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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

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

Drug Arrest

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 9 January 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 8 January 2014

Subject: Drug Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
9 January 2014, at approx. 5:51 pm, an officer stopped a 2009 Cadillac sedan for a mechanical violation on Solinsky Street. The officer contacted the driver, who was identified as William Todd, 59 of Sonora.

A driver’s license check on Todd revealed that his driver’s license was suspended. A search of Todd’s person and vehicle revealed approx. 2 grams of methamphetamine. Todd was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of a controlled substance.

Press Release

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Date and Time of Release: 3 January 2014

Subject: Press Release
________________________________________________________________________

The Sonora Police Department has completed its investigation of a complaint filed by a local business against Sonora City Council Member, Matt Hawkins. The manager of the local business alleges that Mr. Hawkins unlawfully dumped trash in the business’s dumpster. The Sonora City Police Department will, at the request of the business, forward this matter to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office. The unlawful dumping of trash constitutes a violation of Penal Code section 498 (Theft of utility services).

Acting Public Information Officer Chief Mark Stinson Sonora Police Department (209) 532-8141.

Drug & Warrant Arrest

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 30 December 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 27 December 2013

Subject: Drug & Warrant Arrests
________________________________________________________________________

27 December 2013, at approx. 3:53 pm, an officer was patrolling the Wal-Mart parking lot, when he observed a vehicle parked in a disabled parking stall, which didn’t have a disabled placard displayed.

The officer contacted a female subject who was walking towards the vehilce. The subject was identified as Vernell Stokes, 31 of Sonora. Sitting in the vehicle were Stokes’ two young children, along with Leah Summers, 33 of Twain Harte, and Matthew Carlile, 32 of Tuolumne.

Stokes admitted to the officer that she didn’t have a placard to park in the disabled persons parking stall. During their conversation, Stokes admitted to having Vicodin in her purse, which she didn’t have a prescription for. As the officer was searching Stokes’ purse, he located multiple small plastic baggies containing methamphetamine, along with a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine.

At this point Stokes started yelling at an uninvolved red Ford vehicle in the parking lot. Once Stokes realized the officer had located the methamphetamine, she yelled to her son’s to run toward the red Ford. At this same time, Carlile exited the vehicle and took off running through the parking lot. The officer chased Carlile and was able to catch him in the area of the Garden Department of Wal-Mart. Carlile refused to comply and a physical confrontation occurred between the officer and Carlile. A nearby citizen assisted the officer in detaining Carlile.

After Carlile was detained, he gave a false name. Later, it was determined that Carlile had two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. One was a No Bail warrant for burglary and the other warrant was for possession of stolen property. Carlile is also on probation for possession of a controlled substance.

When the officer returned to the vehicle, he learned from witnesses that Stokes had dumped out the methamphetamine, then tossed the empty baggies down a storm drain, and stopped on the pipe breaking it. The officer was able to retrieve the baggies, one of which still had methamphetamine in it.

However, Stokes and Summers had left the area of the vehicle. A short time later, officers located Stokes walking through the parking lot towards the red Ford, which had picked up Stokes’ children. Stokes was taken into custody. During a search of Stokes’ vehicle a stolen credit card was located.

It was determined that Summers had also given the officer a false name. It was learned that Summers has a No Bail warrant for her arrest for violation of probation, but Summers was not relocated and is still outstanding.

Stokes was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance for sale, felony conspiracy, felony child endangerment, and several misdemeanor violations.

Carlile was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked on the two outstanding felony warrants, felony conspiracy, misdemeanor resisting arrest, and misdemeanor giving false information to an officer.

Drug and Possession of Stolen Property Arrest

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 16 December 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 13 December 2013

Subject: Drug and Possession of Stolen Property Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
13 December 2013, at approx. 1:58 am, an Officer stopped a Toyota Camry on the 700 block of S. Washington Street for a mechanical violation. The officer contacted the driver and the passenger who were identified as Richie Naval, 37 of Modesto and Sylvia Naval 33 of Modesto.

The officer asked them if they were on probation and both subjects denied being on probation. A records check revealed that they were both on searchable probation out of Stanislaus County as the result of theft convictions.

A search of their car revealed numerous California drivers’ licenses and identification cards, credit cards, and electronic balance transfer cards, all of which were in other peoples’ names.

Also located were prescription pill bottles (in someone else’s name), prescription pills, heroin, methamphetamine, four pipes for smoking narcotics, 26 syringes and other items commonly used in the injection of narcotics.

Both of the Naval’s were taken into custody without incident and transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of a controlled narcotic, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony violation of probation, felony possession of stolen property.

Commercial Burglary Arrest

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 16 December 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 13 December 2013

Subject: Commercial Burglary Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
9 December 2013, several commercial burglaries were reported to the Sonora Police Department and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department. One businesse in Sonora and one in Jamestown had surveillance video of the responsible, which was taken during the commission of the burglaries. Upon viewing the surveillance video, the suspect was identified as Derek Helfrich, 18 of Jamestown.

During the next two days, the Sonora Police Department, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and Tuolumne County Probation Department searched several locations in an attempt to locate Helfrich, with negative results.

13 December 2013, Helfrich contacted the Sonora Police Department because he heard we were looking for him. Helfrich was contacted at his father’s residence on Ruth Lane in Sonora, where he was taken into custody without incident.

Helfrich was transported to the Tuolumne Jail and booked for felony commercial burglary. At the time of Helfrich’s arrest, he was also in possession of drug paraphernalia, which he was also booked for.

Roadside Emergency Kit

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 11 December 2013

Subject: Roadside Emergency Kit (Be Prepared)
________________________________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN YOUR CAR?
CREATE YOUR OWN ROADSIDE EMERGENCY KIT
• Spare tire, properly inflated – check every 6 months!
• Car jack and lug wrench – fits your car and you know how to work it!
• Preprogram your cell phone with the 800 number for your auto club roadside service
• Call law enforcement for assistance to get you off the highway to safety
KIT BASICS:
12-foot jumper cables Four 15-minute roadside flares
Emergency Red Reflector Triangle First aid kit
Flashlight and extra batteries Tire pressure gauge
Rags Roll of duct tape
HELP sign, at least 8 inches Energy bars (change yearly)
Bottled water (change yearly) Blanket
Extra vehicle fuses Small tool kit
Heavy duty nylon bag Nylon rope, at least 12 feet
Plastic tarp Jacket, gloves and hat
NICE-TO-HAVE EXTRAS:
Tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat) A quart of motor oil
Anti-Freeze Spray bottle with washer fluid
Pocketknife Ice scraper
Paper Towels Pencil and paper
Bungee cord – 12″ Rain poncho
Cable ties Work gloves
Small fire extinguisher (ABC rated and checked yearly)

Winter Driving Tips

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 6 December 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 6 December 2013

Subject: Tips for driving in the snow
________________________________________________________________________

With the first winter storm upon us, the Sonora Police Department would like to pass on some snow driving tips.

• Make sure your vehicles brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, tires and exhaust system are in good working condition.

• Always carry chains that are the proper size for your tires and are in good working order. Also, makes sure you know how to install the chains on your vehicle. This will require you to know if your vehicle is front wheel, rear wheel or all wheel drive.

• Pack water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing, as sometimes emergency roads closures make for lengthy traffic delays which could last several hours.

• Carry a cell phone with the appropriate numbers preprogrammed in it.

• Exercise caution when driving in winter conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. A speed of 45 miles per hour may be safe in dry weather, but it’s not safe in snowy or icy conditions.

Of course, if you don’t have to be out in the snowy weather, we recommend you stay home where it is safe.

A probable the Sonora Police Department has experienced during the last few years is that people have been abandoning their vehicles in the middle of major roadways, which creates a hazard for other motorists and snow removing equipment. If your vehicle is found abandoned and is determined to be a traffic hazard, it will be towed.

Robbery Arrest

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 29 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 27 November 2013

Subject: Armed Robbery Arrest
________________________________________________________________________

27 November 2013, at approx. 2:01 pm, Officers were dispatched to the Grocery Outlet located on South Washington Street, regarding a subject who had pulled a knife on the store manager, after the manager confronted the subject about stealing some candy bars from the store.

As officers were responding to the area, they observed a subject matching the description of the responsible party. The officers contacted the subject who was identified as Daniel Nichols, 18 of Sonora. The manager identified Nichols as the person who pulled the knife on him, when he confronted Nichols about the theft.

Nichols was in possession of a knife, along with four candy bars, which he removed from the store without paying for. The total of the items taken was $3.94. Nichols was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Tuolumne County Jail. Nicholas was booked for felony armed robbery.

Arson Arrest

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 29 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 27 November 2013

Subject: Sonora Elementary School Arson Fire Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
The Sonora Police Department, with the assistance of Cal Fire and the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office conducted a joint investigation into the fire of Sonora Elementary School. Cal Fire was able to determine the fire was arson caused.

Several witnesses were interviewed during the investigation into this matter and a suspect was identified. The suspect was determined to be a 17 year old juvenile, who lives in the area near the school.

On 27 November 2013, the juvenile was contacted and interviewed regarding the fire. Following the interview he was taken into custody for the arson of the school. The juvenile was transported to the Tuolumne County Probation Department and turned over to their custody.

The investigation into this matter is continuing.

Christmas Parade

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 22 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: Friday, 29 November 2013

Subject: Annual Christmas Parade
________________________________________________________________________

Friday, 29 Nov. 2013, will mark the City of Sonora’s 30th annual Christmas Parade. This event always falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day and is attended by thousands of on lookers. The Sonora Police Department is tasked with traffic control and security for the parade.

The Sonora Police Department and the City of Sonora would like to remind everyone that the correct location for dropping off participants for the parade is on Shaws Flat Road, in front of Sonora High School. The participants can then walk across the campus to the staging area. Disabled participants may be dropped off at the intersection of South Washington and School Street.

“NO PARKING” will be allowed on Washington Street from the Red Church to Toby Street. The “NO PARKING” restriction will start at 2 pm on Friday, 29 Nov. 2013. If you park in this area the Sonora Police Department will attempt to contact you, so you can move your vehicle. Unfortunately, if you can’t be contacted or you can’t move your vehicle in a timely manner, your vehicle will be towed.

“NO PARKING” will be allowed on the side streets between Washington Street and Green Street and between Washington Street and Stewart. These restrictions will start at 2 pm on Friday, 29 Nov. 2013, and vehicles will be towed from these areas as well.

The Tuolumne County Transit’s Holiday Trolley will run from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, on the day of the parade. There are several pick-up and drop off locations in the downtown area. For more information regarding the Holiday Trolley schedule you may call 209-532-0404, or log onto www.tuolumnecountytransit.com .

As a result of the parade, there will be several street closures and detours, along with a lot of traffic and pedestrian congestion. Below is a list of the street closures and the detours that will be in place during the parade. All detour routes will be marked.

STREET CLOSURES

• School Street will be closed from 2:00 pm until approx. 8:00 pm.

• Washington Street will be closed to “ALL” traffic from the intersection of Snell Street to the intersection of Hospital Road from 5:00 pm until approx. 8:00 pm.

• Restano Way will be closed from 5:00 pm until approx. 8:00 pm.

• Stockton Road will be closed to “ALL” traffic at the intersection of S. Green Street and Stockton Road from 5:00 pm until approx. 8:00 pm.

DETOURS

• Southbound traffic on Washington St. will be detoured onto Elkin St., then onto Stewart Street, then up Mono Way.

• Northbound traffic on Washington St. will be detoured up Hospital Road to Mono Way and down Mono Way onto Stewart Street, then onto Elkin and back onto Washington St.

• Eastbound traffic on Stockton Road will be stopped at Green Street and turned around. Northbound Highway 49 traffic on Stockton Road will detour up Forest Rd., then up Bonanza St. to Highway 49.

The goal of the Sonora Police Department is to ensure the safety of motorists, spectators, pedestrians and participants. If you are attending the parade, the Sonora Police Department suggests you arrive prior to the 5:00 pm street closures. This will allow you plenty of time to find parking. If you are not attending the parade, you may want to avoid the downtown area to minimize your frustration with the street closures and large volume of traffic.

Remember, following the parade there will be a large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the downtown area. Take your time and be considerate. Normally, the traffic in the downtown area will clear out in approximately 30 minutes, so turn on some holiday music and enjoy the start of the holiday season while waiting. Please call the Sonora Police Department at 209-532-8141, if you should have any questions about street closures, detours or no parking.

Auto Theft Arrest

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Date of Release: 14 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 13 November 2013, at approx. 9:35 am

Subject: Stolen Vehicle Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
13 November 2013, at approx. 9:35 am, a subject came into the lobby of the Sonora Police Department and reported that his vehicle had just been stolen. The victim told an officer that he had parked his BMW convertible in the Rodeway Inn Parking lot and left the keys in the ignition, while he worked on a project at Sonora Day’s Inn. Approx. a half an hour later, he observed someone driving off in his vehicle.

At approx. 9:40 am, an officer observed the stolen vehicle traveling south on S. Washington Street. The officer turned around and the vehicle pulled into a driveway of a residence located on the 1200 block of S. Washington Street and stopped. The officer contacted the female driver and took her into custody without incident.

The female was identified as Amy Munoz, 35 of Sonora. A search of Munoz revealed she was in possession of methamphetamine, syringes and other drug paraphernalia. Munoz was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony auto theft, felony possession of stolen property, felony transporting a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Felony Drug Sales Arrest

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 6 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 2 November 2013

Subject: Felony Drug Sales Arrest
________________________________________________________________________

2 November 2013, at approx. 8:00 am, an officer was on patrol on the 200 block of Barretta St., when he observed a subject exiting a vehicle. The officer recognized the subject right away from his neck tattoo as being Brian Bockert, 36 of Sonora.

The officer knew that Bockert had two outstanding “no bail” warrants for his arrest for possession and transporting controlled substances and narcotics. The officer contacted Bockert and took him into custody on the two warrants.

A search of Bocket revealed he was in the possession of 6 grams of methamphetamine, 3.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, over a gram of heroin and marijuana, several methadone pills, along with a record of his sales transactions of these substances.

Bocket was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for; felony sales of a controlled substance; felony possession of a controlled substance; felony sales of psilocybin; possession of psilocybin; and the two outstanding no bail warrants.

Major Injury Accident

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 5 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 1 November 2013

Subject: Major Injury Accident
________________________________________________________________________

1 November 2013, at approx. 7:47 pm, Enrico Cocco, 34 of Sonora, was traveling westbound on Stockton Road on a motorized bicycle. Gregory Davies, 65 of Sonora, was traveling eastbound on Stockton Road in a Chevy Prism.
While making a left turn onto Bradford Street, Davies struck Cocco, causing Cocco to be ejected from his motorized bicycle, and the bicycle to come to rest on the hood of Davies vehicle.
Cocco sustained major injuries to his head and upper torso as a result of the collision. Cocco was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center by ambulance. The investigation into this collision is ongoing.

Felony Resisting Arrest

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 4 November 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 1 November 2013

Subject: Felony Resisting Arrest
________________________________________________________________________
1 November 2013, at approx. 3:30 pm, officers from the Sonora Police Department responded to South Stewart Street to a report of a male subject punching telephone poles and yelling at passing vehicles.
When officers contacted the subject, he took a fighting stance and challenged the officers. An officer drew a TASER and ordered the subject to the ground and the subject complied. The officers approached the subject and placed him in handcuffs.
The subject was identified as Michael Didion, 32. It was determined that Didion was a parolee at large out of Stockton. Once Didion was handcuffed, he started resisting the officers and refused to get into the back seat of the patrol vehicle. Didion then started slamming his head into the patrol vehicle causing damage to the patrol vehicle.
An officer grabbed Didion in an attempt to keep him from hitting his head against the patrol car and hurting himself. A struggle ensued, resulting in an officer breaking a finger and causing other injuries to his hand. Didion was finally subdued and placed in the patrol vehicle.
Didion was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony resisting arrest; felony obstructing a public officer; felony parolee at large; misdemeanor battery on an officer; misdemeanor vandalism.

Parking Fallacy

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 22 October 2013

Date and Time of Incident: On Going

Subject: Parking Fallacy
________________________________________________________________________

The Sonora Police Department has been receiving complaints from people receiving parking citations. It seems people believe, because there is no “official” parking enforcement officer, they can park in violation of parking ordinances and not be cited. However, many people are finding out this is not true.

The Sonora Police Department has been handling most parking issues on a complaint driven bases. Recently, there has been a large increase with people parking in loading zones for extended periods of time, parking in red zones, fire lanes, and parking in permit parking spaces without having a permit.

As time allows, officers have been stepping up enforcement on these specific violations. So remember to obey all parking regulations. Just because there is no “official” parking enforcement officer, doesn’t give you an excuse to violate parking regulations.

Also as time allows, officers have been enforcing other City and State parking regulations, such as; parking on sidewalks, double parking, backing into parking stalls, timed parking, failure to park on the right side of the roadway, parking out of marked space, parking over 18 inches from the curb line, ext..

To save yourself from receiving a parking ticket, or even worse, having your vehicle towed, you should follow the City and State parking regulations at all times. If you have any questions regarding parking, you may call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.

Vehicle Pursuit

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Date and Time of Release: 16 October 2013

Date and Time of Incident: 14 October 2013, approx. 4:10 pm

Subject: Vehicle Pursuit
________________________________________________________________________
14 October 2013, at approx. 4:10 pm, an Officer from the Sonora Police Department observed Anthony Ortega, 34 of Jamestown, driving a white 1994 Honda Civic, California license 4RIG505 on Mono Way. The officer knew that Ortega had two outstanding no bail warrants for his arrest, for possession of controlled substances.

The officer attempted to conduct an enforcement stop on Ortega on Mono Way, but Ortega didn’t stop and accelerated. Ortega drove through the Grocery Outlet parking lot onto S. Washington St., then to Lime Kiln Rd. Ortega continued to Wards Ferry Rd. to the bottom of the canyon, where the pursuit was terminated by the officer because of safety reasons.

During the pursuit, Ortega’s unknown male passenger tossed a vehicle axle out the passenger side window at pursuing officers. The passenger also threw other items out the passenger window.

Anyone with information on Ortega’s whereabouts, the vehicle he was driving, or his passenger, is asked to call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.