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Media Releases are available online for 30 days. If you would like a copy of a Media Release older than 30 days, please contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Sedona area Plane Crash results in 4 apparent Fatalities – Resulting Fire still Burning

Posted on Jul 20, 2014

 

July 20, 2014

 

Sedona area Plane Crash results in 4 apparent Fatalities – Resulting Fire still Burning

***

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION –

Just before 4 PM this afternoon, hikers in the Bear Mountain area of Sedona reported a possible plane crash and fire. Crews from the Sedona Fire District and United States Forest Service (USFS) arrived to assess and begin working the fire. Initial attempts to locate a downed plane were unsuccessful, even by flyover. Witnesses believe the fire resulted from the plane crash although they did not have a line of sight view.

Just after 6PM, fire crews on the ground located a downed single engine plane with 4 fatalities in Fay Canyon, N/E of Bear Mountain. Access to the crash site is currently difficult due to the terrain and fire.

The NTSB / FAA have been notified regarding the plane crash.

Forest Service crews continue working the fire. There have been no evacuations at this time.

Updates provided when available.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Special Concert and Law Enforcement Event at the Court House Square

Posted on Jul 18, 2014

Giving Crime the “Blues” –

Special Concert and Law Enforcement Event at the Court House Square

***

“A connected neighborhood is a safer neighborhood”

On Friday, July 25, 2014, at 6 PM, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, along with several of its law enforcement partners including the Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Tribal Police Departments, will host the 4th annual National Night Out Kick-Off Concert. National Night Out occurs every year on the first Tuesday in August – this year, August 5, 2014. The National Night Out campaign takes place all across the U.S. and is designed to raise crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood unity and spirit, and further develop partnerships between Law Enforcement agencies and the community. At the core of these programs is Neighborhood Watch – residents and business owners uniting with their law enforcement representatives to reduce crime.

The goal of this event, expected to conclude at 8:30PM, is to highlight and remind community members that August 5th is a day to gather and celebrate crime prevention efforts in your own neighborhoods.

For the 4th year, local blues band “Road One South” will perform during the July 25th event in conjunction with the City of Prescott Summer Concert Series. Their show will be tailored to highlight some of the many activities also occurring that evening including displays and information from various area law enforcement agencies, K9 deputies and their partners, special vehicle displays, Yavapai Silent Witness, etc. Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and YCSO mascot “Deputy Do-Right,” will also be on hand.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the music, displays and the opportunity to meet your local law enforcement representatives as we unite to “Give Crime and Criminals the Blues!”

YCSO would like to thank the City of Prescott for allowing the Kick-Off Event to take place in conjunction with their Summer Concert Series.

We are also very grateful to Arizona’s Home Town Radio Group for sponsoring our entertainment and co-hosting this event.

For further information or details on this event, please contact YCSO Crime Prevention Coordinator Tony Palermo at 928-777-7223, or Kevin Rother in Prescott Police Department Crime Prevention Unit, at 928-777-1967.

Prescott Valley Man scammed out of nearly $8800

Posted on Jul 17, 2014

Prescott Valley Man scammed out of nearly $8800

***

Over the last few weeks, a 64-year-old Prescott Valley man lost in excess of $8700 through an email ruse involving a woman supposedly stranded in Nigeria trying to return to the US. The victim was convinced he was helping someone in need and wired money in 4 separate transactions.

Deputies were called to the victim’s home and his wife explained she had just discovered the scam and the loss of several thousand dollars due to her husband’s actions. The victim admitted he was befriended by a “woman” from Nigeria through email contact weeks prior. They never spoke, only communicating by email. The woman eventually asked for financial assistance claiming she was stuck in Nigeria after losing her passport, money and other personal property. She requested money for expenses including air fare and processing fees. On July 2, 2014, the victim sent $1000 via Western Union to a requested money drop.

Apparently the initial payment was not enough for the suspect as the requests for money continued. The victim complied and wired additional money on July 5, 6, and 10. The transfer on the 10th was in the amount of $6000 and wired a bank in Nigeria. Total loss by now was $8700. Finally, on July 11, 2014, after receiving a request for $4000, the victim told his wife about the relationship and payments and she immediately called YCSO.

Although embarrassed by the incident, they asked YCSO to share this story so others may avoid the scam. They couple is on a fixed income and the loss has been very difficult.

These scams are difficult to investigate because they generally involve the use of public computers by suspects in countries where law enforcement intervention in fraud cases is rare. There has been limited success in prosecuting some cases in the past with assistance of federal law enforcement and Interpol. Much of the data received by federal law enforcement from U.S. victims comes from the website www.ic3.gov. This site is a clearing house which allows victims to file a complaint while the general public can obtain information on the latest scams.

As always, please share this information with family and friends who may be vulnerable to such tricks in the hope of preventing more victims.    

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Open Media/Public Invitations for Two Upcoming Events

Posted on Jul 17, 2014

Open Media/Public Invitations for Two Upcoming Events *** Tuesday, JULY 22, 2014, 2PM – Watson Lake Park, parking area of off Hillsdale Road, Prescott. Sheriff Mascher and Alberto Gutier, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), will join to announce a new addition to the Sheriff’s fleet for use as part of ongoing DUI enforcement efforts throughout Yavapai County. This Ford truck (pictured) was graciously provided to YCSO by a grant from GOHS. Essentially a mobile command post for DUI enforcement teams, it will provide space for processing arrestee’s on site with access to computers, remote booking capability, and intoxilyzer testing. Sheriff Mascher greatly appreciates the opportunity to obtain this state-of-the-art vehicle as part of YCSO’s mission to keep impaired drivers off the road. The vehicle will also be shared with our partner agencies while DUI task forces are activated. The vehicle will be open for inspection. Click here for a map - Directions to Watson Lake Park ____________________________________________ Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1:30PM to 3:30PM – Open house at the new YCSO Mayer sub-station, 12606 Main Street. Sheriff Mascher is pleased to announce the relocation of the Mayer sub-station to the ‘old red brick schoolhouse’ on Main Street in Mayer. Thanks to an agreement between Yavapai County, Superintendent Dean Slaga, and the Mayer School Board, Sheriff’s Office personnel now occupy the ground floor of this beautiful building erected back in 1916. The media and public are invited to meet Sheriff Mascher, Mayer area patrols deputies, along with Superintendent Slaga, and tour the newly remodeled office. Light refreshments will be served. Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Jail Escapee Now a Fugitive - $5000 Reward Offered

Posted on Jul 14, 2014

Jail Escapee Now a Fugitive - $5000 Reward Offered

***

Yavapai Silent Witness, 1800-932-3232 is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of fugitive Wade Cole Dickinson, 28, who escaped from the Camp Verde Detention Center Saturday afternoon.

Prior to the escape, Dickinson was concluding several criminal cases involving fraud schemes, false reporting of a stolen vehicle, theft, prohibited possession of a firearm, weapons misconduct, possession of dangerous drugs, etc., all occurring while he was on probation. He was expecting 24 year prison term. Victim’s included business associates, friends and an insurance company.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, around 2:30 pm, Dickinson was able to scale a wall in the recreation yard of the Detention Center, separate overhead security fencing to access the roof and climb down to ground level. Dickinson then ran across the parking area and was seen attempting to steal a small pick-up truck parked outside a business located along Highway 260 in front of the jail. When the business owners came outside, Dickinson ran across Highway 260 and then east along Old Highway 279 out of sight. The owners immediately called YCSO to report a possible escape. The jail was quickly locked down and following a head count, Dickinson was confirmed missing.

Just before 11 PM that night, YCSO received a credible report Dickinson was seen on Middle Verde Road in the area of I17. An exhaustive search with the assistance of multiple agencies and tracking dogs was unsuccessful and concluded late yesterday. YCSO still cautions residents in the Camp Verde area to remain on alert as Dickinson does have acquaintances in the Camp Verde area.

 An internal review into the escape incident is underway.

YCSO appreciates the numerous phone calls received since the escape. Every credible lead will be checked. If someone wishes to remain anonymous, please call Silent Witness. If you see the fugitive, call 911. Do not approach Dickinson.

Anyone who provides aid, support, concealment, or hinders investigative efforts with knowledge Dickinson is a wanted fugitive, could be arrested and charged criminally.

A wanted poster with details on Dickinson’s physical description can be accessed in the alert box on our homepage at www.ycsoaz.gov. Also, check the alert box for the latest updates.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Suspects Sought in Cottonwood Home Invasion this Morning

Posted on Jul 12, 2014

 Suspects Sought in Cottonwood Home Invasion this Morning

***

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - At approximately 5:15AM this morning, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of North Rio Verde Circle, Cottonwood, regarding a home invasion robbery.

Deputies spoke with a female victim in her 50’s who explained that 3 men forcibly entered her home sometime around 4 AM, tied her up, and stole property. The victim was not physically injured or assaulted otherwise. The suspects told her they were armed. Details on their descriptions are expected in follow-up notifications.

During the investigation, detectives developed information regarding the suspect’s vehicle which is identified as a black Nissan Maxima, possibly a 2005 or 2006 model, all passenger windows blacked out with tint like that used for limousines. The vehicle displayed an Arizona Cardinal license plate, unknown numbers and last seen direction. Neighbors told deputies they had seen the vehicle in the area the prior evening.

Detectives are following up on leads this afternoon.

If you have any info, please contact YCSO at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 to report tips anonymously. Refer to case number 14-024747.

Suspect who Attempted Luring of Two Teen Girls in the VOC being sought

Posted on Jul 10, 2014

 

Suspect who Attempted Luring of Two Teen Girls in the VOC being sought

***

Yesterday, July 9, 2014, at approximately 10:50 AM, two teen girls, ages 14 and 15, were walking west on Cortez Drive from the Giant Gas Station towards Slide Rock Road, Village of Oak Creek, when a man drove by and whistled at them. The man then completed a U-turn, pulled up to the teens on the wrong side of the road and told them they had “nice butts.” He also asked if they would get in his car and “hang out” with him. The girls told him “no,” ran off, and hid. The girls heard the man tell them there was no need to run. The suspect eventually drove away east on Cortez Road towards Highway 179 and out of sight.

Vehicle description: Small passenger car, newer model, 4 doors, “robin egg bright blue” (just a little darker) in color, solid plastic rear spoiler which is taller than usual off the trunk lid (possibly one foot high), and approximately the width of the trunk. The spoiler is “solid” as opposed to having a large opening under the top surface. The vehicle has an Arizona plate, unknown letters/numbers, in the newer style with 7 digits including the cactus and mountain design located near and under the left 2 digits.

Suspect description: White male, late 20’s, tall and thin, brown eyes, brown hair that is short and slightly spiked in front, hair on the sides somewhat combed forward, and slight beard stubble-not a full beard.

Deputies patrolled the area extensively but were not able to locate either the suspect or his vehicle.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, or you see a vehicle and suspect matching the description, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232. Refer to case number 14-024436. Sedona PD was also given the information.

 

Suspect Arrested following SWAT Deployment- Negotiations and SWAT Coordination a Factor in a Peaceful Resolution

Posted on Jul 10, 2014

Around 3PM on July 9, 2014, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the 12000 block of North Flying Hawk Trail, Prescott. This area is located just off Williamson Valley Road, several miles north of Outer Loop Road. YCSO had been asked by the Maricopa County probation office to locate 56-year-old Daniel Lohmeier at a residence on Flying Hawk Trail. Lohmeier was wanted for a probation violation and felony warrants having missed a mandatory court appearance this day. Maricopa officials noted Lohmeier was considered armed and dangerous and intended on taking guns from the home then heading to Mexico. Deputies were told he was willing to shoot any law enforcement officer who tried to stop him.

Deputies arrived in the area quickly and determined Lohmeier was home by way of phone contact. Since this was his parent’s home, deputies attempted to determine if they were inside, but Lohmeier refused to answer other than to say he would not come outside. It was understood Lohmeier had access to firearms. Deputies began negotiating and maintaining contact with Lohmeier by phone as the YCSO SWAT team was assembling. Around 5:45 PM, Lohmeier’s mom and dad arrived by car. Fortunately, they had been running errands in town and were not home when deputies first arrived. Both were cooperative and escorted to a safe area.

Shortly after 6pm, Lohmeier exited the home and stood by his vehicle parked in the driveway but refused to surrender as negotiations continued. His access to the vehicle was now a concern as a possible escape tool. He did not appear armed at the time. Lohmeier eventually told the negotiator that he was not feeling well and requested an ambulance. Lohmeier was informed an ambulance crew was nearby, but he would only be treated after surrendering. At this time, SWAT deputies had deployed and set a secure containment around the home. When Lohmeier began moving towards the entrance to the home, SWAT deputies in proximity were able to physically restrain and arrest him.

Lohmeier sustained minor injuries and no deputies were injured. Lohmeier was treated at the scene and cleared for booking at the Camp Verde Detention Center on a charge of Resisting Arrest and a Probation Hold.

Recent Incidents Overview – Fraud and Weapons Violation Involving a Minor

Posted on Jul 9, 2014

Recent Incidents Overview – Fraud and Weapons Violation Involving a Minor    

***

Humboldt: SUSPECT SWINDLES HIS GRANDMOTHER – On July 7, 2014, deputies were dispatched to a bank in Prescott Valley regarding possible check fraud. Upon arrival, deputies met with the 74-year-old victim who told them her grandson, 21-year-old Forrest Richards, had forged checks resulting in a loss in excess of $1000.

Deputies examined at least 7 checks on the victim’s account written out to Forrest Richards and signed using the victim’s name. Comparing the signature on these checks to the victim’s actual signature indicated the checks had been forged. The checks used were kept in the victim’s bedroom. The victim believed Forrest had stolen and forged the checks over the last couple of weeks.

Deputies went to the victim’s residence in Humboldt and located Richards. When deputies searched Richards, they found a spoon containing heroin residue and a syringe. During a follow-up interview, Richards admitted to the theft and forgery of his grandmother’s checks. He indicated a drug addiction was the primary cause for needing cash. He was also found in possession of the victim’s credit card.

Richards was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including seven counts each of Forgery, Fraud, Identity Theft, Theft, and one count involving the Theft of a Credit Card. He remains in-custody on a $15,000 bond.

Seligman: FIREARMS VIOLATIONS – On June 28, 2014, a 16-year-old male was arrested for charges including Minor Carrying a Firearm, Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon, and Fire Ban Violation.

Around 7:15PM on June 28th, deputies were called to an area adjacent to West Rancho Vista Way in Seligman regarding a complaint of persons shooting near a residence. The victim had already confronted the group responsible and while doing so, obtained the license number for one of the quads and a photo of an apparent juvenile who was armed. Deputies eventually located the 4 juveniles near Main Street in Seligman. One of the juveniles matched the armed juvenile in the photo. At this time, an adult was with the group. All the juveniles admitted being confronted by victim earlier and initially wanted to report threats from the victim. During separate interviews with each of the minors, they all denied specific threats. A 16-year-old suspect, who had been in possession of a handgun given to him by his grandfather, admitted shooting the handgun in a canyon area the previous day and did not believe he was creating any danger by his actions. The suspect also recalled being confronted by the victim at that time over concerns the rounds were noticeable near the victim’s home.

On this day (June 28) the suspect was out shooting rabbits in the vicinity and was again confronted by the victim who asked him to stop because the activity was illegal and dangerous.

Once the interviews were completed, deputies told the suspect the victim was correct in expressing these concerns and advised the suspect he would be charged for the following violations - Minor Carrying a Firearm without a Responsible Adult Present, Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon, and a Violation of the Fire Ban. The suspect had shot numerous jack rabbits in the area that were left to decompose. Additionally, the suspect’s general target background contained lots of rocks which greatly increased the chance of a ricochet towards occupied structures.

The case against the suspect was referred to the Juvenile Court for prosecution.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Recent Incidents Overview include Arrest of Arson Suspect and Husband/Wife Burglars

Posted on Jul 7, 2014

PAULDEN: ARSON SUSPECT ARRESTED – On July 5, 2014, 23-year-old transient Alicia Webb was arrested for several charges including Arson of a Structure/Occupied Structure, Trespass, Burglary, and Criminal Damage. She was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and remains in- custody on a $50,000 bond.

Just after 8:30 PM on July 5th, deputies were dispatched to the 25000 block of N Cottonwood Lane, Paulden, Arizona, regarding a mobile home fully engulfed in fire. A neighbor initially reported the fire. Fortunately, the residents were not home at the time but did arrive shortly after the deputies began their investigation. The residents indicated they had been away since noon until hearing of the fire.

Neighbors in the vicinity told deputies they saw an unidentified female enter and leave the mobile home on at least two occasions after the residents had departed. The last time she seen by the neighbors was within an hour of a visible fire in the home. After noticing the fire, neighbors called 911 and then saw the same female pass by the burning home and make a gesture indicating satisfaction with the fire’s progress in damaging the home.

When the residents heard a description of the suspicious female, they identified her by name as Alicia Webb, an ex-acquaintance of one of the family members. She was eventually located near Highway 89 in Paulden and detained. Webb admitted to the arson saying she lit clothes on fire inside the home because she was “angry,” but would not elaborate. The disposable lighter Webb used was located in her possession. Investigation remains active to determined specific motivation for her actions.

BLACK CANYON CITY: HUSBAND/WIFE BURGLARS CAUGHT IN THE ACT – On July 5, 2014, around 8 AM, deputies arrested 2 suspects identified as David Wieber, 55, and his wife, Angela Wieber, 38, for Burglary. David was also charged with Criminal Damage and 2 counts of Theft and he remains in-custody at the Camp Verde Detention Center on a $5000 bond. Angela was additionally charged with Theft and Possession of Methamphetamine and remains in-custody on a $2000 bond.

Just before 8AM, deputies were dispatched to the 33000 block of Old Mud Springs, Black Canyon City, regarding a burglary in progress. A neighbor had called the off-site homeowner to explain unknown persons were inside her normally unoccupied home and the homeowner in turned called YCSO.

Upon arrival, deputies saw a white 2001 Oldsmobile sedan registered to the suspects parked in the driveway. Deputies initially saw the front door open, then close and reopen again. The suspects were ordered out of the home and detained. With assistance from DPS officers, the property was contained and the home checked for additional suspects. None were found.

Angela admitted she and her husband were “homeless” and decided to stay in the home without permission from the homeowner whom she does not know. David’s explanation was different as he told deputies he was “renting” the home from a guy named “Greg” or “Gary,” but was unsure how to reach him. Deputies confirmed with the homeowner that no such person exists and she had never rented the property. Both suspects stated they had used the home during the last two days. According to the victim, it appeared the suspects had rearranged portions of the home to their personal liking. It is unknown at this time if any property was stolen from the home.

During a check of Angela’s duffle bag, deputies found a quantity of meth along with a meth pipe.

During a review of David’s personal property, deputies located numerous credit cards that were not associated with either suspect. As of today, at least one person from the Phoenix area has verified her credit card was stolen in a previously reported burglary. The investigation is ongoing as to additional victims and additional charges are likely.

Finally, the suspect’s vehicle contained burglary tools including various pry tools, punches, and an instruction book explaining how to pick locks.

Black Canyon City resident arrested for Animal Cruelty- Incident involves Hundreds of Domesticated Rats

Posted on Jul 2, 2014

Black Canyon City resident arrested for Animal Cruelty-

Incident involves Hundreds of Domesticated Rats

***

On June 30, 2014, Yavapai County Health Services personnel requested assistance with a possible animal cruelty investigation at a home in the 19200 block of E. Abbott Street, Black Canyon City. Health Services had received a call from a citizen reporting numerous dying and dead rats in around a trailer on the property.

Upon arrival, deputies and YCSO Animal Control Officers could immediately smell urine, feces, and the odor of dead animal carcass’ emanating from the property. A large travel trailer was inspected as it was the strongest source of the odor. This trailer had a pen inside the front section that contained several dead and dying rats and pens to the rear with an estimated 300 to 500 rats, most of which appeared dead or dying. The temperature inside the trailer was over 100 degrees and the odor was overwhelming.

Inside the main residence, YCSO personnel found several aquariums with newborn and adult rats. The animals appeared in good condition and had food and water. No one was home at the time.

Deputies learned that a person by the name of “Jeff,” later identified as 28-year-old Jeffrey Wendorff, was the known caretaker for the rats. Wendorff was located at a nearby business and detained. He initially denied knowledge of any animals on the Abbott Street property, but eventually admitted he had stopped caring for the rats recently and said, “As far as I known, they’re probably all dead.” Wendorff indicated he was living at the location until a couple of weeks ago. Both he and the property owner had previously entered into a business partnership for the purpose of breeding and selling rats for profit. This arrangement also allowed Wendorff to live on the property rent free. Following a pay dispute, Wendorff abandoned his duty as the primary caretaker, moved, and abandoned the animals. The property owner is apparently only a part time resident.

Wendorff was arrested and charged with Cruel Mistreatment of Animals and Cruel Neglect/Abandonment of Animal – both misdemeanors. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and has since been released on a promise to appear for court. The investigation is ongoing as to others who might be complicit in this activity.

Bagdad Adult arrested for Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Posted on Jun 30, 2014

On June 24, 2014, 19-year-old Fabio Cietto Dos Santo, from Bagdad, was arrested for charges including 3 counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and is being held without bond.

On the morning of June 24, 2014, deputies assigned to the Bagdad area were notified by an adult who had discovered Dos Santo engaged in sexual conduct with a male under the age of 15. The incident occurred at a home in Bagdad earlier this month. The reporting party expressed immediate concern for the victim and hoped to prevent the suspect from doing this to other children.

Deputies located the victim and learned that Dos Santo had been involved in a least 2 previous sexual acts with him earlier this year. The victim admitted being intimidated and afraid of Dos Santo during each contact. Dos Santo also threatened the victim demanding he never disclose these incidents.

Dos Santo was immediately located and during an interview, admitted the sexual conduct with the victim. If anyone has additional information regarding this suspect, please contact the Sheriff’s Office or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232. Refer to case no. 14-022377.

 

Investigation leads to Arrest of Child Pornography Suspect

Posted on Jun 30, 2014

On June 26, 2014, YCSO detectives arrested 56-year-old George Harb at his home in the 600 block of Star Rock Drive, Prescott, for 13 counts of Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and remains in-custody on a $150,000 bond.

Over the last several weeks, YCSO detectives with assistance from investigators at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), developed information regarding the trafficking of pornographic images involving very young children. The investigation led to Harb’s home on Star Rock Drive in Prescott where detectives served a search warrant on Thursday, June 26, 2014. Inside the home, detectives found thousands of video and images involving the sexual exploitation of children. Detectives were able to immediately examine 13 video files all containing children under the age of 15 engaged in sexual contact. Detectives noted that some of the videos contained children who appeared to be under the age of 5 being molested. These 13 videos are the basis for the initial booking charges. Detectives seized computers, hard drives, etc., for further examination.

Harb admitted full knowledge of the child pornography images and videos. He denied ever committing an act of child molestation.

YCSO would like to thank HSI personnel for providing technical tools and expertise during the investigation. Sheriff Mascher is committed to utilizing any resources necessary to find and arrest those in Yavapai County involved in the possession and trafficking of child pornography.

The following is a statement from Jeremy Jolles, resident agent in charge of HSI Flagstaff – "This arrest should serve as a warning to those who would seek to hide behind a computer in order to sexually exploit children. HSI, along with our law enforcement partners at the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, are committed to protecting our communities by bringing suspected child predators to justice.”

Bus Passenger Dies following Altercation (updated)

Posted on Jun 27, 2014

UPDATE 2PM ---

  1. The off-duty driver was cooperative and permitted interviews  - He was not “detained” as earlier indicated – the attach release has been amended.
  2. Next of kin notification regarding the victim is still ongoing.
  3. The bus was heading from Phoenix for a stop in Flagstaff when it became disabled on the I17.
  4. The impairment referred to references the possibility of drugs and/or alcohol and/or medications – Determination is pending toxicology results.
  5. I hope to have an overall scene photo by 3:30 this afternoon.

 

_____________________________________

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - At approximately 2:45 AM this morning, YCSO deputies were dispatched to north I17 near milepost 311 regarding a disorderly male passenger on a Greyhound Bus. Upon arrival, deputies found the 53-year-old male unconscious and lying outside of the bus. Medical personnel arrived and attempts to revive the man were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead the scene.

Deputies contacted the bus driver, an off-duty driver, and several passengers (about 50 on board), regarding the circumstances. Deputies learned that the bus had stopped along I17 due to mechanical issues. While the bus was stationary, an impaired passenger began arguing with the driver and then attempted to assault the driver. An off-duty Greyhound driver intervened resulting in a physical confrontation with the man. The passenger collapsed inside the bus and later died.

It is unclear at this time if the confrontation with the off-duty driver resulted in the man’s death or other associated factors are involved. The body has been transferred to the Medical Examiner for a scheduled autopsy.

Detectives were called to the scene early this morning to gather evidence and interview involved parties and passengers. The off-duty driver is being interviewed by detectives as the follow-up continues. No arrests have been made.

The identity of the deceased is pending next of kin notification.

Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

The Working Inmate (see pdf attachment for photos)

Posted on Jun 26, 2014

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office routinely “employs” inmates housed at the Camp Verde Detention for duties in and outside the Detention Center. Not only do the inmates benefit from positive use of their time, but there is a side benefit of cost savings to county taxpayers. Over the last several weeks, Camp Verde Detention personnel have continued to seek out and arrange work projects for both men and woman inmates. Following the completion of these tasks, many of the inmates have thanked the YCSO security team for the opportunity. Achieving a goal through the process of completing these projects also has the benefit of fostering better attitudes and behavior for the inmates involved.

Inmates allowed to participate in these various assignments are screened and considered minimum risk. Their compensation includes credit against the daily meal expense and a small weekly allowance.

Recent projects include:

  1. Major storm drain clean-up for the City of Prescott.
  2. Landscaping and weed abatement around the Jeep Posse headquarters property on Commerce Drive in Prescott.
  3. Clean-up of trash and weeds involving the roundabout near the Granite Dells in Prescott.
  4. Cliff Rose Trailhead in the Verde Valley - cut a new trail between the parking lot and the trailhead.
  5. Black Canyon City – Weed and clean-up detail at the park on Palm Lane.
  6. Chino Valley Law Enforcement Shooting Range – Inmate workers spent 9 days, with no less than 6 inmates utilized each day, building the range backstop, and spreading gravel. This saved the town thousands of dollars in labor costs and allowed the range to open earlier than expected.
  7. Yavapai College – Inmate workers assisted students and staff by digging hundreds of holes over 2 days to plant grapes on nearly 3 acres. This work supported the Yavapai College Foundation, a non-profit organization, and the campus’ teaching winery. The inmate labor provided an opportunity to get crops started early in the season otherwise not possible due to a lack of available resources.
  8. ADOT Adopt-a-Highway Program – The Detention Center is assigned a 1 mile stretch along State Route 260 between Cottonwood and Camp Verde. Inmate workers conduct clean-up efforts at least 4 times a year.
  9. The YCSO driving track and training facility in Prescott Valley. Inmate workers recently spent 4 days cutting weeds and cleaned the track and adjacent areas.

Perseverance by Deputies leads to Recovery of Stolen Property / Arrests – Rimrock (with update)

Posted on Jun 26, 2014

On June 25, 2014, around 10:30 PM, 19-year-old Austin Hanson was arrested at a home in the 5600 block of Joann Drive, Rimrock. Investigation by YCSO detectives directly linked Hanson to the burglary on Cedar Drive. Hanson was also charged with the theft of a handgun from a separate incident – details follow.

On June 21, 2014, a man, later identified as Austin Hanson, was present during a yard sale in the 3000 block of East Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock. Hanson was interested in a handgun that was for sale, but indicated he could not afford it. Hanson left and returned later in the day to check out the gun and expressed interest in purchasing the firearm. While examining the gun, Hanson ran off with the firearm to a waiting tan colored GMC SUV driven by a female and fled. The gun’s owner provided a detailed description of the vehicle and Hanson who was eventually located Wednesday night in Rimrock.

Hanson was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Burglary, Theft, and Trafficking Stolen Property. He remains in-custody on a $3000 bond.

The investigation remains active and more arrests are likely.

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Issued June 23, 2014 - On June 19, 2014, at approximately 11:30 PM, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the burglary of a home in the 4800 block of Cedar Drive, Rimrock. The victims indicated numerous items including a gun safe, television, laptop, generator, and air compressor, were stolen earlier in the evening. Additionally, the gun safe contained two firearms, gold and silver coins along with many other collectables.

The investigation continued overnight as deputies developed leads on possible suspects following numerous interviews. The information led to a home on Kimberley’s Way, Rimrock, where deputy’s located physical evidence from the burglary along with the victim’s gun safe, now forced open, laying in an adjacent vacant lot. Deputies contacted detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau who assisted by obtaining a search warrant. Just prior to service of the search warrant, deputies stopped a vehicle around 2AM associated with the Kimberley Way property. The driver was 31-year-old Kelly Bieber from Rimrock, with a passenger identified as 26-year-old JC McPike, from Dewey, Arizona. McPike was found to have a coin stolen from the victim’s home in his pocket and was in possession of a handgun. Numerous drug paraphernalia items, including syringes, were found in the car and associated with McPike.

At Bieber’s home on Kimberley Way, several stolen items were recovered including two firearms from the gun safe, a generator, and air compressor. Additionally, deputies located drug paraphernalia and usable quantity of methamphetamine in Bieber’s bathroom.

McPike was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Prohibited Firearms Possession, and Possession of Deadly Weapon during a Felony. He remains in-custody on a $10,000 bond. Investigation into his connection with the burglary is ongoing.

Bieber was also booked and her charges include Possession of a Dangerous Drug, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia x6, Trafficking in Stolen Property, and Theft. She remains in-custody on a $7500 bond.

YCSO is seeking additional suspects involved in the burglary. Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232. Refer to case number 14-021838.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Suspect in “puppy throwing” incident Arrested (photos in the attachment)

Posted on Jun 18, 2014

On June 16, 2014, 27-year-old Joseph Kennedy from Cornville was arrested for 2 felony counts of Cruelty to Animals, along with Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Paraphernalia.

The original incident, as reported last week by Yavapai Silent Witness, occurred just before 9 AM on June 11, 2014. At that time, witnesses called YCSO after seeing a man throw a puppy from a vehicle on Cornville Road travelling approximately 50 miles per hour. The puppy was recovered and treated at a local emergency vet clinic. The dog suffered significant neurological issues as a result of incident.

Following media reports, YCSO received several calls and Kennedy was identified as a suspect.  Deputies began an earnest search for Kennedy and late afternoon yesterday, a YCSO deputy spotted Kennedy in the back of a truck stopped in a Cottonwood convenience store parking lot. As the truck began moving, Kennedy ducked down into the bed hoping the deputy would not see him, but it was too late. The truck was stopped and Kennedy was detained. During the arrest, Kennedy became uncooperative and after deputies overcame his resistance, he was handcuffed.

A search of Kennedy’s property revealed 3 personal use packages of methamphetamine and associated paraphernalia.

During follow-up on this case, deputies learned Kennedy had been in a fight with his apparent girlfriend the day of the incident. Kennedy was “distraught,” and while riding with others in a friend’s car, he tossed the dog from the vehicle because he didn’t care for the animal. At the time, Kennedy’s 8 month old baby was also in the car. Following Kennedy’s arrest yesterday, deputies asked him where his son could be found so they could check on his welfare. Kennedy refused to provide the location. Using other sources, deputies located the child in Cottonwood under the care of a baby sitter. The child was ok. Children’s Protective Services were notified and took custody of the baby.

Kennedy was booked at the Camp Verde Detention on the indicated charges and remains in-custody on a $17,500 bond.

YCSO would like to thank the media and public for their assistance with this case.

YCSO Animal Control Officers have monitored the care and follow-up given to the dog and report she is now doing well in a foster home.

 

Scout Troop Stranded Overnight being Rescued this Morning (Photos in the attachment)

Posted on Jun 15, 2014

FINAL UPDATE FOR TODAY – All parties have returned safely. The coordination between YCSO, the YCSRT Back Country Unit, and DPS Ranger Crews, were pivotal to a successful resolution in this rescue operation.

The man who was transported to Verde Valley Medical Center has been identified as Ken Barnum, 70, from Casa Grande. His son, and another teen not part of the family, were airlifted to safety – see photo. The Boy Scout Troop is based out of the town of Maricopa.

Details as to what events led to this predicament involving the troop will be known once interviews and rescue reports have been completed.

UPDATE – 10:45 AM – The two remaining stranded hikers have returned safely to base camp without injury. The father/son hikers who had elected to remain overnight are being escorted out currently and their return will conclude the operation.

UPDATE- 10 A.M. - The 70-year-old male has been rescued and is being airlifted to a Camp Verde area hospital regarding cardiac issues --- further updates expected ---

PRELIMINARY REPORT –

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, along with Ranger helicopter crews from the Department of Public Safety, are currently working to rescue 3 stranded men from the West Clear Creek area several miles off Bull Pen Road, Camp Verde. The 3 were part of a Boy Scout Troop hiking in the area. One of the men is 70-years-old and due to a prior medical condition, was unable to hike out from the rugged terrain. He is believed to be in the company of his son and grandson who remained with him overnight. The current focus of rescue teams is to secure this individual by way of an airlift and obtain immediate medical treatment. The trio is apparently located at the base of a steep canyon.

Background – Yesterday, just before 3 pm, YCSO was notified that a Boy Scout Troop consisting of 4 adults and 8 teens had not returned to a previously scheduled and designated location as agreed. Attempts to reach the group by cell phone were unsuccessful. A search effort began including air support from DPS Ranger. Just after 6 PM, DPS Ranger located the group. All but 5 were able to walk out to safety and meet with a ground team from the Yavapai County Sheriff Response Team’s Back Country Unit. Two from the troop, a father and son, elected to remain overnight and are being escorted out this morning. The other 3, which include the 70-year-old male, remained overnight pending rescue efforts at first light this morning.