrant on the rented storage unit and collected many items including a powdery substance that tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine.
Vials of a yellow substance were later identified as testosterone enanthate, a schedule III controlled substance.
Squires was booked Friday at the Elko County Jail on charges of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance or possession of chemicals for manufacturing a controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell a controlled substance.
James R. Blake, 32, was arrested at the parole and probation office on Sept. 4 on two counts of statutory sexual seduction.
His bail was set at $20,000.
According to a declaration of probable cause, a parole officer was following up on a report that alleged Blake and a 15-year-old girl had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship.
The girl revealed the relationship to authorities, which was collaborated by social media interactions between her and Blake.
In an interview with the parole officer, “Blake admitted to the same basic facts the victim revealed.” Blake was then placed in custody after the interview concluded.
Charges on the matter from the Elko County District Attorney’s office were not filed as of Sept. 10.
If charged on the matter and convicted, Blake could face 1-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on each count.
Blake was granted parole on Feb. 7 from Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City, and was released on April 8, according to the State of Nevada Department of Corrections.
In 2017, Blake was convicted of one count of battery with a deadly weapon and one count of grand larceny with a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting of Michael May on Dec. 9, 2016 in the Smith’s parking lot.
May was shot twice, once in the stomach and once in the shoulder, and drove himself to the Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital for treatment.
Reports at the time said the shooting came after May hit Blake’s car with a baseball bat earlier in the day.
A preliminary hearing in Elko Justice Court revealed the gun used in the shooting had been stolen from the home of Elko County Sheriff’s Deputy Richie Lespade.
Blake was sentenced on July 11, 2017 in Elko District Court to six years in prison and was eligible for parole after 28 months with credit for 213 days previously served.
ELKO – Two men accused of beating and robbing a man in downtown Elko over Labor Day weekend will not be facing robbery charges.
Robbery and petit larceny charges against Kyle Ray Dack, 20, and Christiphor David Key, 21, were dismissed Monday by the Elko County District Attorney’s office.
“[T]he complaining witness provided us with additional information that undermines the robbery charge,” said District Attorney Tyler Ingram.
Dack and Key were arrested Sept. 1 after a man bleeding from the head was spotted by an Elko Police officer in the early morning hours of Aug. 31.
The victim told officers he had left a bar earlier with Dack and Key, and then had an argument with them before being struck unconscious.
He stated the pair took his wallet, cellphone and glasses and fled the scene.
Dack and Key were arrested a day later at a residence on the south side of Elko.
The robbery and petit larceny charges against Dack were officially dropped by the DA’s office and Key will now face a misdemeanor battery charge, with the robbery and petit larceny charges also dropped, Ingram said.
ELKO – A Wells woman arrested for trying to steal merchandise from the old C-A-L Ranch store on Idaho Street over the weekend is facing felony drug trafficking charges after a quantity of methamphetamine was found stuffed in her bra while she was being booked at Elko County Jail.
C-A-L Ranch has moved to the old Kmart shopping center on the west side of town but some items remained in its storage yard at the Sunrise Shopping Center on the east side. An alarm at the storage yard went off at about 1:53 a.m. Sunday, according to the Elko Police Department.
When officers arrived they found a pickup parked near the chain-link fence.
“The fence had been cut and approximately $1,300 worth of items were staged near the truck,” police reported Monday.
Officers found a woman identified as Nancy J. Chavez, 48, in the back seat of the truck. She was arrested for grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
“During a booking search at the jail, Chavez was found to have trafficking quantities of methamphetamine secreted in her bra,” stated police.
Additional charges of trafficking a controlled substance and Introducing a controlled substance into a jail or prison were added.
Her bail was listed at $40,000.
The investigation is on-going and additional arrests are anticipated, according to police.
ELKO – A jury found an Elko man guilty of eluding a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy in December, after the prosecution withdrew an attempted murder charge last week.
Tony Pressler, 38, was found guilty of two counts of eluding a police officer in a manner posing a danger to persons or property, and one count of grand larceny of a motor vehicle.
The jury did not find him guilty of assault with a deadly weapon or burglary.
Conducted in Elko District Court, the trial began Sept. 11 and concluded a week later. Jurors deliberated a day and a half before rendering their verdict.
Pressler faces up to six years in prison on each of the eluding counts, along with a maximum of five years in prison on the grand larceny charge when he is sentenced.
The charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon was withdrawn in a motion made before Judge Al Kacin by Elko County District Attorney Mark Mills at the close of testimony a day before jury deliberations began.
“After considering evidence, the state concluded that the evidence simply wasn’t strong enough to prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” Mills said on Monday.
Pressler was arrested Dec. 21 for leading an Elko police officer and Elko County Sheriff’s deputy on two high-speed chases that began with an early morning call to 911 reporting a domestic violence incident taking place behind Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital.
Pressler was apprehended at a Spring Creek residence later that morning after two vehicles had been damaged, one of which was a stolen SUV.
Nearly three hours of closing arguments finished the six-day trial. At the center of the arguments was whether Pressler was the driver of the white pickup truck and a Toyota Highlander.
Elko Police Officer Joshua Taylor testified he spotted the truck driving out of the bushes behind Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital when he was responding to a domestic violence call.
Taylor testified he identified Pressler driving the truck when he turned on his patrol car’s take-down lights as he was driving toward the truck.
“His take down lights were on and he could clearly see into the interior of that vehicle as he came along this path,” Mills said.
“He was positive it was Tony Pressler,” Mills continued, “in fact, the word he used, ‘it was a snapshot, there’s a snapshot in my mind of Tony Pressler behind the wheel of the vehicle at that point.’”
Later that morning, a Toyota Highlander was reported stolen from a residence on Powderhouse Road. It was spotted by Elko County Sheriff’s Deputy Aspen Carrol in Spring Creek towing another car.
Carrol also said she identified Pressler as the driver of the SUV as she approached the vehicles to conduct a felony stop, leading to another chase.
“Instead of cooperating, Tony Pressler guns it, breaks the tow cable and drives off,” Mills said. “Now if he were not guilty of all this stuff that happened earlier that morning, if he had no involvement of this incident with Officer Taylor in the white truck here, why would he be gunning it and running away? Why wouldn’t he say, “Hi Officer, how goes everything?’”
When Pressler was arrested at a friend’s residence that morning, he was located in a bedroom closet.
“Hiding, not sitting there watching TV like an innocent person would be doing if they hadn’t been doing anything. He was actively avoiding the police and hiding from them in a closet with stuff on top of him,” Mills said.
The key to the Toyota Highlander was found in Pressler’s pockets, Mills said.
In Pressler’s defense, attorney Diana Hillewaert said the trial hinged on the positive identification of her client, which she said could not have happened the way Taylor described it.
Hillewaert reminded jurors that the state had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was actually Pressler behind the wheel of the two vehicles.
“I believe there is plenty of reasonable doubt,” she said.
“So the state wants to tie Mr. Taylor to get this identification. You get this identification in you can get the burglary in. If you get the burglary in, you get the grand larceny and then we go out to Spring Creek and we can start the chase out there,” Hillewaert said.
“That’s what the plan is here and this is what you would call some circumstantial evidence that if he’s here. But it’s very important that the decision of whether or not if he was even properly identified needs to be made. Or is it possible?”
Hillewaert also argued that there was no evidence placing Pressler at the Powderhouse Road residence where the SUV was reported stolen.
“The defense would suggest that there is no identification of Mr. Pressler. That does not place him at that house to steal the vehicle. Again, look at the evidence that doesn’t exist,” Hillewaert said, arguing that investigators did not collect evidence such as fingerprints and footprints from the residence.
“Nobody looked, they just didn’t look. But they want you to believe that Mr. Pressler was driving the truck and that solves that burglary,” Hillewaert said.
She continued in her closing argument that evidence was not collected from the stolen Toyota Highlander, which was deemed a total loss by the victim’s insurance and hauled to California to be crushed a few weeks after the incident.
“What we don’t have in this case is again, we never had a chance to investigate the Highlander and nobody else did,” Hillewaert said. “Not available for any investigation.”
In the prosecution’s rebuttal, Mills agreed with Hillewaert’s statement that the SUV had not been preserved for evidence, but said that the number of witnesses and the key to the stolen vehicle found in Pressler’s pocket upon his arrest was proof enough to arrest and charge Pressler.
If DNA, fingerprints and other evidence had been collected, Mills argued, “It would have shown what we already know, which is that Tony Pressler was the driver of that vehicle.”
Pressler is scheduled to return to court in May to stand trial for charges related to the Dotty’s Casino robbery that occurred March 2, 2018.
PICABO, Idaho — A man is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and other violations after a Sunday traffic stop.
Craig W. Huff, 30, of Mackay, was stopped by a deputy from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office at 6:45 p.m., according to a statement from spokeswoman Holly Carter.
Initially, Huff was uncooperative with the deputy, gave a false name and refused to show his driver's license. He was arrested for resisting and obstructing an officer.
The 2019 Ford F-250 Huff was driving had been stolen from Elko, further investigation revealed, generating the charge of possession of a stolen vehicle, the sheriff's office said.
After Huff's real identity was discovered, additional charges of providing false information to an officer and driving without privileges were filed.
Huff also had outstanding warrants from Bingham, Jerome and Twin Falls counties, as well as Missoula, Montana.
He was arraigned in Blaine County Monday and remains in custody in the Blaine County Detention Center.
According to Elko County Jail records, Huff was last arrested in July at the Villas at Riverside in Elko for possessing or receiving forged instruments or bills, unlawful breaking into vacant property, trespassing and failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime.
ELKO – An Elko man was jailed on $100,000 bail Wednesday after allegedly striking a boy near Flag View Intermediate School and leaving the scene.
The incident occurred at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Golf Course Road at about 2:30 p.m., according to Elko police Lt. Mike Palhegyi.
A 12-year-old student on a scooter was crossing the intersection at a crosswalk when a Dodge Neon made a left turn, striking him with the left side of his car. The impact was strong enough to cave in the left side of the windshield.
The boy was conscious but “he was definitely bleeding and banged up,” Palhegyi said. He was taken to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver stopped momentarily but then fled the scene. A witness followed him and called in the license plate number.
The vehicle was eastbound on Interstate 80 when it was pulled over about four miles east of town.
Mark Carrasco, 31, was arrested on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death or personal injury, a felony. If convicted, he could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.
“He admitted to hitting the juvenile and leaving the scene,” Palhegyi said.
Carrasco’s vehicle was impounded for the investigation.
ELKO – A Spring Creek man has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in July.
William B. Bodin, 53, of Spring Creek was booked in the Elko County Jail Oct. 20 for battery to commit sexual assault, resulting in substantial bodily harm; open or gross lewdness, and indecent exposure.
According to court documents, Bodin is alleged to have committed the crimes after the victim was intoxicated, drugged or unconscious.
On the evening of July 15, police reports stated a friend of the victim called police when she heard the victim crying on the phone and asking the suspect to leave.
The victim told police she and Bodin had drinks before she blacked out.
She was transported to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital for treatment.
According to police reports, the officers were called after business hours to the Operating Engineers Local No. 3 office. Bodin remained on the scene outside of the office, stating to the victim’s friend he was “waiting for the police.”
Bodin was detained by police for about an hour, but refused to speak without a lawyer present.
Charges filed by the Elko County District Attorney’s office on Oct. 1.
ELKO – An Elko man has been charged with trying to cash a check for more than $10,000 in July that was from a batch of checks stolen from a local construction company.
Ciano V. Sweat, 33, was arrested Oct. 20 on felony charges of burglary, uttering or possessing with intent to utter a fictitious note or check, and attempted grand larceny.
According to court documents, Sweat made two attempts June 25 and 26 to cash a check from Canyon Construction at Nevada Bank & Trust in the amount of $10,100.22.
The first time, Sweat was turned away because it was nearing closing time. The second time was the next morning.
A bank official who saw the check “noticed some features that did not look correct” and told Sweat he would have to call Canyon Construction to verify it.
After the bank made a copy of the check, Sweat left the bank and did not return.
Surveillance footage from the bank showed Sweat entering the bank on both days.
Canyon Construction filed a report to Elko Police in March that a batch of checks had been stolen from the company’s office.
At least two forged checks have been discovered since then, including one that was cashed for $1,162.22 in July.
Both checks had the forged signature of a Canyon Construction employee.
Sweat was interviewed on July 30 by an Elko County Sheriff’s Deputy while he was in custody on a warrant, when he reportedly admitted to trying to cash the check “and that he should have known the check was forged.”
According to Elko Daily Free Press files, Sweat has been arrested a dozen times since 2015 on numerous charges including trespassing, battery, disturbing the peace and warrants for failure to appear on misdemeanor crimes.
In May, Sweat was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and burglary. Five months earlier, he pleaded guilty to domestic battery and disturbing the peace and was given a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail and ordered to serve 77 days in jail.
Last year, Sweat was stabbed by his girlfriend outside of a downtown motel.
CARLIN – A bartender was seriously injured and a patron jailed on three felony counts following an altercation early Sunday morning at the Peacock Lounge.
The incident began earlier when bartender Jim Dudding, 54, asked a patron to leave the bar owned by Sonny and Teri Atkins.
Teri Atkins said the man refused to leave and police were called to remove him. About an hour later, Clifford Baysinger, 53, of Carlin returned to the bar.
Atkins said the bartender grabbed a bat but tripped on a rug. Baysinger then grabbed the bat and allegedly beat the bartender with it.
Atkins said Dudding was life-flighted to the University of Utah hospital.
Baysinger was arrested a few hours later at his home on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, and battery with intent to kill. His bail was listed at $140,000.
Carlin police were unavailable for comment Monday morning.
ELKO – A local man was booked on more than $1 million bail after being charged with six counts of drug trafficking in a Ryndon methamphetamine case that is apparently tied to an even bigger bust in Osino.
Sheldon J. Olsen, 60, was arrested Oct. 23 at a mobile home on Arthur Avenue after being charged with selling more than 100 grams of meth in a series of progressively larger drug deals in February, according to court documents.
Olsen’s supplier was believed to be among the men arrested in March when local law enforcement agents confiscated more than 8 pounds of meth at a residence in Osino.
Hector Hugo Ramirez de la Torre, Jorge Landeros Ruiz and Eduardo Ruiz were charged in that case, which includes multiple counts of animal abuse related to an alleged cockfighting operation.
A container found between chicken coops on the property contained several bags that tested positive for meth and cocaine, according to court records.
Narcotics unit detectives, as well as personnel from the Elko Police Department and Elko County Sheriff’s Office, remained on the scene for 10 days and nights conducting extensive searches and investigations regarding the animals, resulting in the location of additional illegal drugs and other evidence. Detectives also provided food, water, and veterinary care for the animals.
In total, 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine, $13,000 in U.S. currency and eight firearms were confiscated.
Eduardo Ruiz pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and 10 counts of animal torture in Elko District Court on Oct. 4. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 13.
De la Torre and Jorge Landeros Ruiz have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
Olsen faces six counts of drug trafficking and six alternate counts related to the February drug purchases. His bail was listed at $1,080,000.
ELKO – A suspect in the theft of tools from Home Depot was arrested on charges of stealing toolboxes from another store.
Police were called about a theft at Fastenal on the afternoon of Oct. 30 and given a description of the suspect’s vehicle. On the way to the business, an Elko Police Department officer saw a vehicle matching the description near Dairy Queen about 10 blocks away.
Michael T. Morlan, 30, of Spring Creek was sitting in the rear of the vehicle with a large, red Milwaukee toolbox in his lap, according to police. The officer recognized him as the primary suspect in a theft from Home Depot.
Police searched the vehicle and found another Milwaukee toolbox in the trunk, along with a backpack that Morlan said was his.
Morlan was wanted on a warrant for petit larceny, so police arrested him and reportedly found “a tooter and burned foil” in his possession.
According to the officer’s report, Morlan went to the store to pick up parts that he had ordered, then slipped out with the two toolboxes while the clerk went to get his parts.
Surveillance showed the toolboxes being taken by a man in a black, white and gray camouflage hoodie with an “X” symbol on the front. Police found such a hoodie in Morlan’s backpack.
The value of the stolen merchandise was $671.32.
Morlan was booked on additional charges of grand larceny; burglary; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
CARLIN – A man was shot Monday night during an apparent home invasion.
Police Chief Dennis Fobes said two men went to a house on Hamilton Street at about 9:15 p.m. with a beef about one of the occupants of the home.
When the man refused to come out, they entered and one of them was shot in the stomach, Fobes said.
The two men fled the residence and went out to the street. An ambulance was called and the gunshot victim was flown to a Utah hospital where his condition is unknown.
Fobes said the shooter, Michael D. Belcher, 27, has not been charged with the shooting but he was arrested for buying, possessing or receiving stolen property. Fobes said the charge was related to the .22-caliber pistol he used.
Information on the shooting has been forwarded to the district attorney for review.
Fobes has not released the name of the gunshot victim.
He said the other man who entered the home, Richard C. Wolters III, 26, of Battle Mountain was arrested on a home invasion charge.
Bail for Wolters and Belcher’s bail on the gun charge were both listed at $20,000.
ELKO – An Elko man has been arrested on suspicion of burglarizing a home whose owners are deceased.
Wyatt J. Mowray, 23, was arrested Nov. 9 at Gold Country on a warrant for burglary; buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; felony possession of a controlled substance; use or possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of drug paraphernalia; and failure to appear after bail on a felony crime, as well as three counts of petit larceny and driver disobeying police officer endangering others.
According to court documents, Elko police were called on Feb. 28 to a burglary in the tree streets. The home had been ransacked and several items, including jewelry and coins, were missing. The unoccupied home had apparently been broken into through a sliding glass door in the back.
Police had no suspects.
A few days later, dispatch received a report of a “burglary in progress” in Spring Creek. Elko County Sheriff’s deputies who responded found Mowray on the property, but he said he had permission to be there. The homeowner was contacted and verified that it was OK for Mowray to be on the premises.
The deputies left but then contacted the homeowner again and told him there was a smell of marijuana coming from the garage, and that Mowray would not let the deputy enter the garage. The homeowner gave permission to search it.
When deputies returned, one of them noticed a bulge in Mowray’s pocket that appeared to be a container “commonly associated with storing heroin inside.” Mowray opened the container and it contained “a small amount of brown residue,” according to the deputy’s report.
Two other people came out of the garage, saying they were invited there by Mowray. One of them said she had been smoking marijuana.
A deputy reported finding a small baggie just outside the garage containing a substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine. Inside the garage they found several items that appeared to have been recently placed there, including a checkbook belonging to a deceased Elko man who had lived at the residence that had been burglarized.
More than a dozen apparently stolen items were seized, along with the meth and container.
An additional bag of apparent methamphetamine was found in Mowray’s possession while he was sitting in the patrol car, according to the deputy. He was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance.
Mowray was booked again in July on charges of buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; and breaking into, injuring or tampering with a vehicle.
Police collected his DNA in August after he was pulled over in a traffic stop.
A criminal complaint was filed in October charging him with burglary or, in the alternative, accessory to a felony.
He was booked into Elko County Jail on Saturday, with bail listed at $89,060.
The week-long trial included testimony from law enforcement and witnesses about the morning of Dec. 21 when Elko police officers were called to a domestic violence incident behind Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital.
After two high-speed chases that involved police and Elko County Sheriff’s deputies, Pressler was apprehended later that morning at a Spring Creek residence.
Pressler was originally charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to hit a police officer with his pickup truck.
However, Deputy District Attorney Mark Mills withdrew the charge before closing arguments began, stating the evidence to prove that count beyond a reasonable doubt wasn’t strong enough.
Two vehicles were damaged in the chases, one of which was an SUV reported stolen from a resident on Powderhouse Road.
ELKO – A West Wendover man who was charged with attempted murder could spend up to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and beating his girlfriend in May.
Ivan Abarca, 33, pleaded no contest in Elko District Court to battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm and kidnapping in the second degree, both category “B” felonies.
Sentenced by Judge Nancy Porter to 4 to 10 years on each count, Abarca must serve both sentences consecutively for a total of 8 to 20 years in prison.
He was also ordered to pay $41,414.26 restitution to the victim and pay $2,514.97 to the Victims of Crime Program.
Abarca was arrested May 15 after West Wendover police received a report of domestic violence. Officers located Abarca inside a residence with his girlfriend, who was then transported to a hospital in Salt Lake City.
West Wendover police said Abarca took the woman from her residence in Utah across the state line into West Wendover, where he struck her repeatedly and tried to force her to jump out of a second-story window.
Initially charged with domestic violence, Abarca’s charges were upgraded and he was bound over in Elko Justice Court in June on one count of kidnapping, a category A felony; one count of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon, a category B felony; and one count of battery by strangulation, a category C felony.
In a plea agreement filed Aug. 6, his charges were reduced to battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm and kidnapping in the second degree.
Abarca has been in custody at the Elko County Jail since his arrest.
ELKO – A former local resident was booked into Elko County Jail on $55,000 bail after allegedly trying to cash a fraudulent check at a casino.
Mathew W. Beecher, 21, of Hardeeville, South Carolina, attempted to cash a check that was manufactured using the name, address and account number of another person, according to the Elko Police Department.
When officers searched Beecher they reportedly found four additional fraudulent checks that were “fictitiously manufactured” using information from a second victim.
Police said evidence discovered during Monday’s investigation at the Red Lion revealed that Beecher may have had an accomplice.
He was booked on five counts of possessing or receiving forged instruments or bills, and one count of making or uttering with intent to utter a fictitious bill, note or check.
Jail records indicate Beecher was also arrested in February for felony possession of a controlled substance, and in June 2018 on five counts of buying, possessing or receiving stolen property; 11 counts of intent to utter a fictitious bill, note or check; obtaining, or possessing a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent; and conspiracy to commit grand larceny.
At the time of his arrest in June he was listed as a resident of Wendover.