Wednesday, 23 April 2014 09:41 pm

Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Stolen Vehicle Arrest

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 14 April 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 11 April 2014

Subject: Stolen Vehicle Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
11 April 2014, at approx. 2:20 pm, the Sonora Police Department received a call from an auto dealership in Redding, stating they had a vehicle stolen and the vehicles GPS tracking device was indicating it was parked in front of the courthouse in Sonora. The vehicle was described as a maroon 2001 Mitsubishi.

Officers responded and located the vehicle, which had different license plates on it. A female subject approached the vehicle and was identified as Teresa Castillo, 45. Castillo claimed her husband had purchased the vehicle for $200 earlier in the day in Redding for they could drive to Sonora so her husband could make a court appearance.

Castillo’s husband, who was identified as James Manning, 49, was contacted inside the courthouse and asked to step outside. At first Manning denied knowing the vehicle was stolen, but later admitted he knew it was stolen. Manning was in court for a possession of a control substance charge.

During a search of the vehicle, methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia was located. Both Castillo and Manning were taken into custody without incident. They were transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of stolen property and felony possession of a controlled substance.

Wanted Person

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 8 April 2014

Date and Time of Incident:

Subject: Wanted Person
________________________________________________________________________
The Sonora Police Department developed information that Dean Ray Bennett, 49 of Tuolumne, was in the possession of stolen firearms and was selling them. Bennett is a convicted felon and is restricted from possessing firearms.

On 3 April 2014, a search warrant was served at the location where Bennett was staying at in Tuolumne. Bennett was not at the residence when the search warrant was served. Located inside the house were several firearms and methamphetamine.

Another occupant of the residence, Janice Edens, 58 of Tuolumne was taken into custody. Edens was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of a controlled substance.

A felony warrant has been issued for Dean Ray Bennett for being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and being a restricted person in possession of ammunition. Bennett is 5-10, 140, black hair, green eyes. Anyone with information regarding Bennett’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.

Counterfeit 20 Dollar Bills

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 27 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 26 March 2014

Subject: Counterfeit 20 dollar bills
________________________________________________________________________

26 March 2014, the Sonora Police Department was contacted by the management of Wal-Mart regarding several counterfeit 20 dollar bills being passed at their Sonora store.

The first incident occurred on 24 March 14, at approx. 6:46 pm. A male subject, with a large build and between 30-40 years old, paid for his purchase of $240 in counterfeit 20 dollar bills.

On 25 March 2014, there were two incidents. The first occurred at approx. 10:25 pm. A male subject with dark hair and facial hair paid for his purchase of $300 in counterfeit 20 dollar bills. The second occurred at approx. 10:40 pm. A female subject in her mid 30’s, with a heavy build, long dark hair, wearing glasses, paid for her purchase of $480 in counterfeit 20 dollar bills. This person wore a hooded sweatshirt and concealed her face near security cameras.

All the bills looked and felt authentic. However, they lacked water marks and the embedded security strip. Most of the bills also had the same serial number and the boarders were uneven. Some type of sent had been applied to the fake bills in an attempt to make them smell like real money.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.

Trace Program

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 25 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident:

Subject: Press Release
________________________________________________________________________

The Sonora Police Department is pleased and honored to join forces with Tuolumne County Friday Night Live in the State wide Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies (TRACE) program. The Sonora Police Department will be implementing the new TRACE investigative protocols soon. This rewarding program will assist the police department in the investigation of alcohol related events, which involve juveniles and/or minors, in an effort to determine whom they obtained alcohol from.

The Sonora Police Department has already contacted the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control and obtained; the proper protocols, the types of incidents they will investigate and/or respond to, and the qualifying parameters of cases in which they will investigate.

The Sonora Police Department is looking forward to this rewarding new program, as well as working with Tuolumne County Friday Night Live, the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, and other allied Tuolumne County Law Enforcement agencies as this program moves forward in Tuolumne County.

Drug Arrest

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 20 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 18 March 2014

Subject: Drug Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
18 March 2014, at approx. 1:04 pm, an officer observed a GMC pick-up, with expired registration, in the area of Shepherd and Jackson Streets, so the officer conducted an enforcement stop on the vehicle.

When the officer approached the vehicle he recognized the passenger as Gina Cassettari, 25 of Sonora. The officer also knew that Cassettari had an active warrant for her arrest for vehicle theft. Cassettari was taken into custody. A search of her person revealed five hydrocodone pills, which she didn’t have a prescription for. Cassettri was also restrained by the court from being in contact with the driver of the vehicle.

The officer then contacted the driver, Jamie Forrest, 46 of Sonora. During a search of Forrest, a bindle of methamphetamine was located. Then during a search of Forrest’s pick-up, a bag containing 65 Norco pills was located, which Forrest didn’t have a prescription for.

Both Cassettari and Forrest were transported to the Tuolumne County and booked.

Cassettari was booked for felony possession of a controlled narcotic, misdemeanor violation of a court order and for the outstanding vehicle theft warrant.

Forrest was booked for felony possession of methamphetamine and felony possession of a controlled narcotic

Felony DUI Accident

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 18 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 17 March 2014, at approx. 4:57 pm

Subject: Felony DUI Accident
________________________________________________________________________

17 March 2014, at approx. 4:57 pm, emergency personnel responded to the area of Stockton Road and Woods Creek Drive for a reported vehicle accident with injuries.

When officers arrived they determined that Nancy Nelson, 61 of Copperopolis, was westbound in a 2010 Nissan SUV, when she slowed to make a right turn onto Woods Creek Drive. Gary Armstrong, 45 of Coulterville, was also westbound in a 1983 GMC pick-up and struck Nelson’s vehicle as it slowed. Nelson complained of pain in numerous areas of her body. Nelson declined to be transported to the hospital.

Armstrong was contacted and determined to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage following field sobriety tests. A breath test showed Armstrong’s blood alcohol level to be more than twice the legal limit to be operating a vehicle. It was also learned that Armstrong is on probation in Mariposa County for misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Armstrong was arrested and transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony driving under the influence resulting in an accident and injury, and for misdemeanor violation of probation.

Felony Battery on Officer

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 5 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 4 March 2014, at approx. 10:00 am

Subject: Felony Battery on Officer
________________________________________________________________________
4 March 2014, at approx. 10:00 am, an officer responded to St. Patrick’s Church located on Jackson Street for a report of a male subject attempting to steal a women’s purse, then refusing to leave the church after he was confronted about the attempted theft.

When the Officer arrived, he recognized the responsible party as Jeremy King, who is on parole for robbery and has an extensive violent criminal history. The Officer also knew that King had two outstanding warrants.

As the Officer went to grab King’s wrist to place him under arrest, King immediately pulled his arm away, clinched his fists, took up a fighting stance, and verbally challenged the Officer to fight. King then charged the Officer and started throwing punches at him.

During the assault, the Officer was able to remove his baton and strike King several times. However, it had no effect on King and King kept throwing punches. The Officer was able to knock King to the ground and a wrestling match ensued. While the Officer and King were on the ground, King attempted to remove the Officers service weapon from the Officers holster.

Another Officer arrived on scene and started assisting the first Officer. King then started attempting to remove the second Officers service weapon from his holster. Shortly thereafter, three more Officers arrived and King was finally controlled and placed in handcuffs.

The first Officer sustained a laceration to his lip and abrasions to his face and head. King also sustained abrasions to his face and head. King was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony assault on a Police Officer; felony causing an injury to a Police Officer while resisting arrest; felony attempting to remove an officers firearm; felony attempted theft; felony parole violation; misdemeanor under the influence of a controlled substance.

Vehicle VS. Pedestrian Update

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 4 March 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 25 February 2014, at approx. 4:08 pm

Subject: Vehicle VS. Pedestrian Update
________________________________________________________________________

25 February 2014, at approx. 4:08 pm, emergency personnel responded to Stockton Road near Mill Villa road for a reported vehicle vs. pedestrian accident.

It was determined a 2006 Ford pick-up operated by Linda Smith, 67 of Modesto was westbound on Stockton Road, when a 33 year old male pedestrian, who was walking eastbound along the north shoulder, intentionally jumped in front of Smith’s pick-up.

The pedestrian was three feet into the traffic lane when he was struck by the right front of Smith’s truck. Smith was unable to take any evasive actions to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Several witnesses confirmed that Smith had no time to react to the pedestrian intentionally jumping out in front of her vehicle.

The pedestrian suffered major trauma as the result of the impact with the vehicle, pavement and vegetation. The pedestrian was air lifted to a Modesto hospital, where he has since died from the injuries he sustained during collision. This case has been ruled a suicide.

Vehicle VS. Pedestrian Accident

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 26 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 25 February 2014, at approx. 4:08 pm

Subject: Vehicle VS. Pedestrian Accident
________________________________________________________________________

25 February 2014, at approx. 4:08 pm, emergency personnel responded to Stockton Road near Mill Villa road for a reported vehicle vs. pedestrian accident. When officers arrived they located the male pedestrian over an embankment, where he had landed following the collision.

It was determined from witnesses that a 2006 Ford pick-up was westbound on Stockton Road, when a male pedestrian, who was walking eastbound along the north shoulder, intentionally jumped in front of the pick-up. The pedestrian was three feet into the traffic lane when he was struck by the right front of the Ford truck. The force of the impact launched the pedestrian over an embankment and down a small ravine.

The pedestrian suffered major trauma as the result of the impact with the vehicle, pavement and vegetation. The pedestrian was air lifted to a Modesto hospital and is in critical condition.

The investigation into this matter is continuing.

Ricky Roberts Candlelight Visual

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 20 February 2014

Subject: Ricky Roberts Candlelight Visual
________________________________________________________________________

A candlelight visual has been scheduled for Ricky Roberts, at his shop located on Mono Way, for Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 7:00 pm. Participants are encouraged to car pool as parking will be limited to allow an area for people to participate in the visual.

The Sonora Police Department will be providing crossing services for pedestrians on Mono Way, across from Roberts’ shop, for those who park at the old Behavioral Health building, the Grocery Outlet, or other locations and walk to the shop.

Traffic will be congested in the area, with slow, as well as stop and go traffic. If you are not participating in the event, we are encouraging you to utilize other routes between 6:30 pm and 8:00 pm to help avoid congestion in the area. Vehicles parked creating hazards will be cited and/or towed.

Ricky Roberts’ Car Trailer

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 19 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident:

Subject: Ricky Roberts’ Car Trailer
________________________________________________________________________

There has been a rumor going around and several postings on facebook that Ricky Roberts’ Car Trailer was stolen during his homicide. This is not true! The trailer was loaned to a friend, which we have confirmed.
There is no need to call the police department with the possible location of the trailer or who might be in possession of it. We greatly appreciate all the calls we received on this topic, but unfortunately this is distracting from the investigation as these calls have to be fielded by the investigators working the case.
However, we are still seeking information regarding who may have been around or at Roberts’ shop on Mono Way, between 7:30 and 11:00 am on Sunday, 16 February 2014.
If you have any other information you feel might be important to this investigation, we ask that you call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141, you may remain anonymous.

Child Endangerment

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 17 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 15 February 2014, at approx. 7:04 pm

Subject: Child Endangerment
________________________________________________________________________

15 February 2014, at approx. 7:04 pm, officers from the Sonora Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle down an embankment on Stockton Road, near the fairgrounds.
When officers arrived they located a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback with major front end damage off the south side of the roadway, near the west end of the fairgrounds. The vehicle had left the roadway and struck a large Sonora Rotary sign destroying it before going down the embankment and hitting a small tree and the fence of the fairgrounds.
The driver was contacted and identified as Megan Bunow, 25 of Mi Wok Village. Megan was extremely intoxicated and uncooperative. A preliminary alcohol screening test showed Bunow’s blood alcohol level to be more than three times the legal limit.
Bunow’s six year old daughter was properly secured in a child safety seat in the back of the vehicle and was uninjured. Bunow sustained lacerations and abrasions to her face and forehead. Bunow’s daughter was uninjured and released to a relative at the scene.
Bunow was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center to be treated for her injuries. While at the hospital Bunow become combative and kicked an officer. After being treated, Bunow was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony child endangerment, misdemeanor driving under the influence and misdemeanor assault on a police officer.

Homicide

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 16 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 16 February 2014, at approx. 11:13 am

Subject: Homicide
________________________________________________________________________
16 February 2014, at approx. 11:13 am, officers and medical personnel responded to a business located at 280 Mono Way regarding a report of a man down inside the business, who was bleeding. When officers arrived, they located the business owner, Rick Roberts, 49 of Sonora, deceased inside the business.
The California Department of Justice was requested to assist with the investigation and the collection of evidence, as well as the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office. The cause of death appears to be from a gunshot wound. The case is still under investigation and no further information is being released.
Roberts was a volunteer with the Sonora Police Department. He was a member of the department’s Police Associate Citizen’s Team (PACT). He was an advisor for the police department’s Police Explorer program; helping train Explorers for competitions and chaperoning them on different activates and events. Roberts also assisted the department at its firearms range.
The last homicide in the City of Sonora was 28 February 2001.
Anyone with any information regarding this crime is asked to call the Sonora Police Department at 209-532-8141.

2014 “Year of the Scammer”

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 14 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: Past two weeks

Subject: 2014 “Year of the scammer”
________________________________________________________________________

2014 is quickly turning into the year of the scammer. Two new scams have recently hit the Mother Lode area, along with several older ones reappearing. Everyone needs to be very vigilant of whom they are speaking to or dealing with, both on the phone and on the internet.

One of the recent scams to make its way into our area started with an advertisement placed in the Union Democrat classified section. So far, the Police Department has taken two reports from this scam. The ad was looking for a personal assistant and was willing to pay $310 a week.

When the victims answered the ad via email, they were sent a money order in the amount of $1,730 via Fed Ex, with instructions. The money order appeared to be from the Texas State Bank. The instructions told the victims to deposit the money orders into their accounts, deduct 10% for themselves, then wire the remaining amount via Western Union to an address in China. The email address in China is anonymous and untraceable. Once the money order is deposited, the scammer has your account number and will quickly empty it.

The other scam is a phone scam which has hit our area. In this scam, a female caller claims to be from H&R Block’s corporate office. The caller claims if you supply her with your full name, date of birth and social security number, she can access your tax return from last year, even if you didn’t file it with H&R Block. She also claims she can access all your reported earnings to the IRS and State for 2013.

The caller states she will file your taxes for you electronically for only $50. And if you are not eligible for a return, the company will give you $50. If you agree to this, the caller asks for your bank account number and your routing number, so they can have your refund electronically deposited, or deposit your $50 if you are not eligible for a refund.

Like in the other scam, once they have your account number they empty your account. The phone number in this scam goes to a phone junction in Florida, then it’s transferred to Canada.

Last week we had someone report they were the victim of the “relative needing bail money” scam. This scam has been around several years now and people are still falling victim to it. If someone calls you from Canada or Mexico and claims you have a relative in jail and you need to send money to bail them out, DO NOT DO IT! There are several ways to confirm if this is true or not, but just don’t believe the person on the phone and send them money. In this scam they normally request a money order between $3,000 & $5,000 to be sent via Western Union.

Remember, check things out and verify them before sending money to anyone or just cashing a check you received for no reason. If you have any question regarding any correspondence you may receive via the phone or internet, contact your local law enforcement agency. REFUSE TO BECOME A VICTIM.

DUI Accident Arrest

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 13 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 12 February 2014

Subject: DUI Accident Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
12 February 2014, at approx. 10:07 am, officers were dispatched to the area of Mono Way, across from the Timer Hills Shopping Center, regarding an injury accident.

When officers arrived, they observed that a 2001 Toyota pick-up had left the north side of the roadway, and struck the rear of a City of Sonora backhoe, that was parked along the north edge of the roadway where City Public Works members were working. The backhoe sustained moderate damage and the pick sustained major damage.

No City Public Works employees were injured. The driver, who was identified as 28 year old Christopher Bradbury of Tuolumne, received moderate injuries and was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center by ambulance.

At the scene of the accident, Bradbury was exhibiting signs of being under the influence. He was interviewed at the hospital and determined to be under the influence of a controlled Narcotic. Because of Bradbury’s medical condition he was cited and released for driving under the influence of drugs and was not booked.

The westbound lane of Mono Way was closed for approximately one hour, while officers conducted the investigation and the roadway could be cleared.

Child Endangerment Arrest

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 10 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 8 February 2014, at approx. 12:25 am

Subject: Child Endangerment Arrest
________________________________________________________________________

8 February 2014, at approx. 12:25 am, an officer observed a Nissan Altima speeding northbound on Greenly Road, traveling approximately 55 miles per hour in a posted 25 mile per hour zone.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver failed to yield to the lights and siren of the patrol vehicle, and continued northbound on Greenly Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle lost control and struck a raised curb, causing the left front tire to blow out. However, this didn’t slow the driver as they continued northbound at a high rate of speed.

The pursuit continued with the driver running stop signs and crossing into the opposing lanes of traffic. The vehicle finally stopped on Hope Lane. The driver was contacted and identified as Andrea Corder, 35 of Sonora. Another female adult and Corder’s 3 year old son were also inside the vehicle. Corder is on probation for driving under the influence and her driving privilege is suspected because of driving under the influence.

During the investigation it was determined that Corder was under the influence. She was placed under arrest and booked at the Tuolumne County Jail for felony child endangerment, felony evading, misdemeanor drunk driving, misdemeanor violation of probation, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license. Corder’s son was released to his father.

Drug Arrest

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 4 February 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 3 February 2014 at approx. 6:32 pm

Subject: Drug Arrest
________________________________________________________________________

3 February 2014, at approx. 6:32 pm, an off duty Sergeant from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department observed an erratic driver on Washington Street and called the police department. Officers contacted the driver in the parking lot of Sonora Express Mart on Pesce Way.

The driver was identified as Steven Mackusick, 60 of Antioch. It was determined that Mackusick was under the influence of a controlled substance. A search of Mackusick revealed six baggies of crystal methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue.

Mackusick was placed under arrest without incident for felony possession of a controlled substance and booked at the Tuolumne County Jail.

Police Officer Recruitment

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 30 January 2014

Subject: Police Officer Recruitment
________________________________________________________________________

The Sonora Police Department is recruiting for the position of Police Officer. The position is open to Police Academy graduates and Lateral Officers. The final filing date is Friday, 28 February 2014, with a tentative testing date of Wednesday, 12 March 2014.

The base salary is $4,292-$5,210 a month, with additional pay incentives available for Intermediate & Advanced POST certificates (2.5% each); educational incentive of 2.5% for an Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree; 5.0% incentive for special assignments (FTO, Investigator, Computer Network Manager and Traffic Officer.)

For more information about this career opportunity, log onto www.sonoraca.com and obtain a job flyer and download a job application; or you may stop by the Sonora Police Department (100 S. Green Street) or the City of Sonora (94 N. Washington Street) and pick-up a flyer and application.

Scam Alert

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 28 January 2014

Subject: Fraud Alert
________________________________________________________________________

Some businesses have been receiving what appears to be a legitimate bill/statement from a company called YELLOW BOOK. This is not associated with the real company which spells their name Yellowbook.

The statement uses a Myrtle Beach, SC address and the phone numbers listed are not good. Another giveaway that the bill is not legit, it uses the fingers walking through a book on the top right corner, which is a registered trade mark of another company.

If you receive one of these statements, DON’T PAY IT. If you have received one and did pay it, contact your financial institution immediately. Once the scammers obtain your account information they rapidly empty your account or charge a large amount on your credit card.

The scam appears to be routed out of Canada, but they use US information to make it look like a real business. Remember, if you didn’t order anything you shouldn’t be receiving a statement. If you do use Yellowbook to advertise, make sure you are paying their statement and not the fictitious one from YELLOW BOOK.

Currently, the scam is targeting businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the State. If you have any questions please call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.

Employee/Volunteers for 2013

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 14 January 2014

Subject: Employee/Volunteer Recognition
________________________________________________________________________

The Police Department’s Awards Committee has recommended that the following individuals be recognized as Employees/Volunteers of the year for 2013.

Each individual will have their name added to the perpetual plaques which are displayed in the lobby of the Police Department, and will be recognized at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, 21 Jan. 2014.

Officer of the Year: Andrew Theodore
Civilian Employee of the Year: Debbie Dills
Reserve Officer of the Year: Dennis Townsend
PACT member of the Year: Cheryl Grogan
Explorer of the Year: Brett Bryant