Sacto 9-1-1
February 29, 2012
Man found dead after shooting reported in south Sacramento

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are canvassing a south Sacramento neighborhood following a fatal shooting.

Deputy Jason Ramos said numerous calls were received shortly before 7 p.m. reporting 10 to 15 shots fired in the 8100 block of Ingleside Way.

No one reported seeing suspects or vehicles in the area, but one woman looked out her window and saw a man lying in the driveway next to a vehicle across the street. Ramos said deputies found the body of a 40-year-old man who had been shot multiple times in the upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

February 29, 2012
Correctional officer accused of threatening Arden-area business employees

Collins Image.jpgA California Department of Corrections employee was arrested this morning at an Arden-area business after he allegedly argued with employees and threatened them with a gun.

Taurus Collins (pictured), 37, was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of making threats to commit a crime that could result in death or great bodily injury and carrying a loaded firearm registered to someone else.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said deputies were called to West Coast Car Audio in the 2400 block of Arden Way about 9:20 a.m. An employee reported that a customer was engaged in an argument with employees and had pulled a gun and pointed it at them.

February 29, 2012
Sacramento police: Woman failed to yield because she had to use bathroom

A 32-year-old woman ignored a Sacramento police officer's attempts to pull her over for a half-mile until she pulled up to her home early this morning.

Turns out, she didn't pull over, she told police, because she had to go to the bathroom really badly.

The officer was nice enough to let her run inside for relief before making her wait as he issued her a citation for running a red light on Del Paso Road near Interstate 5.

February 29, 2012
Sacramento jury finds prior offender guilty of molesting child

A Sacramento County jury today convicted Timothy Lowder, 44, of child molestation.

On Christmas evening 2008, Lowder was alone with the victim watching television. While they were alone, he molested the victim twice, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Authorities said he had been previously convicted of molesting a relative.

Lowder is scheduled for sentencing April 6.

February 29, 2012
Trial will decide if school district muffed molestation allegations

A civil trial began today in Sacramento Superior Court in which two young girls have charged the Sacramento City Unified School District with negligence over its handling of a physical education instructor who they say sexually molested them.

The lawsuit says the molestations took place between 2003 and 2007 while the girls were students at John Still Elementary School in the Meadowview area. The lawsuit identified the instructor as Abdol Hossein Mehrdadi, who has been on administrative leave since February of 2008, plaintiffs lawyer Gigi M. Knudston said in her opening statement today.

Mehrdadi denied any wrongdoing in interviews with police and no criminal charges were ever filed against him.

February 29, 2012
Dillard Road offramp closed to upright big rig trailer

The Dillard Road offramp of northbound Highway 99 south of Elk Grove is closed so that tow truck crews can upright a big rig trailer.

The back trailer of the rig flipped over on its side in the rain about 6:30 a.m. The cab portion of the rig stayed upright, according to a California Highway Patrol traffic website.

The Dillard road offramp is estimated to remain closed until 1 p.m. Traffic on northbound Highway 99 is slow.

February 28, 2012
Two admit to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine

Two men pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

The pleas by Sergio Murillo-Valencia, 37, and Fabian Figueroa-Ayala, 29, both of Gilroy, follow earlier guilty pleas in the case by Sacramento residents Roberto Bermudez-Ornelas and Martin Solorio, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Charges are pending against five other defendants .

According to court documents, on Aug. 19, 2010, investigators searched a house in Gilroy where they found more than 610 pounds of crystal methamphetamine spread through nearly every room of the residence. Figueroa-Ayala was in one of the four bedrooms along with more than $300 in cash, ledgers detailing a significant number of methamphetamine transactions, two cell phones and more than 68 pounds of methamphetamine.

February 28, 2012
Woodland teen reports strangers tried to entice him into vehicle

Woodland police are investigating a teenager's report of an attempt to entice him into a vehicle as he walked home from school Monday.

The 15-year-old boy told officers that he was walking home from Woodland High School about 3 p.m., heading east on Beamer Street near Frost Drive, when he was approached by a four-door sedan occupied by three Latino men in their late teens or early 20s. The vehicle stopped next to the boy, who continued to walk by the vehicle.

As he did, one of the men in the vehicle got out of the passenger side of the front seat, opened the rear passenger door of the sedan and gestured for the youth to get in the back seat, according to a Police Department news release. No words were spoken, but the teenager was frightened and ran several blocks to his home, police said.

February 28, 2012
Three gang members convicted in West Sacramento attacks

A Yolo County jury Monday convicted three gang members of attacks in a Lowe's parking lot in West Sacramento two years ago.

The three defendants, Jose Antonio Duran, 20, Salvador Benjamin Vasquez Jr., 20, and Joseph Vincent Sisneros, 21, all of Sacramento, are members of the Norteno street gang, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Following a two-week trial, all three were convicted of robbery, battery, assault, witness intimidation and street gang activity for their attacks on three people April 19, 2010.

Authorities said the initial victim was eating a meal from a fast-food restaurant in his car in a nearly empty parking lot about 10 p.m. The three men took his iPod, wallet and keys, then beat him, causing two facial fractures, while the victim pleaded for them to stop.

February 28, 2012
Sacramento sheriff's detectives arrest suspect accused of exposing self to girls

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives have arrested a 56-year-old Placer County man after he allegedly exposed himself to two young girls in separate incidents, according to authorities.

Caldwell Image.jpgJerry Caldwell, pictured at left and again below left, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure and child annoyance, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The first incident allegedly occurred Feb. 1 at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento County, Ramos said. Caldwell approached a 8-year-old girl and exposed himself to her. He left the store unidentified, Ramos said.

It allegedly happened again on Feb. 3, when Caldwell approached a 5-year-old girl inside a Thriftown USA store in Sacramento County and exposed himself to her, Ramos said. Caldwell again left the store before being identified.

Caldwell 2 Image.jpg Upon further investigation, detectives identified Caldwell as the suspect, Ramos said, and the victims later positively identified him. He was arrested this afternoon in Placer County.

Detectives believe there could be more victims. Authorities ask that anyone who recognizes Caldwell and believes they had inappropriate contact with him call sheriff's Detective John Linke at (916) 874-5191.

February 28, 2012
Top federal prosecutor vows new crackdown on pot farms

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Warning that there is a new "green rush" of people flocking to California to exploit the market for marijuana, the top federal prosecutor in the Sacramento region promised a crackdown today on huge pot farms on agricultural land in the Central Valley.

Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, said his office is not interested in prosecuting sick people using medical marijuana. But he warned that the "unregulated free for all" that has allowed marijuana growers and merchants to make fortunes must come to an end, and he said in the coming months a new focus will be made on pot farms in the valley.

"There's been a proliferation of these large commercial grows on farmland, especially in the southern part of the valley from Stanislaus County down to Kern County," Wagner said at an appearance before the Sacramento Press Club. "And these grows are often tens of thousands of marijuana plants.

February 28, 2012
Woman found dead in her Cameron Park home Monday identified

Authorities have identified the woman found dead in her Cameron Park home Monday as 37-year-old Rachel Winkler.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies found Winkler after responding to a request for a welfare check. At the home on the 3100 block of Aeronca Way they also found the victim's husband, 45-year-old Todd Winkler.

Detectives learned that the couple had been experiencing marital problems and had a dispute earlier in the day, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department.

February 28, 2012
Echo the police dog on the job thanks to East Sacramento Rotary

The Sacramento Rotary Club has donated $10,000 for a new police dog.

The Rotary Club of East Sacramento will formally present a check to Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel on Wednesday for the new canine. The donation commemorates Rotary member Bob Jennings, a former president of the club and avid supporter of the police K9 unit. Jenning's son is a Sacramento Police Officer.

The new dog, Echo, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois is already on the job. Echo and his handler, Officer John Azevedo, have completed a three-month training period and hit the streets last week.

February 28, 2012
Two men rob 85-year-old woman at gunpoint in her home

Two men forced open the door of a house in Clarksburg late Monday and robbed an 85-year-old woman at gunpoint, the Yolo County Sheriff's Office reported today.

The men - both wearing ski masks and gloves - demanded the woman give them the combination of her safe, Sgt. Lance Faille said in a news release.

Then they spent a half hour going through the safe and taking valuables from the rest of the house. The home-invasion robbery happened at about 11:30 p.m. in the 3300 block of Jefferson Boulevard.

February 28, 2012
Collision with suspected drunk driver in Sutter County injures 4

A suspected drunk driver slammed into a family in a small car last night in the community of Sutter west of Yuba City, according to a California Highway Patrol press release.

Juan M. Duran was driving his family in his Honda Civic shortly before midnight eastbound on Butte House Road east of Cedar Street when Timothy M. Roberts, 24, of Sutter driving westbound in a van crossed into Duran's traffic lane, according to the CHP.

The head-on collision caused minor back, chest and knee injuries to Duran, 61, of Live Oak. Also injured in Duran's car were Yesenia Vasquez, 36, moderate abdominal, chest, back and shoulder pain, Lexxinn Vazquez, 11, minor back pain, and Ivan Vazquez, 3, a cut to his mouth.

Roberts was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after receiving stitches to his knee.

February 28, 2012
Public invited to tour Sacramento juvenile hall next month

The public is invited to tour two unoccupied housing units and the visitor center at Sacramento County's Juvenile Hall.

The invitation is extended for one day only: March 10 from noon to 2 p.m. at the youth detention facility, 4136 Branch Center Road.

The event is open to all ages. County probation personnel will give the tours and demonstrate an automated license plate recognition system that helps officers recover stolen cars.

Juvenile Hall, opened in 1961, was recently renovated and 210 beds were added.

The public is asked to leave personal belongings, including cameras, locked in their vehicles. The public will not visit or see hall youth.

February 28, 2012
Rancho Cordova police seek bike donations for April rodeo

The Rancho Cordova Police Department and Police Activities League are seeking bicycle donations for a bike rodeo.

The event is scheduled April 28 as part of Kids Day in the Park.

Bike rodeo participants will learn about bicycle safety and maintenance, and how to fit bike helmets. They also will have an opportunity to run through a bike safety course. Afterward, each youngster will be entered in to a chance to win a free bicycle and helmet.

February 27, 2012
Fire prompts evacuation of 9-story Sacramento apartment building

The nine-story Capitol Terraces Apartments were evacuated this evening after a fire broke out in a unit on the first floor shortly after 6 p.m.

Assistant Chief Niko King said residents of the building's 108 units at 18th Street and Capitol Avenue had to be brought out through the first floor, leading to fears that numerous residents, many of them elderly or disabled, would suffer smoke inhalation. But he said only one person was taken to the hospital complaining of breathing difficulties, and no other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

February 27, 2012
Former Lassen County postmaster pleads guilty to embezzling

The former postmaster of the Lassen County community of Bieber has admitted to embezzling postal funds.

Kristina Michelle Morris, 38, of Bieber pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to embezzling money from the Bieber Post Office, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, between Oct. 1, 2010, and May 11, 2011, Morris stole approximately $23,554 from the Bieber Post Office while employed as the postmaster. She took small amounts from the post office's cash and issued postal money orders for amounts greater that what she actually paid for them, using them to pay for her personal expenses, officials said.

February 27, 2012
Man arrested after female found dead in Cameron Park home

Todd Alan Winkler.jpgA Cameron Park man was arrested this evening after El Dorado County sheriff's detectives determined that a suspicious death at a Cameron Park residence was a homicide.

Todd Alan Winkler (pictured), 45, was arrested at 6 p.m. in connection with the death of a female at a home in the 3100 block of Aeronca Way. Winkler was booked into El Dorado County Jail, where he is being held without bail, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the home at 10:35 a.m. today after receiving a report that an individual was dead inside the residence.

February 27, 2012
Yolo cops arrest armed pot growers

Three Woodland men were arrested on suspicion of growing marijuana and two of them were allegedly armed, including one who had an assault rifle, Woodland police said today.

Early Thursday, Woodland officers and members of the Yolo County Narcotics Enforcement Team served a search warrant at a home in the 1900 block of Hecke Drive, a police news release said.

All three suspects were booked into the Yolo County Jail.

February 27, 2012
Tight security marks opening in Sacramento of dismemberment trial

Heightened security marked the beginning of the Sacramento Superior Court trial today for a man accused of shooting an acquaintance with an AK-47 assault rifle and then chopping off his head.

Two deputies screened visitors at the door of Judge Lloyd G. Connelly's courtroom just before opening statements in the trial of defendant Arthur Charles Carnes IV.

Carnes, 40 is accused in the Nov. 18, 2007, killing of Matthew Alan Seybert, 41.

February 27, 2012
Vandal damages Capitol, state building, City Hall property

Richard Michael Dopkins.JPGA man went on a rampage last night causing damage to the Capitol, a nearby state office building and Sacramento City Hall, according the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officer Rich Wetzel said that about 9:30 p.m. Sunday a young man broke out glass and damaged the wood frames of doors on the west, south and north sides of the Capitol. The man tossed concrete or rocks at windows and doors.

The man then went across 10th Street to the Jesse Unruh Building, home of the state treasurer, at 915 Capitol Mall, and did more damage, Wetzel said.

February 27, 2012
Sacramento sheriff to hold community meeting

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is inviting the public to sound off on how the department is doing at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the department's North Division Service Center, 2500 Marconi Ave., Suite 100, in Arden Arcade.

The sheriff invites citizens to express their opinions regarding the department and the job being done in neighborhoods served by deputies.

February 27, 2012
Go-cart driver killed in collision with pickup identified by Sacramento coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a go-cart driver killed in a collision with a pickup in Elk Grove on Saturday.

He was identified as Daniel Gordon Orth, 33, of Sacramento.

Police spokesman Christopher Trim said the accident took place shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday in the 9400 block of Bowmont Way.

February 25, 2012
Folsom prison inmate killed in assault

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Inmate Richard Leonard.jpgLaw enforcement officials are investigating a homicide that occurred this morning in a medium security unit of Folsom State Prison, according to Corrections Lt. Paul Baker, who is stationed at the prison.

He said Richard Allen Leonard was assaulted with a "slashing type weapon." Responding staff instituted life-saving procedures, but could not revive Leonard, who was pronounced dead at 8:01 a.m.

Leonard, 44, was serving a 25-to-life term for aggravated sexual assault on a child. He was convicted in Orange County and began serving his sentence on Sept. 2, 1998.

February 24, 2012
Nanny interrupts burglary at Folsom home; suspect arrested

Andrew Christian Heltmeyer.jpgA nanny surprised a burglar when she arrived at her employer's Folsom home early this afternoon.

When the nanny entered the house on Fratis Street in Folsom's Prairie Oaks neighborhood, she heard a noise in the back of the residence, according to a Folsom Police Department news release. She called out to her employer, but received no answer.

A short time later, the employer arrived home, and after the nanny told him about the noise, he began checking the house. Just as the homeowner realized he had been burglarized, he and the nanny encountered a man, who fled out the sliding door at the rear of the home.

February 24, 2012
Three Sacramento women indicted in tax fraud scheme

Three Sacramento women have been indicted for allegedly participating in a tax fraud scheme.

Nadiyah Muhammad Woods, 33, Nakia Renee Vaughn, 26, and Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 24, were charged by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday for conspiracy to file false tax returns and get tax refunds, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The three women are accused of using stolen identities to file false tax returns using Turbo Tax, an online tax filing service. Turbo Tax loaded Green Dot debit cards with the tax refunds of taxpayer victims. The women then activated the debit cards and withdrew money from them, according to the indictment.

February 24, 2012
Man sentenced to 34 years in prison for child sexual assault

A man with prior convictions relating to sex abuse crimes was sentenced today to 34 years in prison for child sexual assault.

A Sacramento County Superior Court jury last month convicted Phil Douglas Reese, 47, of five counts of child sexual assault, including the allegation that he used force and duress to commit the crimes, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley.

Authorities said Reese was considered a good friend of the victim's family. The molestation began in 2002-03, when the girl was in first grade, and continued through her seventh-grade year.

February 24, 2012
Two Sacramento real estate agents indicted

By Rick Daysog rdaysog@sacbee.com

Two Sacramento real estate agents were indicted for their alleged roles in a property flipping and mortgage fraud scheme.

A federal grand jury on Thursday charged 49-year-old Leonard Williams and 25-year-old Joshua Clymer with money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors said companies controlled by Williams and Clymer purchased real estate in Sacramento, Gold River, Yuba City and Chico and flipped the properties on the same day, resulting in one-day profits of up to $100,000.

Prosecutors said the two recruited buyers and helped them qualify for loans using phony mortgage documents.

Williams was previously indicted with Chico home builder Garret Griffith Gililland III for running a similar scheme using properties in Butte County. The charges are the first against Clymer.

February 24, 2012
Nevada County coroner releases name of stabbing victim

Nevada County coroner's officials today released the name of a man stabbed to death at a party that went awry.

He was identified as Ryan Roth, 33, of Lake of the Pines.

Nevada County dispatchers were called about 12:30 a.m. Thursday regarding a disturbance in the 11000 block of Lake Shore North in the community of Lake of the Pines. Later, 911 calls alerted deputies responding to the scene that there had been a stabbing.

Once deputies arrived they found Roth dead from stab wounds. Motive for the stabbing has not been released.

Deputies said that the suspect in the killing, Brandon Riddle-Terrel, 24, of Petaluma, fled from the party in a vehicle before being taken into custody in Sacramento County.

February 24, 2012
Arraignment of son accused of killing father delayed to March 22

The arraignment of Christopher Jon Michael Northam, 25, who is accused of shooting his father to death last year was delayed Friday in Placer Superior Court to March 22.

Northam is accused of gunning down Roseville businessman Christopher D. Northam at his place of busines in May 2011. Northam could face the death penalty for his alleged role in the shooting.

Also appearing in court was the younger Northam's ex-wife Averill Elizabeth Easley, 34, of Roseville. Authorities say she lied to police repeatedly during the nearly nine-month investigation into the shooting. She has been charged with being an accessory after the fact. Easley's attorney asked that her client be released on her own recognizance Friday but the request was denied by Judge Colleen Nichols.

Northam was found shot to death May 30, 2011, in an Industrial Boulevard warehouse where -- with his son's help -- he was trying to build an audience for a new indoor sports business.

While early scuttlebutt suggested shady foreign investors or a disgruntled former employee killed Northam, investigators said they noticed inconsistencies in statements from the son.

February 24, 2012
Appellate court schedules arguments over juror's Facebook posts

Nearly a year after it was ordered to revisit the matter, the California 3rd District Court of Appeal has scheduled oral arguments for next month on whether a juror has to turn over to a Sacramento court the Facebook postings he wrote about a case during the trial.

Presiding Judge Vance W. Raye Thursday issued the notice to the lawyers in the case, directing them to appear at the arguments he scheduled for March 23 in Sacramento.

February 24, 2012
Galt police looking for shooter who was in faded van

Thumbnail image for Galtsuspect2.jpg
Galt police want help in finding a man with a tear drop tattoo who fired shots at pedestrians.

Police released sketches of the shooter who police said pulled up in a van in the area of 7th and B streets about 3:30 p.m. last Friday and got out of his vehicle.

He then asked two pedestrians if they "bang." With that, the armed man with the tear drop tattoo under his right eye and possibly four dots under his left eye, fired four or five rounds at them with a revolver.

The shooter then sped from the area. The victims were not hit.

The van is described as a green late 1990s or early 2000s Dodge Caravan or Plymouth Voyager. The paint on the van was faded and there was a missing or broken window on the sliding door that was covered with cardboard or brown paper.

The suspect is described as a man in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a stocky build.

February 23, 2012
Man wounded in shooting at Carmichael apartment complex

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is searching for suspects in the shooting of a man at a Carmichael apartment complex this evening.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said calls began coming in about 7:50 p.m. reporting numerous gunshots at apartments at 4800 Marconi Ave. and that a man was down inside the complex.

Ramos said deputies found a 32-year-old black man on a stairway with at least two gunshot wounds to his upper body. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was undergoing surgery.

February 23, 2012
Sacramento man indicted on federal child exploitation charges

A Sacramento man, already in jail on state charges, was indicted today on federal child exploitation charges.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a a three-count indictment charging Phillip J. Colwell, 52, with producing child pornography, transmitting obscene matter to a minor and using a cell phone to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents filed in both state and federal court, Colwell in October 2011 allegedly engaged in a series of cell phone text conversations with a 14-year-old Sacramento boy, to whom he sent sexually explicit images and with whom he sought to engage in sexual conduct. Court documents also allege that Colwell encouraged the youth to produce sexually explicit images of himself to send to Colwell.

February 23, 2012
Prosecution wrapping up retrial over Elk Grove party death

The prosecution is expected to rest its case today in the retrial of a 25-year-old woman accused of murder in the April 19, 2009, shooting death of Alison Joelle Freeseha at a party in Elk Grove.

A Sacramento Superior Court jury in January 2011 failed to reach a verdict in its deliberations in the case of Tamara NIcole Bassett. Her retrial is now under way in front of Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle.

The same jury last year convicted Bassett's co-defendant, Raymond Thomas Vigel, now 22, of first-degree murder. But it failed to reach verdicts on two attempted murder counts filed against him, and he also is being retried on those charges.

February 23, 2012
Sacramento police seek name for cold case homicide victim from 1980

coldcase1.JPG
coldcase2.JPG
Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in solving a cold case from three decades ago in which the homicide victim's identity remains a mystery.

Police say that the unidentified man's body was found at 9:15 p.m. Jan. 17, 1980 on the bleachers at a softball diamond at 6th and X streets. He was killed by a single gunshot, through his head, according to an account in The Bee at the time.

Police said at the time they had been unsuccessful in identifying the man through fingerprints. Detectives this century have also not been able to find his name through a national DNA database.

February 23, 2012
Teen dies in jump from Galleria parking garage

An autopsy is being conducted on the body of a teenager who police said jumped off a parking garage at the Roseville Galleria.

Roseville police and Roseville Fire Department personnel responded at 5:50 p.m. Monday to the shopping center where a young man had jumped from a five-story parking structure, according to the police department.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

February 23, 2012
Driver killed in high-speed crash into tree near Sacramento airport

The driver of a speeding car was killed when the vehicle hit a large oak tree just north of Sacramento International Airport early this morning.

The California Highway Patrol reported that at about 1 a.m. today the driver of a Volkswagen Passat was traveling westbound on Riego Road at the Garden Highway at a high rate of speed when the vehicle launched into the air and into a homeowner's yard.

While in the air, the car struck a fence post and then the oak tree head-on. The car then burst into flames.

A CHP press release said the driver probably died from impact, given the severity of the crash.

The name of the driver, and whether the motorist was a man or a woman, has not been released. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call (530) 674-5141.

February 23, 2012
Child molester tracked by Sacramento feds nabbed in Canada

A man with ties to Northern California who authorities say was America's most wanted child molester has been arrested in Canada.

The U.S. Marshals Service in Sacramento has been working on the case of Steven Dyer for the last 4 years. He was convicted in absentia by a jury in 2002 on 13 counts of sexual conduct with a minor in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dyer failed to show up for a court appearance in January 2002 and an arrest warrant was issued. Dyer was suspected of living a lavish lifestyle outside the United States, according to a press release from the marshals service.

February 23, 2012
Nevada County party participant arrested for homicide after chase into Sacramento County

A man wanted for homicide this morning in Nevada County led officers on a chase that eventually ended in Sacramento County.

Nevada County dispatchers were called about 12:30 a.m. today regarding a disturbance in the 11000 block of Lake Shore North in the community of Lake of the Pines. While in en route, 911 calls came in that there had been a stabbing.

Once deputies arrived, according to Lt. John Kropp, they found a man in his early 30s dead from stab wounds. The name of the victim and what prompted the stabbing has not been released.

"It was some sort of party that went awry," said Kropp.

Kropp said the suspect, Brandon Riddle-Terrel, 24, of Petaluma, fled in a vehicle with Placer County deputies picking up the pursuit before Sacramento County deputies and a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew succeeded in taking him into custody on Grant Line Road.

February 22, 2012
Missing Carmichael woman located, reported safe

Benton,+Melodie.jpgA Carmichael woman reported missing from her home last week has been located.

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives have had contact with 55-year-old Melodie Benton (pictured), also known as Melodie Rowan, and report that she is OK, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Benton left her workplace in Folsom about 2 p.m. Feb. 15 and was observed on video surveillance cameras leaving the Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs about 8 that night.

She was reported missing after she failed to return home. Officials said she was considered at risk because her disappearance was inconsistent with her normal behavior.

February 22, 2012
Sacramento police confirm love triangle behind murder-suicide

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento police confirmed today they believe a love affair was behind a murder-suicide outside the Sacramento Municipal Utility District building Tuesday night.

Police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said detectives suspect the shooter, identified today as 73-year-old Robert Gully, fatally shot 62-year-old Jerome Votaw because Votaw was having an affair with Gully's estranged wife.

Gully then chased the 49-year-old woman, who witnessed the shooting, back inside the SMUD building lobby, firing shots at her as they ran, Pettit said.

February 22, 2012
Pepper-sprayed students file lawsuit against UC Davis

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against UC Davis over the pepper-spraying of protesting students by police on Nov. 18.

Nineteen students have brought the suit that says that the university used excessive force to break up the demonstration. The Occupy UC Davis students were sprayed as they sat on the ground.

The suit said that the actions by police that day, which were broadcast around the world, had a chilling effect on free speech.

February 22, 2012
Charges pile up for shoplifting suspect accused of biting Sacramento deputy

A shoplifting suspect had the book thrown at him after he allegedly bit a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy.

Deputies were called to the Walmart store in the 5800 block of Antelope Road about 7 p.m. Tuesday where store security officers were detaining Breyon D. Wilson, 20, a shoplifting suspect.

When deputies arrived to take Wilson into custody, he tried to run, according to a sheriff's department press release. A struggle began and Wilson bit one of the deputies on the arm.

Eventually, he was subdued and placed under arrest. He was later booked on suspicion of mayhem, battery on a peace officer, resisting an executive officer, committing a crime while out on bail and theft.

The deputy went to a hospital for evaluation but did not sustain any significant injury, according to the department.

February 22, 2012
Son arrested in killing of father last May in Roseville

northan.JPG
Roseville police today arrested a son in the killing of his father last May.

Christopher Dale Northam, 44, was fatally shot May 30 at the warehouse in Roseville where he was about to open an innovative new business: indoor skim-boarding. Northam had at least one gunshot wound to his head.

This morning detectives arrested Christopher Jon Michael Northam, 25, of Roseville, on a warrant charging him with the homicide of his father.

The son's ex-wife, Averill Elizabeth Easley, 34, of Roseville was also arrested on a warrant charging that she was an accessory after the fact. She is suspected of giving false and misleading information to police about key facts.

At the time of his death, Northam was reportedly negotiating with a major investor from Dubai who was interested in helping launch and expand the business.

Dubbed Skim X, the venture aimed to combine skim-boarding and skateboarding in an indoor water park. Northam was a partner in the business with his son, Christopher.

Roseville police conducted a nearly 9-month investigation, which included witness interviews, search warrants, the examination of financial records and the elimination of other potential suspects, according to a department press release.

In the end, police said, detectives concluded that the elder Northam was killed by his son for financial gain, according to a press release.

PHOTO CAPTION: Christopher Dale Northam

February 22, 2012
Robbers pose as utility workers, tie up family during home invasion in South Sacramento

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies were called this morning to a home in southern Sacramento County where a family was tied up by robbers.

Shortly before 9 a.m., the deputies responded to the robbery call at a residence in the 8800 block of Skipjack Way near Gerber Road and Elk Grove-Florin Road.

Deputies said the suspects, clad in brightly colored vests, used the ruse that they were utility workers to get into the home. Once inside, they handcuffed and tied up the family before searching for cash.

The suspects left without injuring anyone. A media alert from the sheriff's department said it was not immediately known if the robbers were successful in getting away with any loot.

February 21, 2012
Sacramento man headed to prison for identity theft

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated identity theft.

Melvin Lee Gregory, 30, was sentenced in federal court in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge John A Mendez, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. His prison term is to be followed by one year of supervised release.

According to court documents, between March and July 2010, Gregory stole U.S. mail, looking for financial and identification information. He opened lines of credit using his victims' personal information, and obtained cash and goods from merchants and financial institutions in the Sacramento area.

February 21, 2012
Nevada City man admits to marijuana, money laundering conspiracy

A Nevada City man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to involvement in a marijuana and money laundering operation.

Charles Miller Hilkey Jr., 58, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to conspiring with others to cultivate marijuana and to structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Hilkey was the leader of a significant marijuana growing operation. The marijuana grown on multiple properties that he controlled was ostensibly for medical purposes. Officials said Hilkey and his confederates structured various financial transactions with some of the money they made selling marijuana to avoid financial reporting requirements under federal law. Hilkey structured at least $859,000 in transactions with one or more financial institutions, usually post offices in Nevada County.

February 21, 2012
Update: Sacramento police report two people dead in murder-suicide

By Kim Minugh and Cathy Locke

kminugh@sacbee.com

Two men were killed Tuesday night in a murder-suicide that occurred in the parking lot of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District headquarters, Sacramento police officials report.

Police spokesman Andrew Pettit said the men were not SMUD employees but were among a group of people using SMUD facilities for a meeting.

Pettit provided these details about the fatal incident:

February 21, 2012
Placer officials seek ID of woman allegedly passing bogus bills

bogusbillssuspect.jpgbogusbills.JPGPlacer County sheriff's detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying a woman accused of passing counterfeit bills throughout the county.

The woman (pictured) was captured on surveillance videos in different businesses where she passed bogus bills, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. Officials said the bills (pictured) look authentic and have a stripe printed on them, so that when a clerk holds the bill up to a light source, the stripe and watermarks are visible. In this case, however, the stripe and watermark are clearly printed on the back of the bill.

Anyone with information about the woman is asked to call Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191, or go to the website at www.placercrimestoppers.com.

February 21, 2012
Sacramento woman to stand trial in baby's microwave death

A judge today ordered a woman to stand trial for murder on charges she burned her two-month-old baby to death by placing her in a microwave oven.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balonon also found evidence to support the special allegation filed by prosecutors that Ka Yang also tortured the baby. The allegation would guarantee Yang a life term in prison with no chance of parole if she is convicted. Prosecutors earlier agreed to not pursue the death penalty because Yang has no prior criminal record.

Yang, 30, is accused in the March 17 burning death of her infant daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, in their home on Rood Avenue in the Robla neighborhood on the city's north side.

February 21, 2012
Close call for teen shot in Sacramento

A 16-year-old was grazed in the head by gunfire as a result of another teen playing with a handgun, police said.

Sacramento police said the two 16-year-olds were in the backyard of a residence in the 100 block of Fairbanks Avenue in Strawberry Manor on Sunday morning when the recently acquired weapon fired.

One of the teens was "playing with the handgun" when it fired, according to a police activity log.

The injured boy was treated and released from the hospital. The 16-year-old who was handling the weapon was booked into Sacramento County Juvenile Hall for suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm.

February 21, 2012
Rancho Cordova train group wants vintage tractor back

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A group that provides train rides to boys and girls has had a vintage tractor stolen that was essential to keeping their Rancho Cordova excursion railroad in good running order.

The Sacramento Valley Live Steamers, a nonprofit organization runs a scale-model steam train in Hagan Community Park, has been delighting children since the early 1970s with train rides through the trees with glimpses of American River.

The railroad line has endured vandalism and the theft of tools and track before, but never something like what happened last week when somebody took their vintage tractor.

A week ago, somebody broke into a locked shipping container and took the group's red-orange 1951 Ferguson farm tractor with a front loader. The tractor is used for a variety of tasks, including carrying gravel ballast that is used under the tracks.

The group is in the process of replacing track. That's when the sturdy workhorse comes in handy.

But now it is gone, apparently driven away down the bike trail.

"I'm told that the transmission is worth $1,000 on its own," said Bill Yoder, president of the Live Steamers. "As heavy as that thing is, they will probably chop it up and sell it for scrap."

Yoder wanted help in making the public aware of the theft in hope that somebody spots the hard-to-hide tractor. The group has offered a $1,000 reward for its return in good condition.

Any information about the stolen tractor should be provided to Rancho Cordova Police, Yoder said.

Starting in March, the group plans to start excursion runs again. Yoder will use his small tractor to move gravel.

PHOTO CAPTION: The stolen vintage tractor. Sacramento Valley Live Steamers

February 21, 2012
Story of Maggie the cattle dog continues with more jail time

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The man who ran over Maggie the cattle dog has been given more jail time.

Justin Phillip Lombardo-Barton, 19, of Camptonville, was sentenced in October to five years probation and time served. A Sierra Superior Court judge gave Lombardo-Barton credit for 122 days served in county jail.

Sierra County District Attorney Larry Allen said in an e-mail that Lombardo-Barton was recently brought back into court on a probation violation for failing to keep in contact with his probation officer.

This time the judge game him 360 days in jail and reinstated probation.

Lombardo-Barton, who pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty and hit-and-run badly injured the border collie that Nevada County rancher John Reader raised from a pup.

On June 19, Maggie was helping Reader and mounted riders herd about 300 head of cattle along Alleghany-Ridge Road in Sierra County en route to summer pasture. Pilot cars were in front and back of the herd.

As the cattle moved along the road, cars stopped to let the herd pass. But a white Jeep Cherokee pushed through instead of waiting. Reader said the driver gunned the car, ran into a calf and cow, and struck Maggie, who was on the road's shoulder.

Maggie suffered a broken right hind leg and a deep cut to her left hind leg, and her liver and stomach were pushed into her chest cavity. She underwent surgery to repair her broken leg with a pin and screws.

A few days later, Sierra County sheriff's deputies arrested Lombardo-Barton.

Maggie was nursed back to health by Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic and eventually went back to the Reader ranch. Dozens of people donated to help cover her medical costs.

PHOTO CAPTION: Maggie, the injured cattle dog, is released from Loomis Basin Veterinary Hospital in July 2011/Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee

February 21, 2012
Shotgun blast fired near officers during Citrus Heights call

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Citrus Heights officers working on a domestic violence call this morning say they were greeted by a shotgun blast that shattered a sliding glass door.

Police said that about 12:45 a.m. today they responded to meet a woman who was the victim of assault. She told them that her husband, Loren Fullmer, 43, assaulted her while they were inside their vehicle.

Police obtained an emergency protective order on behalf of the victim. At about 2:11 a.m. officers tried to contact Fullmer at his home in the 5800 block of Sunrise Vista Drive.

Officers knocked on the front door. At about the same time they allege Fullmer fired one shotgun round through the frame of a sliding glass door several feet away from the front door.

Officers ordered Fullmer to surrender, which he did several minutes later, according to a department press release.

Officers later confiscated a 12-guage shotgun and a spent casing from the home. Fullmer who police said was on probation for burglary, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and weapons violations.

PHOTO CAPTION: Loren Fullmer/Citrus Heights police

February 20, 2012
Padilla says 'speed freak' killer told him of a third well site

By Jim Sanders
jsanders@sacbee.com

In a new twist to a gruesome San Joaquin County search, convicted killer Wesley Shermantine has described the location of a third well where he says a murder victim can be found, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla said Monday night.

"It means that there's another body out there to be found," said Padilla.

February 20, 2012
Airplane pilot in mid-air collision with helicopter is identified

Authorities have identified one of the pilots involved in the Sunday
night collision over the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in which an airplane
clipped a helicopter near Rio Vista.

Ronald Albert Gawer, 49, of Brentwood, was at the controls of the
Beechcraft Bonanza airplane that had made contact with a Robinson R22
helicopter shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, according to lead operations
specialist Mark Grosenheider of the Byron Airport in Contra Costa County.

Gawer crash-landed his aircraft short of the runway at Byron,
Grosenheider said. He had a passenger with him, and both were shaken up in
the crash, but neither was hurt seriously, according to Grosenheider.

February 19, 2012
Two suffer minor injuries in helicopter-plane collision over Delta

Federal aviation authorities are investigating a mid-air collision that took place tonight when an airplane clipped a helicopter while the two were flying over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The unidentified pilots of the Beechcraft Bonanza airplane and the Robinson R22 helicopter only suffered minor injuries from the 7 p.m. accident that occurred while the two aircraft were in the air over Antioch, according to Sacramento sheriff's officials.

Sacramento sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos said the airplane was able to make it to Byron Airport in Contra Costa County where it sustained damage upon landing.

The helicopter crashed in a field about eight miles south of the Rio Vista Airport, on Sherman Island near Highway 160, according Ramos and Federal Aviation Administration Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor.

February 19, 2012
Sacramento police seek hit-and-run driver who struck pedestrian in crosswalk

A 45-year-old man was in critical condition in the hospital Sunday after he was struck in the crosswalk by a hit-and-run motorist at Stockton Boulevard this morning, the Sacramento Police Department reported.

Police said the incident occurred before 7 a.m. at Stockton Boulevard and Dias Avenue.

Investigators reported the car that hit the pedestrian was a newer model charcoal gray sedan, possibly a Honda., and that the driver is an Asian mail, 36-42 years old, medium build with "scruffy facial hair."

February 18, 2012
Missing Sacramento woman returns home

A Sacramento woman reported missing Friday has returned home, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said.

Donna Delgadillo, 43, left her home Friday afternoon and had been considered at risk because of her mental and emotional state.

Delgadillo "has returned home and is OK," said Deputy Jason Ramos, in a Sheriff's Department release.

No other details were provided.

February 18, 2012
Police seek witnesses in South Natomas accident

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By Carlos Alcalá

calcala@sacbee.com

An accident initially described as a hit-and-run involving a pedestrian turned out to be a woman who was seriously injured after she leapt, fell or was pushed out of her boyfriend's car.

The 35-year-old woman, whose name was not released, had been drinking with her boyfriend in a bar on Northgate Boulevard.

After leaving the bar, they were in a car on Northgate near San Juan Road when the woman left the car in an unknown fashion.

February 18, 2012
Missing Sacramento woman deemed at risk

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By Carlos Alcalá

calcala@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is looking for public help to find Donna Delgadillo, 43, who went missing Friday from her home in the 9100 block of Parducci Way in Sacramento.

She is considered at risk because of her mental and emotional condition.

She is a white female, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, about 130 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

She is thought to be driving a 1998 gold Toyota Camry with front-end damage and a California license of 4CBR335.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

PHOTO CAPTION: Donna Delgadillo/Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

February 18, 2012
2 union employees plead guilty to taking union funds

By Carlos Alcalá

calcala@sacbee.com

A Yuba City plumbing and pipefitters union treasurer and his wife pleaded guilty Friday to misappropriating at least $120,000 for personal use, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Robert L. Carr, 57, was secretary-treasurer and business manager for Local 228, and his wife Theresa Ann Carr, 54, was an employee of the union.

They wrote checks for unauthorized salary advances, bonuses and reimbursements, according to court documents cited by the news release.

February 18, 2012
Brutal Elk Grove attack results in conviction

By Carlos Alcalá

calcala@sacbee.com

Lovie James was convicted by a Sacramento jury Friday in a violent 2011 attack on his then-69-year-old girlfriend.

James, 54, assaulted his girlfriend in her Elk Grove home, slamming her head on a tile floor and then pouring gasoline on both of them, telling her they would both die.

He then stole her car and fled, evading arrest for a week.

February 18, 2012
Burglars arrested after 12-year-old in closet calls 911

By Carlos Alcalá

calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento police arrested a pair of juvenile burglary suspects Friday, after a 12-year-old girl called 911 and hid in a closet while on the phone with the dispatcher.

The girl called police around 11 a.m., reporting that someone had broken into her home on Candela Circle through a back window.

She then ran upstairs and hid in her bedroom closet.

February 17, 2012
Man accused of stalking, threatening former court referee

Parlante+Image.jpgA man who allegedly accosted people outside the home of a former juvenile dependency court referee arrested earlier this week was taken into custody this morning after he was observed by Sacramento police officers waiting to serve a search warrant.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said a preliminary investigation indicates the John Parlante (pictured), 46, may have been the recipient of an unfavorable decision in Referee Daniel Madden Horton's court sometime in the past few years.

Horton was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of trying to entice underage girls to strip for an adult magazine. A court spokeswoman said he resigned from his court referee job last weekend.

February 17, 2012
Man sentenced in hate-crime assault at Elk Grove bowling alley

A man who admitted to an assault at the Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Elk Grove last June was sentenced today.

Joel Baltazar Olivarez pleaded guilty to assaulting Seth Parker and admitted to a hate crime enhancement. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Steve White sentenced Olivarez to three years in prison, but the sentence was stayed pending successful completion of five years of formal probation, according to Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Terms and conditions of Olivarez's probation include one year in county jail, drug and/or alcohol treatment, and 240 hours of community service to be served in an organization or program within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. If Olivarez violates any term or condition of his probation in the next five years, the stay will be lifted and he will be required to serve the prison term, officials said.

February 17, 2012
Elk Grove man sentenced in mortgage fraud case

By Rick Daysog
rdaysog@sacbee.com

An Elk Grove man was sentenced today to four years and nine months in prison for his role in an $8 million mortgage fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Edward Garcia also ordered Gabriel Viramontes, 49, to pay restitution after a jury found him guilty last March on bank and mail fraud charges.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Viramontes and his Sacramento-based partners -- 34-year-old James Roy Martin and 42-year-old Mario Fellini III -- recruited straw buyers who purchased 19 homes in the Sacramento area using phony documentation.

The sales generated illegal kickbacks and "substantial loan broker commissions," federal prosecutors said.

Martin and Fellini pleaded guilty previously and testified against Viramontes. Martin was sentenced to 20.5 months in prison and Fellini will get six months in prison plus five months of home detention.

February 17, 2012
Judge orders pair to stand trial in triple gang killing

Two reputed street gang members were ordered today to stand trial for murder in last year's shooting deaths of three bicyclists in Rancho Cordova.

Saul Isidro-Aucencio, 25, and Francisco Ignacio Delgado, 21, were held over by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage for the Feb. 13, 2011, killings of Robert Corpos, 20, Richard Ward, 16, and Jamir Miller, 15.

The judge scheduled their trial for April 10.

February 17, 2012
Convicted murderer in 1991 Sacramento killings gets two life terms

A one-time Sacramento street gang member was sentenced to two life terms with no chance of parole today for the 1991 double killing of two men who were standing outside a club on Stockton Boulevard.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley imposed the term on Ricky Tran, 39, for the Oct. 25, 1991, drive-by shootings of Huy "Joey" Nguyen, 23, and Quon Anh Tran, 23, outside the Craven Club.

Tran was not arrested until January 2010 in Pennsylvania when his two children reported him to police for a domestic attack on their mother. Fingerprints taken from Tran in that arrest identified him as the suspect in the 1991 killing of the two innocent bystanders.

February 17, 2012
Judge sentences sex killer to life without parole

A man who murdered a woman in Rancho Cordova during a sexual assault last year was sentenced today to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Thumbnail image for rajneet.jpgDemetrius Shaffer, 33, also was sentenced to seven additional 15-to-life terms by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard for another sexual attack on a second female victim.

"Mr. Shaffer has lived a predatory, perverted life," Gilliard said from the bench in sentencing Shaffer. "For that, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars."

Jurors last month convicted Shaffer for the sex killing of Rajneet Kor Singh, 37 (pictured). According to testimony at trial, he had met up with her in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2011, and the two of them then went to the Rancho's Club Casino on Folsom Boulevard.

Singh's body was discovered the same day about a block from the casino.

February 17, 2012
Truckee men plead not guilty to drug charges

TRUCKEE -- Two Truckee men charged with cocaine sales entered not guilty pleas Feb. 14 during arraignment at Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee.

Salvador Ruvalcaba-Munoz, 36, and Conrado Rodriguez-Quintero, 45, remain in custody at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility in Nevada City in lieu of $35,000 bail, pending a Feb. 21 felony conference in Truckee.

The two men were arrested at a downtown Truckee residence Feb. 7 by Truckee Police Department detectives following a four-month investigation.

February 17, 2012
Missing developmentally disabled man found in Sacramento County

Sacramento police say that a missing developmentally disabled man has been found.

John Saechao, 30, was seen walking out of his Del Paso Heights home in the 3900 block of Dry Creek Road about 2 p.m. Thursday. The police department put out a plea for the public to help find him last night.

Police said this morning that the Sacramento Sheriff's Department had found him at Manzanita Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard.

A police spokesman said that Saechao was spotted by citizens who saw him in the Fair Oaks Boulevard and Manzanita Avenue area. Both citizens said he seemed to match the picture of Saechao they had seen on television.

When deputies approached him he was sitting at a bus stop and appeared to have been out all night. Saechao is new to the Sacramento area.

He told deputies that he was hungry and that his feet hurt. Medical personnel checked out his health condition as a precaution.

Deputies bought him a burrito and a bottled water. He was then re-united with his extremely appreciative family, said Sgt. Andrew Pettit, Sacramento police spokesman.

Saechao expressed an interest in becoming a police officer.

February 17, 2012
Sheriff's Department needs help finding missing Folsom worker

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Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies need the public's assistance in finding a missing woman who works in Folsom.

Melodie Benton, 55, of Carmichael, left work Wednesday about 2 p.m. Sheriff's officials said Benton, who is also known as Melodie Rowan, was observed on video surveillance cameras leaving the Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs about 8 that night. She appeared to be alone, and left in an unknown direction.

"She is considered at-risk due to her disappearance being highly inconsistent with her normal behavior patterns," according to a sheriff's department press release.

February 17, 2012
Police need help in finding developmentally disabled man

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Police would like citizens to help them find a missing developmentally disabled man who is new to the Sacramento area.

John Saechao, 30, was last seen walking out of his Del Paso Heights home in the 3900 block of Dry Creek Road about 2 p.m. Thursday.

He is described as Asian, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 270 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black t-shirt and blue jeans.

PHOTO CAPTION: John Saechao

February 17, 2012
Burned woman in Discovery Park homicide identified by coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the woman whose burned body was found Tuesday in Discovery Park.

She has been identified as Sharion Renay King, 43, of Sacramento. Her death is listed as undetermined.

Sacramento police announced Thursday that they had arrested Robert Thompson 36, on suspicion of homicide in the killing of King.

While the cause of death has yet to be determined, the woman suffered upper body trauma, according to a press release from the police department.

Police said they cannot yet release the relationship between the victim and Thompson.

According to Sacramento County Superior Court online records, Thompson has an extensive criminal history. It includes sentences in 2001 for second-degree robbery and in 2007 for possessing or purchasing cocaine for sale and for committing a sex offense while in prison. In October 2011, he also pleaded no contest to failing to register as a sex offender.

Her severely burned body was found Tuesday morning by a passing bicyclist.

The bicyclist initially thought the smoke he was seeing near the archery range off the Garden Highway was simply burning leaves.

He contacted authorities to put out the fire. Sacramento firefighters arrived and discovered the badly burned body. Police were called in to investigate.

February 16, 2012
Man surrenders after standoff in Land Park area

By Phillip Reese and Cathy Locke
preese@sacbee.com


A nearly three-hour standoff with police at a Land Park home ended peacefully Thursday evening with a man's surrender.

Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said officers were called to a family disturbance in the 1300 block of Seventh Avenue about 4:45 p.m.

Everyone in the family subsequently left the house except the man, whom police identified as Gregory Dumond, 48. Family members told officers that he may have had a shotgun.

February 16, 2012
Placerville aircraft dealer admits he helped Mexican buyers evade cash reporting requirements

By Rick Daysog
rdaysog@sacbee.com

A Placerville aircraft dealership that helped several alleged drug traffickers from Mexico conceal the purchases of six airplanes has agreed to forfeit more than $428,000 as part of a plea deal.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. today, Joseph Stancil, president and owner of Stancil Enterprises Inc., admitted that his company and its employees helped buyers from Sinaloa, Baja California and Sonora, Mexico evade federal reporting requirements for large cash transactions.

Federal law requires U.S. businesses and banks to file a currency transaction report anytime a person makes a cash purchase of $10,000 or more.

February 16, 2012
Sacramento police arrest suspect in 'Evil Clown' robberies

evilclownmask.jpgVanna Sisouthone.jpgSacramento police today announced the arrest of a man suspected of being the "Evil Clown Robber."

Detectives located and arrested Vanna Sisounthone (pictured), 43, Feb. 3 in connection with three robberies that occurred Jan. 19-21. Law enforcement officers dubbed the robber the Evil Clown Robber because of the mask (pictured) he wore during the robberies.

During the first two robberies, the masked robber shot at store employees and a witness who was attempting to write down the license plate number of the get-away car. In the third robbery, an elderly store clerk fought with the robber and ripped off the robber's mask as he ran from the store, according to a Police Department news release.

February 16, 2012
Update: Highway 99 crash south of Yuba City kills woman, 53

By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A 53-year-old woman died this morning in a head-on crash south of Yuba City.

A California Highway Patrol press release said that a 20-year-old woman was driving northbound on Highway 99 north of Messick Road about 6 a.m. when she fell asleep at the wheel and drifted toward the southbound lanes.

A car driven by the 53 year old woman traveling in the opposite direction tried to take evasive action and veered to the left into the center two-way left turn lane to avoid a crash. She was unable to avoid a collision and the two cars crashed head on.

An oncoming northbound car was unable avoid the collision and struck the crashed vehicles. Another car, heading southbound, also was unsuccessful in stopping and struck the car of the 20-year-old woman.

The woman initially hit head-on by the dozing driver died at the scene, according to the CHP.

The 20 year old, identified as Angela Elizabeth Mah, 20, of Concord, suffered a broken leg.

The drivers of the other two cars did not suffer major injuries.

February 16, 2012
Pollock Pines man jailed in Placerville-area home burglary

Travis Cunha.pngA 20-year-old Pollock Pines man is in custody, accused of burglarizing a Placerville-area home twice in five days.

Travis Cunha (pictured) was arrested Feb. 9 and is being held without bail bail in El Dorado County Jail in Placerville, accused of first-degree burglary.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies responded to the 2700 block of Morts Court at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 to investigate a residential burglary. Someone had forced open a locked window and once inside, the burglar stole video gaming systems, video games, a compound bow, pellet rifle and jewelry, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

February 16, 2012
Second man pleads no contest in videotaped attack

A second defendant pleaded no contest today to the videotaped attack on a mentally ill woman outside a south Sacramento donut shop.

Donnell Damone Wade, 19, entered his plea in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley to a single count of participating in a gang-related event.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Wade will be placed on three years probation and can be sentenced to no more than a year in county jail. He has been in custody since Nov. 13. Wade is scheduled to be sentenced March 23 by Judge Kevin J. McCormick.

Another defendant in the case, Rasaan Ali Zawadi, 21, entered his no contest plea last week. Zawadi will be sentenced on March 1. Under the terms of his plea deal, Zawadi is expected to be placed on probation, ordered to stay away from the site of the attack and directed to obtain services for himself from the Alta Regional Center for the developmentally disabled. Zawadi also is expected to be sentenced to the four months he's already served in jail plus 60 more days of electronic monitoring.

February 16, 2012
Juries convict three of murder in 'Jack Day' killings

Two Sacramento Superior Court juries have found three defendants guilty of murder in the March 17, 2010, shooting death of Marque Alexander Johnson while he was walking to a bus stop in south Sacramento to go to school.

One of the juries came back today with a first-degree murder verdict against Robert Maurice Hunt, 20, and a second-degree conviction against Khalief Raheem Taylor, 19. The panel concluded that Hunt was the shooter in the killing of the 17-year-old Johnson.

On Tuesday, another jury found a third defendant, Marquice Devon Wallace, 20, guilty of first-degree murder. The panel also convicted Wallace of arson for setting fire to a street memorial put together by friends and relatives of Johnson at the site of his killing on Summersdale Avenue just south of Mack Road.

February 16, 2012
Rescued Sacramento couple happy to be back home after three-day ordeal

found_safe_1B.jpgBy Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

A Sacramento couple who were trapped for days in a snowed-in car in remote Placer County were happy and relieved today, a day after they were rescued.

Mark Schroeder and Janette DeGrace met with members of the media at Schroeder's home to talk about their ordeal, which went from a fun Sunday outing to a terrifying situation that had them fearing for their lives.

The two had gone to a remote mountain bar called Uncle Tom's Cabin on Sunday. On the way home, Schroeder's Porsche 911 got stuck in the snow and the couple spent three nights in the car near the Hellhole and French Meadows reservoirs.

February 16, 2012
Highway 99 crash kills one south of Yuba City

One person was killed in a crash just south of Yuba City this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred on Highway 99 just south of Oswald Road at about 6 a.m. and involved at least four vehicles. Information on how the accident occurred was not immediately available.

All lanes have been reopened.

February 16, 2012
Reward offered by Elk Grove store owner for return of designer snake

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A reward is being offered for the return of a designer snake stolen from an Elk Grove store.

The $500 Bumblebee ball python was stolen about 11:30 a.m. on Valentine's Day from The Serpentarium, 9160 East Stockton Blvd.

Store security video shows a man and a woman looking at snakes in the showroom. At one point the man removes a lock from a terrarium and eventually pocketing the snake, according to Robert Coral, owner of The Serpentarium.

Coral said a Bumblebee is created by cross-breeding a Spider ball python with a Pastel ball python. A very low percentage of the off-spring will be Bumblebee pythons, which have a brilliant color.

"It looks like a pastel, brightly-colored Spider ball python," said Coral.

Since they are less common, they go for more money. Coral has offered a $100 cash reward or $150 store gift certificate for a return of the reptile.

This is not the first snake stolen. Before he had good surveillance in the store, a $125 boa was stolen from the store three months ago.

The snake was born at the Serpentarium in Lodi. The Lodi breeding facility has been in existence for 23 years, while the Elk Grove store opened just 8 months ago.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Elk Grove store at (916) 686-1447.

PHOTO CAPTION: A bumblebee ball python was stolen from The Serpentarium in Elk Grove.

February 16, 2012
Arrest made in killing of burned woman at Discovery Park

Thompson.jpgAn arrest has been made in the killing of a woman whose burned body was found Tuesday in Discovery Park.

Sacramento police said today they have arrested Robert Thompson (pictured), 36, on suspicion of homicide in the killing of the still-unidentified female.

It will take several days to make a positive identification of the severely burned body that was found by a passing bicyclist. Police say the body was burned beyond recognition.

February 16, 2012
Four arrested for stabbing teen at Lodi Burger King

Two men and two teens are suspects in the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy Wednesday at a Lodi Burger King.

Officers responded at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to the fast food restaurant on West Kettleman Lane where a fight was occurring. While en route, officers were informed that one person had been stabbed.

Once on scene, officers found four males in the area who matched a description of the combatants. Further investigation revealed that the four were suspects in the stabbing of the victim, a Lodi police department press release said.

Officers arrested Sandeep Kumar, 18, James Asencio, 18, a 15 year old and a 16 year old on susupcion of assault with a deadly weapon with gang enhancements.

February 16, 2012
Robbery suspect said to hit same Sacramento bank twice

Sacramento police have arrested a man suspected of twice holding up the same downtown bank.

Sacramento police said that on Wednesday at about 4 p.m. Michael Johnson, 52, entered the River City Bank at 900 K Street and demanded cash.

After money was handed over, Johnson left the bank, according to police, and got into a taxi. Eventually, police learned, the robber was dropped off at Arden Fair Mall.

Police arrested Johnson while he was walking along the rear parking lot of the mall. He is suspected of robbing the same bank on Jan. 25.

Police said that in addition to the two Sacramento robberies, he is a suspect in three other bank robberies, two in San Francisco and one in South Lake Tahoe.

February 15, 2012
Dependency court referee arrested on sex allegations

Sacramento police today arrested a county juvenile dependency court referee on suspicion of trying to get two women he thought were underage girls to strip for an adult magazine.

Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court Referee Daniel Madden Horton, 47, was booked into the downtown jail at 5:05 p.m. today. No charges had been filed on him as of today, but a criminal complaint is likely to be filed as soon as Thursday, according to documents obtained by The Bee.

Horton was in the process of being booked late this afternoon and was unavailable for comment. District Attorney's officials also declined comment. He has resigned from his job in the Juvenile Dependency Court, according to courts spokeswoman Ginger Sylvester.

In a case summary Sacramento police presented to the District Attorney's Office, detectives are asking prosecutors to charge Horton on three misdemeanor counts.

February 15, 2012
Applications sought for Sacramento County law enforcement course

By Brad Branan

bbranan@sacbee.com

Interested in the world of law enforcement? Want to understand how the system works?

Sacramento County is offering a class taught by professionals in the system. The 2012 Citizens Academy is soliciting applications for the 10 week class. The academy, started by District Attorney Jan Scully, includes an introduction by Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, and Scully.

Each week's class will take up different topics important to different parts of the criminal justice system. The class is free and meets each Tuesday at the police headquarters, 5770 Freeport Boulevard.

To apply, go to http://www.sacda.org/community/ca/ca.app.php. Questions: Stephanie Hofer at 916-874-7428 orhoferst@sacda.org

February 15, 2012
Sheriff's unit joins Sacramento Boys and Girls Club in Friday 'Unity for Youth' event

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's Youth Services Unit will join with the Boys and Girls Club in a "Unity for Youth" event on Friday.

The event, offered free of charge and open to the public, will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, Greater Sacramento Teichert Branch, at 5212 Lemon Hill Ave., Sacramento.

It will feature a variety of activities, including prize drawings, bounce houses, carnival games, face painting and K-9 units.

February 15, 2012
Missing couple found, will be treated for frostbite

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BREAKING NEWS ALERT via Carlos Alcala:

A Sacramento area couple missing since Sunday has been found alive many miles from the area where a search was being conducted in southern El Dorado County.

Mark Schroeder and Janette DeGrace were found Wednesday afternoon after Schroeder hiked miles through snow near Georgetown, in the northern part of the county, and guided a rescue helicopter to DeGrace, said Jim Jungsten, who had co-ordinated search efforts.

They were being transported to Auburn where Schroeder was expected to be treated for frostbite, Jungsten said.

February 15, 2012
Air Force T-38 from Beale AFB blows tire on landing at Mather

A T-38 Talon aircraft from Beale Air Force Base sustained minor damage after a tire blew out upon landing at Mather Airfield this afternoon.

About 1:30 p.m., the aircraft, carrying two pilots, was on a routine training mission known as "touch and go's", when upon landing at Mather, a tire blew out, according to a Beale Air Force Base news release. Officials said crosswinds pushed the aircraft, causing a second tire to blow out.

Officials said no injuries were reported.

Beale Air Force Base safety and maintenance crew members are en route to Mather. The cause of the blow-out is under investigation.

February 15, 2012
Citrus Heights PD wins community policing honor

The Citrus Heights Police Department has won an award for community policing.

The department will be presented the 2012 James Q. Wilson Award for Excellence in Community Policing at a March 12 symposium in Sacramento.

The "Citrus Heights Model - Community Based Domestic Violence Intervention" took the top award from the Regional Community Policing Institute -- California, according to a press release.

The Wilson award judging is based on several factors: problem solving, partnership with the community, partnership with public and private organizations, the extent of community policing and results.

February 15, 2012
Sacramento jury returns second-degree verdict in quinceanera murders

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Alfredo Daniel Tafoya on two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Carlos Montes and Efrain Zambrano at a Nov. 28, 2009, quinceanera celebration in Galt.

The jury had deliberated for four days and appeared unable to reach a verdict until Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall announced this morning that prosecutors had amended the complaint against Tafoya to dismiss the first-degree murder charges as well as a special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

Tafoya, 20, faces a potential term of 80 years to life in prison at his scheduled March 23 sentencing in front of Judge Greta Curtis Fall. Defense attorney Pete Harned said after the verdict he will ask the judge to sentence Tafoya to a concurrent term of 40-to-life on the two second-degree murder convictions.

February 15, 2012
Police dog puts the bite on Woodland domestic violence suspect

A police dog helped apprehend a man suspected of battering a woman in a Woodland motel room, authorities said.

Police arrived about 1 a.m. today to a motel in the 1500 block of East Main Street on a domestic disturbance call in one of the rooms. Police say that Jared Lampkin, a parolee at large, fled to some weeds in a nearby industrial complex.

A police dog found him and inflicted some minor bite wounds, police said. Lampkin was treated at the hospital and then booked on various misdemeanor and felony charges.

The victim, a 27-year-old Woodland woman, was bruised, had a black eye and scratches to her left shoulder, wrist and forearm.

February 15, 2012
Public's help needed to find missing couple

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Law enforcement authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a missing couple.

Mark Schroeder, 55, was last known to be at his home in the 2900 block of Morse Glen Lane sometime during the day on Monday. He may be with his girlfriend, 52-year-old Janette DeGrace.

"He is considered at-risk because he is missing under suspicious circumstances," stated a press release from the Sacramento County Sheriff's department.

Schroeder drives a 1999 Porsche 911 with the California license plate of 5DRB566.

Schroeder is white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, about 140 pounds with collar-length brown hair and brown eyes. DeGrace is white, 5 feet 3 inches tall and about 130 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about Schroeder is asked to call the sheriff's department at (916) 874-5115. Anyone with information about DeGrace is asked to call the police department at (916) 264-5471.

February 14, 2012
Three dead, one injured in Yuba City shooting

Police shot and killed a man suspected of gunning down three women - two of them fatally - inside a Yuba City home this afternoon.

About 4:15 p.m., Yuba City police received reports of gunshots in the 600 block of B Street, an older residential neighborhood in the city's central area.

Responding officers saw a male suspect fleeing the house with a handgun, said Shawna Pavey, Yuba City police spokeswoman. They pursued him for more than six blocks to the area of Franklin Avenue and Pine Way, where officers shot the suspect. He was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

February 14, 2012
Standoff ends with arrest in Sacramento's Woodbine area

A standoff in the Woodbine area that started with a traffic stop and ended with a suspect holed up in a house concluded with the man surrendering peacefully to officers this evening.

The situation began at about 1 p.m. when Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies attempted to pull over a driver for a traffic violation near Meadowview Road and Amherst Street in the Meadowview area, authorities said.

They spotted what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun in his car. The man fled, leading pursuers on a chase for more than two miles. Near 24th Street and Yreka Avenue, he abandoned his car and fled. He holed up inside the house of a friend or relative, said Officer Laura Peck, Sacramento police spokeswoman.

February 14, 2012
Witnesses say alcohol involved in fatal Woodland crash

Witnesses have told Woodland Police that a woman involved in a single-car collision in Woodland had been drinking alcohol shortly before the crash that killed her Monday afternoon.

The driver, Vanessa Del Toro, 20, of Woodland, was driving a 1999 Range Rover through a residential area at speeds of about 80 mph, when police gave chase, authorities said.

The SUV struck a tree in front of a house in the 1600 block of College Street just after 4 p.m. Photos from the scene show the SUV partially wrapped around the large tree, its wheels lifted off the ground.

The Yolo County Coroner's office is awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine Del Toro's blood alcohol level, police said in a news release.

Woodland police and the California Highway Patrol's Major Accident Investigation Team are investigating the accident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 666-2411.

February 14, 2012
2nd Shermantine victim found in Calaveras tentatively identified

By Kim Minugh and Peter Hecht
kminugh@sacbee.com

San Joaquin Sheriff's officials this afternoon said they have made preliminary identification of the remains of one of the bodies found at a Calaveras County site linked to convicted murderer Wesley Shermantine.

The mother of Chevelle "Chevy" Wheeler, a 1985 murder victim of Shermantine, said she was notified today that remains found Friday were those of her daughter.

"It's really bittersweet," said Paula Wheeler, who said she received confirmation at 12:45 p.m. today that her daughter's dental records match a skull recovered at the site.

Les Garcia, spokesman for the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department, said part of a recovered jaw was examined by a forensic dentist, who made the preliminary identification that the remains were those of the teen.

February 14, 2012
Defendant pleads no contest in videotaped assault on woman

One of two men arrested last year in the videotaped assault on a mentally ill woman outside a south Sacramento doughnut shop has pleaded no contest in the case.

Rasaan Ali Zawadi Jr., 21, entered his plea last Thursday on the date of his scheduled preliminary hearing.

A second suspect, Donnell Damone Wade, 19, remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail. Wade's preliminary hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.

The video was apparently filmed Oct. 1 by friends of Zawadi and Wade. It went viral a couple weeks later when it was posted on a hip-hop website.

The film depicts a man Sacramento police identified as Zawadi laughing while the camera shows the woman walking slowly back and forth in front of Eric's Donuts, which authorities have described as a some-time gang hangout on Mack Road at Center Parkway.

Zawadi is then shown slapping the woman once before running away while she gave chase.

The camera then picks up a man authorities identified as the 5-foot-9, 216-pound Wade, who hauls off with a left hook and knocks the woman to the pavement.

February 14, 2012
Five arrested for string of Roseville incidents

By Ed Fletcher

efletcher@sacbee.com

The Roseville Police Department arrested a group of five teens and young adults Monday for a string of incidents in west Roseville, including an armed robbery and a residential burglary.

The two young adults, Jerome J. Said, 21, and Ronald James Williams, 19, both of Sacramento, were arrested for suspicion of robbery, burglary, and related charges.

A 17-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, both from Citrus Heights, and a 17-year-old girl from Antelope were also arrested and taken to Placer County Juvenile Hall.

The sting of alleged incidents began 11:22 a.m. Monday with a report of teens running from a burglarized home on Donnelly Court. Soon thereafter, a group of youth confronted a 14-year-old boy on Junction Bloulevard at Country Club Drive, striking him and forcibly taking his iPod.

Later, a 14-year-old girl reported that she was being followed by a group of older teens. The girl used her cellphone to call her mother, who called the police. The girl was unharmed.

Police officers contacted Said, Williams and the teens near Woodcreek Oaks and Junction boulevards at about 12:38 p.m. Monday and arrested without incident. Bail for Said was set at $110,000.

Williams, who was also wanted on a warrant for attempted murder in Sacramento County, was not granted bail.

February 14, 2012
Foul play suspected in death of burned Discovery Park victim

Sacramento police say that the person whose burned body was found this morning in Discovery Park was the victim of foul play.

"We are definitely investigating this as a homicide," said Officer Laura Peck, police spokeswoman. The body was set on fire, Peck said.

It will take several days to make a positive identification of the severely burned body that was found by a passing bicyclist. Police say the body was burned beyond recognition, but police believe it may be a woman.

Race and age are not known, police said. It is also not known how she died.

The bicyclist initially thought the smoke he was seeing near the archery range off the Garden Highway was simply burning leaves.

He contacted authorities to put out the fire. Sacramento firefighters arrived and discovered the badly burned body, according to Peck. Police were called at about 6:30 a.m. to investigate.

February 14, 2012
Man captured on Highway 50 after alleged shooting in Galt

A man who was apparently suffering delusions fired a handgun into the home of his sister in Galt, wounding his brother-in-law, police said.

The man then fled before being captured on Highway 50 about 8:30 a.m. near Bass Lake Road in El Dorado County.

Galt police said the incident began about 6:30 a.m. in the 900 block of Whitford Court in Galt when Lonnie Ray Orman, 41, went to his sister's home under the erroneous impression that his niece was being harmed.

February 14, 2012
Two men suspected of multiple burglaries in Roseville

Roseville police have arrested two men they suspect are responsible for burglaries in the same neighborhood.

The first man, Daniel Richard Emard, 28, of Roseville, is suspected of burglarizing a home on Milstead Way Monday morning. A resident about 5 a.m. noticed a sport utility vehicle parked the wrong way on Milstead Way and a man going up to a home.

The neighbor called police who arrived at the residence near Secret Ravine Parkway and Sierra College Boulevard and took Emard into custody for suspicion of burglary.

A few hours later, a resident on nearby Stone Canyon Drive found a burglar holding her jewelry box in her living room. She tried to grab it away, but the burglar fled with the jewelry box.

An investigation led to officers searching a home in Rocklin and the recovery of stolen property. They also arrested Alexander Michael Souron, 21, of Rocklin, on suspicion of robbery and burglary.

February 14, 2012
Little boy killed in suspected road rage incident identified by coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a four-year-old boy who was been killed in what authorities described as a road rage incident involving his father and a second driver.

Ryan Chanthavong of Sacramento died after his father, 26-year-old Joe Chanthavong, crashed his car as the second driver followed him and he tried to exit from Interstate 5 near the Garden Highway Saturday afternoon.

When Chanthavong lost control of his car, it went down an embankment, according to a California Highway Patrol officer.

The boy, who was not properly secured in a child restraint seat, was thrown from the car and killed.

Joe Chanthavong and the child's mother, 23-year-old Melinda Phouglonghong, who was also in the car, suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the second car drove away.

February 14, 2012
Motorist killed in crash near Sac State identified

The motorist who died early Monday morning when the car he was in left the roadway and struck a tree near the California State University, Sacramento, campus has been released.

The Sacramento County Coroner's office identified him as William F. Schuster, 21, of Sacramento.

The car Schuster was in was traveling eastbound on J Street near Carlson Drive about 12:45 a.m. Monday when the vehicle left the roadway and struck at least one tree.

Schuster, who was ejected from the vehicle, died at the scene.

A man and a woman who were also in the car, were transported to the hospital with significant injuries, a Sacramento police spokeswoman said.

Police have not determined a cause for the crash.

Initially, police identified Schuster as the driver of the car. However, investigators are not absolutely sure as yet if he was driving.

February 14, 2012
Charred body found by bicyclist at Discovery Park

Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A charred body was found after a passing bicyclist summoned authorities this morning to Discovery Park.

The bicyclist initially thought the smoke he was seeing near the archery range off the Garden Highway was simply burning leaves.

He contacted authorities to put out the fire. Sacramento firefighters arrived and discovered the badly burned body, according to Officer Laura Peck, Sacramento Police spokeswoman. Police were called at about 6:30 a.m. to investigate.

The body could possibly be that of a woman, according to Peck.

February 13, 2012
Roseville man sentenced to prison for bank fraud, mail theft

A Roseville man is headed to prison for bank fraud and mail theft.

U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb today sentenced Darryl M. Everett, 47, to three-and-a-half years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release for multiple counts of bank fraud, mail theft and conspiracy to commit such offenses, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Everett also was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to his victims.

According to court documents, Everett stole U.S. mail on multiple occasions from the customer lobbies of the Discovery, Town and Country, and Strong Ranch post offices. He altered stolen financial instruments found in the stolen mail, and organized other people to cash the altered checks and money orders at financial institutions in Sacramento County. More than four banks and 20 postal customers were victimized, according to the news release.

February 13, 2012
Sacramento man accused of distributing child pornography

A 65-year-old Sacramento man was arrested today on child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a one-count indictment Thursday charging Robert M. Schaefer with distribution of child pornography.

According to the indictment, between 2008 and 2009, Schaefer used the Internet to distribute images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He allegedly uploaded to various file-sharing websites thousands of images of children being exploited, including children younger than 10 years old. He also is accused of surfing the Internet looking for people seeking particular types of photos, which he then shared from his extensive collection.

February 13, 2012
Five Sacramento-area residents arrested in interstate marijuana operation

Renta+Image.jpgWilder+Image.jpgWilson+Image.jpgCurry+Image.jpghunter+Image.jpgSacramento County sheriff's narcotics detectives today arrested five people in connection with an interstate marijuana distribution operation.

Taken into custody were Keni Renta (pictured, top left), 29; Jauwon Wilder (top center), 28; Charles Wilson (top right), 34; Nathan Curry (bottom left) , 35; and Maryann Hunter (bottom right), 25. All were booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

In October 2011, sheriff's detectives began an investigation along with the U.S. Postal Service and the Financial Crimes Task Force of the Internal Revenue Services. The investigation focused on a group of people who appeared to have laundered more than $1 million in cash deposits into fictitious business and personal accounts, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The deposits were made in states on the East Coast, then withdrawn the following day in Sacramento.

February 13, 2012
Davis boy phones police as stranger tries to break into house

A 12-year-old Davis boy was credited with thwarting a burglary by keeping his cool and phoning 911 as a stranger attempted to enter his house this morning.

Abut 8:45 a.m., Davis police received an emergency call from the boy, who reported a burglary in progress in east Davis. The youth was home alone when a stranger appeared at the front door. When the boy didn't answer, the man went to the back door and tried to force his way into the house, according to a Police Department news release.

The boy immediately called 911 while hiding in the bathroom. Police said the youth stayed on the phone, providing valuable information to the dispatcher as officers rushed to the home with emergency lights and sirens.

February 13, 2012
Roseville Fire Department taking sign-ups for Kids Fire Camp

Children interested in learning about the job firefighting will have an opportunity to look behind the scenes during the Roseville Fire Department's Kids Fire Camp, June 25-30.

The department will select 24 campers, ages 11 to 14. Those attending the camp will learn about water safety, first aid, rescue practices, physical fitness and firefighting skills, according to a Fire Department news release. Campers will work in teams and put their skills into action through a variety of hands-on exercises.

Off-duty Roseville firefighters will volunteer their time to serve as camp counselors throughout the week.

February 13, 2012
Driver dies in crash near Sacramento State

A driver died this morning when his car left the roadway and struck a tree near Sacramento State.

The Mitsubishi automobile was headed eastbound on J Street near Carlson Drive about 12:45 a.m. today when it left roadway and struck at least one tree.

The driver, a man in his 20s whose name has not yet been released, died at the scene. His passengers, a man and a woman, were transported to the hospital with significant injuries, a Sacramento police spokeswoman said.

February 12, 2012
Hundreds of human bones discovered at digging site near Linden

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Authorities digging at a site near Linden for victims of two serial killers discovered hundreds of human bones today, marking yet another instance in the past four days that human remains have been found.

The latest discoveries came at an old abandoned well about 62 miles southeast of Sacramento and included skull fragments, bones, coats, shoes, a purse and jewelry, Deputy Les Garcia of the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said tonight.

"It's a gruesome sight, it really is," Garcia said.

February 12, 2012
Sacramento boy, 4, dies in apparent road-rage crash on I-5

The 4-year-old son of an unlicensed Sacramento motorist was killed Saturday when the father engaged in apparent road-rage exchanges with another driver and lost control of his car on Interstate 5, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said.

Joe Chanthavong, 26, was driving a blue 1999 Honda Accord south on I-5 from Interstate 80 at about 4:20 p.m. and was engaging in some type of road rage with the driver of another vehicle following behind, CHP Officer Lizz Dutton said.

Dutton said the drivers of both vehicles were making unsafe lane changes, following too closely and speeding. Just north of the Garden Highway, while Chanthavong was in the No. 2 lane, he abruptly turned to the right in an effort to exit the freeway.

February 12, 2012
Suspect in assault on Redding medical personnel arrested

A Cottonwood man who authorities say intentionally rammed his pickup into an occupied ambulance parked at Mercy Medical Center in Redding on Saturday night has been arrested, Redding authorities said today.

Joel Michael Haller was booked into the Shasta County Jail for investigation of attempted murder, police reported in a news statement.

The statement said that shortly after 9 p.m., Haller intentionally accelerated his gray 2003 Toyota Tundra toward the ambulance, ramming it in attempt to kill its occupants - all of them medical personnel.

February 11, 2012
Sacramento gang members convicted in retaliation shooting

Isaac Givens and Cesar Santana, members of the Norteno street gang, were convicted Friday of carrying out a 2010 retaliation shooting, according to a release from the Sacramento District Attorney's office.

Givens got into an argument with a rival gang member, leading to the shooting and hospitalization of Vincent Garay, Givens' fellow gang member, the DA's office said.

Detectives doing surveillance on the rival's house saw Givens drive Santana to the house five days later.

February 11, 2012
Citrus Heights police ID homicide victim and suspect

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Citrus Heights police have arrested Nicholas Mangelli, 21, of Citrus Heights, in the killing of Michael Cole, 26.

Cole's body was discovered by a neighbor in a home in the vicinity of Auburn Boulevard and Halifax Street.

Cole lived in the 6000 block of Westbrook Drive.

Police arrived at the scene at about 11 a.m. Friday and found the victim, along with evidence that a violent struggle had occurred.

February 10, 2012
Program targeting cyberbullying scheduled in Knights Landing

A presentation and discussion of cyberbullying and other issues involving social media will be held Feb. 29 at Yolo County's Knights Landing Branch Library.

The presentation by the UCD Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic will focus on the social and legal consequences of cyberbullying, sexting and sextortion. The session is designed for parents who may attend alone or with their children.

The multimedia presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

February 10, 2012
Sacramento police offer driver safety class for teenagers

The Sacramento Police Department is offering a class on driver safety for teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The classes are intended to educate new drivers who lack the experience that is sometimes needed in various driving situations, according to a Police Department news release. Officials site statistics that show teenage drivers are found to be at fault in 66 percent of all fatal accidents in which teens are involved. Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 15 to 20 years old.

The Smart Start Driving Class, offered free of charge, is open to teenagers 15 to 19 years old. Participation of a parent or guardian is encouraged but not required.

February 10, 2012
Warrants issued for suspects in El Dorado County burglaries

Jacob Scott Mack.pngOne man is in custody and warrants have been issued for two other suspects in connection with recent burglaries in El Dorado Hills and neighboring communities.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies stopped a suspicious black Mercedes sedan about 10:45 p.m. Jan. 27 because it was being slowly driven through neighborhoods in the area of Mormon Island and Lake Ridge Oaks in El Dorado Hills, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Department news release.

Deputies determined that three men inside the vehicle were either on parole or probation. They were identified as Jacob Scott Mack and Mark Jon Williams, both 21, and Jason Earl Rogers, 30.

February 10, 2012
Suspect detained after man found dead in Citrus Heights home

Citrus Heights police announced that they have detained a suspect in a homicide after a man was found dead in a residence this morning.

Just after 11 a.m., officers responded to a home in the area of Auburn Boulevard and Halifax Street after a neighbor found a man dead inside the home. Officers found signs that a violent struggle had occurred.

Detectives began a homicide investigation and, through witness statements, quickly identified a suspect, according to a Police Department news release.

February 10, 2012
Orland man sentenced for selling false identification documents

A 38-year-old Glenn County man has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for selling false identification and immigration documents.

Camilo Reyes of Orland was sentenced today in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. for transfer of false identification documents, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the plea agreement, between Dec. 14 2009 and Aug. 13, 2010, Reyes sold fraudulent identification documents to undercover agents at a store in Orland. On March 12, 2010, an undercover agent met with Reyes and paid him $300 in exchange for two fraudulent resident alien registration cards, commonly known as "green cards", and photographs that the agent had provided.

February 10, 2012
Citrus Heights man arrested in string of Granite Bay burglaries

rogers jason earl.jpgA man suspected of committing numerous residential burglaries in Granite Bay over the past few months has been arrested.

Jason Earl Rogers (pictured), 30, of Citrus Heights, was booked into Placer County Jail today on suspicion of residential burglary and possession of stolen property. He was originally arrested by El Dorado County sheriff's detectives, who discovered a large amount of stolen property during a search of his home Feb. 2, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Office news release.

The El Dorado County detectives were looking for a a burglar who had kicked in the front doors of dozens of homes and stolen jewelry. Placer County detectives joined the search of Rogers' home and found property belonging to Granite Bay victims.

Because of the large number of cases in Placer County, Rogers was extradited today, officials said. He is being held on a no-bail parole hold.

February 10, 2012
Former Colfax teacher-coach arrested on sex abuse charges

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Belden Morgan, a former teacher and coach at Colfax High School, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of child sex abuse, Placer County sheriff's officials reported.

Morgan, 70, of Auburn, was arrested after an investigation into allegations of ongoing abuse several years ago.

He is held at Placer County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

Morgan was a teacher at the school from 1998 to 2003 and a snowboard coach from 2003 to March 2011, said Eric Vereyken, human resources director for the Placer Union High School District.

Sheriff's officials are not releasing details, and it has not been disclosed when the alleged incidents took place or whether they involved students at the high school.

PHOTO CAPTION: Beldon Morgan

February 10, 2012
Hearing delayed in south Sacramento barbershop killings; 7th suspect arrested

The preliminary hearing of six defendants accused of murder in the death of an innocent woman who was killed by a stray bullett during a shootout at a south area barbershop was delayed today due to a conflict on the part of one of the defense lawyers.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed in Sacramento Superior Court today that a seventh defendant has been arrested in the case. He is Ernest Burton Stoute, 28. According to jail and court records, Stoute was arrested Jan. 6 and charged three days later. His case is expected at some point to be joined with the other six defendants, attorneys said court today.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett did not say what role Stoute might have played in the Dec. 14, 2010, shootout in which a stray bullet killed Monique Nelson, 30, as she wrapped her body across her 2-year-old son to protect him when the gunfire erupted. The boy had been strapped in his security seat in her sports utility vehicle.

February 10, 2012
Eyewitness IDs Sacramento suspect by his eyes

A thorough Sacramento police officer followed up on a good eyewitness description and netted a strong-arm robbery suspect Thursday.

A couple staying in a motel near East Sacramento was robbed at a store on 30th Street around 7:30 p.m., when the husband was pushed to the ground by an assailant, said Sgt. Andrew Pettit.

The husband gave the responding officer a thorough description, including that the culprit had a "lazy eye."

February 10, 2012
Suspect arrested in North Sacramento shooting

Sacramento police have arrested a man in connection with the Thursday shooting death of 20-year-old Christopher Kai Sisoukchaleun, officials announced this morning.

Antoine Blessett, 36, was arrested Thursday after police found him driving in the vicinity of the shooting, according to a release from the Sacramento Police Department.

Blessett was believed to have shot the victim multiple times following an argument between two groups near a liquor store on Del Paso Boulevard near Fairfield Street.

February 10, 2012
Sacramento area pastor convicted in sex assault on minor

Local pastor Cornelius Taylor was convicted Thursday on eight counts of sexual assault on a minor, the Sacramento County District Attorney's office reported.

A troubled teen with no family support was befriended by Taylor at his church.

She moved in with the pastor and his wife when she was 16 years old, the district attorney's office reported.

February 10, 2012
Suspect arrested in North Sacramento shooting

Sacramento police have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of 20-year-old Christopher Kai Sisoukchaleun, police announced this morning.

Antoine Blessett, 36, was arrested without incident Thursday after police found him driving near the scene of the crime, according to a release from the Sacramento Police Department.

Blessett is believed to have shot Sisoukchaleun several times after an argument about the purchase of alcohol near a liquor store on Del Paso Boulevard near Fairfield Street in North Sacramento.

February 9, 2012
Teen missing from Florin-area home found safe in Fresno

Watson photo.jpgA 13-year-old girl who was reported missing from her Florin-area home Monday morning has been located in Fresno.

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Madison Watson (pictured) was found earlier this evening. Officials said she was safe and in the custody of FBI agents, who assisted the Sheriff's Department in the investigation.

The teenager was reported missing by her mother, who awoke to find the girl gone from her home in the 7900 block of Springarden Way.

Sheriff's officials said arrangements are being made to return Watson to Sacramento and reunite her with her family.

February 9, 2012
Suspect falls through ceiling to audience of waiting deputies

Baker.jpgA man sought for outstanding felony warrants fell through a ceiling and into the hands of waiting deputies this morning after he tried to elude a sheriff's dog.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies went to a residence int he 3600 block of A Street in North Highlands about 8 a.m. in search of 26-year-old James Baker (pictured). Believing that Baker was hiding in an attic crawl space, deputies called upon a sheriff's K-9 unit to assist.

After Baker failed to respond to numerous commands from deputies to come down from the attic, the canine handler sent the dog into the attic in an attempt to apprehend him, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

February 9, 2012
Elk Grove man pleads no contest to illegal conduct in loan modification

An Elk Grove man has entered a no-contest plea in a case involving the illegal collection of upfront fees for loan modification services.

Rodney Andrews, 57, pleaded no contest to two felony violations of embezzlement, two felony violations of theft by false pretenses, one felony violation of diversion of construction funds and one felony violation of unlawful use of personal identifying information, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

At the time he committed the offenses, Andrews operated a company known as Andrews Investment Group, which offered loan modification services. He also was a pastor at the Comeback Christian Church, where he solicited congregation members and low income property owners to refinance their homes, lower their mortgages or stall out their foreclosures, officials said.

February 9, 2012
Hung jury in Sacramento murder trial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury failed to reach a verdict today on three defendants accused of murder in the shooting death of a man who prosecutors say was targeted over a $16,000 win he had scored at a local Indian casino.

Judge Roland L. Candee then declared a mistrial in the case of Genneledward Miles Jr., 29, Derrick Dwayne Sam, 33, and Shannon Shorter, 35.

The jury, which deliberated for six days before it hung, had voted 11-1 for conviction.

The case against the three men was scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 17. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Smith said prosecutors will retry the case.


February 9, 2012
Antelope man accused of fraudulently charging credit cards

An Antelope man was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Leonid Yakovlev, 41, through his corporation 24 Hour Corp., fraudulently charged more than 20,000 American Express cards in small amounts 40,000 separate times, according to the 11-count indictment. As a result, Yakovlev allegedly obtained more than $900,000 in fraud proceeds. He is accused of using some of the money to purchase a residence in Sacramento, resulting in a money laundering charge, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The case resulted from investigations by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service.

February 9, 2012
Truck found near North Sac shooting, suspect sought

Sacramento police have located the truck used as a getaway vehicle in today's early morning shooting in North Sacramento.

A 20-year-old was shot and killed around 2 a.m. after an argument broke out between two groups on Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento police reported.

The suspect, described as an African American male in his 30s, fled in a white 2000 Ford F150 with the license plate 8K45096, said Sgt. Andrew Pettit, police spokesman.

February 9, 2012
Truckee police arrest two for cocaine sales

Truckee police have arrested two men found in possession of a half-pound of cocaine and $10,000 in cash.

The arrests Tuesday were the product of a four-month investigation, according to a press release from the department.

The arrests came after police and Drug Enforcement agents executed warrants in downtown Truckee, finding the cocaine packaged for distribution in a residence where it was accessible to children.

February 9, 2012
Judge holds to March 19 trial date in Davis 'sweethearts' case

In what could be a watershed moment in the Davis "sweethearts" murder trial, a judge today denied a motion by defense lawyers to delay the case to mid-June.

Jury selection is currently scheduled to begin on March 19 for defendant Richard Hirschfield, who is accused in the Dec. 20, 1980, stabbing deaths of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

Defense attorneys Linda Parisi and Ken Schaller asked Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet to move the case back to give them more time to nail down a commitment from a mitigation expert they intend to hire if the Hirschfield case proceeds to the death penalty phase.

February 9, 2012
Wire theft suspects nabbed by CHP along I-80

California Highway Patrol officers have arrested three suspects parked in an area near Cisco Grove that had been the site of wire thefts and equipment vandalism.

The suspects, all from North Highlands, were in possession of stolen copper wire and tools used for taking the wire.

Officers Schuyler Bell and Chris Crabtree found the trio early Tuesday morning in an area where several Caltrans electrical boxes for message signs had been vandalized.

February 9, 2012
One killed in shooting in North Sacramento

One victim has died in a shooting along Del Paso Boulevard at Fairfield Street in North Sacramento early this morning.

As of 6 a.m., police were still out on the scene investigating, and portions of Del Paso Boulevard were closed off.

No further details were available.

February 8, 2012
Two arrested in Tuesday night robberies in south Davis

Davis police have arrested two people in connection with robberies Tuesday night in south Davis in which victims reported being threatened with a knife.

About 7:58 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of the Sorrento Apartments at 1540 Valdora Drive regarding a robbery that had just occurred. The victim, a 20-year-old man and Davis resident, told police that two Latino males had confronted him in front of the apartment complex, pushed him and demanded his property. He said one of the suspects threatened him with a knife.

The victim fled and the suspects left without any of his belongings, according to a Police Department news release.

February 8, 2012
Neighbor credited with alerting poilce to Rancho Cordova burglary

An observant resident is credited with alerting Rancho Cordova police to suspicious activity that led to the arrest two juveniles and the recovery of stolen property.

Police were dispatched to the area of Cregan Court and Pericles Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Monday after a citizen reported seeing to males enter a residence through the back yard and later leave through the garage. The caller reported that the two were pulling a wagon with a safe inside as they left the area.

As officers responded, a burglary alarm call also was pending for a residence on Pericles Drive. On of the officers called the homeowner and verified that a safe was inside the residence, according to a Police Department news release.

February 8, 2012
Sacramento jury convicts man of 2nd-degree murder of retired hairdresser

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Robert Neal-Anderson of second-degree murder in the Oct. 2, 2009, stabbing death of David Maxey in the victim's South Natomas apartment.

The jury deliberated for more than two days before reaching its verdict this afternoon around 3:30. Neal-Anderson could have been convicted of first-degree felony murder for killing Maxey during the course of a break-in. But one member of the jury who asked to remain anonymous said a small number of panelists "couldn't get their head around it."

February 8, 2012
Elk Grove police provide new vehicle description in homicide of 2 Sikh men

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Elk Grove police updated the description of the suspect vehicle in a double-homicide of two elderly Sikh men shot last year when they were out for their routine afternoon walk.

Suspect Vehicle New.jpgAt a press conference this afternoon, police officials said the suspect drove a lifted full-size pick-up truck, tan or gold in color, with a standard-size cab, similar to the one pictured at left. They do not have details on the make or model year of the truck.

Speaking from the Elk Grove City Council Chambers, officials pleaded with the public to continue calling the department with tips or leads.

February 8, 2012
Roseville bank robber's 911 call led police to him

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A bank robber arrested Tuesday led Roseville police to himself unintentionally, officials said today.

Ogan Gencer, 20, is suspected of holding up a Wells Fargo bank branch on Sierra College Boulevard at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday.

However, he is also accused of calling 911 to report a fake emergency miles away 15 minutes before the holdup, during which the robber gave a teller a note indicating he had a gun.

In making a call to distract police, Gencer forgot a few things, according to Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the department.

February 8, 2012
Witnesses, broken-down car foil Sacramento burglary suspect

Sacramento police arrested a 17-year-old burglary suspect Tuesday after a pair of alert witnesses called in reports of suspicious behavior.

Police first took a call from the 2500 block of Marty Way in Land Park around 1:45 p.m.

The caller reported suspects running from a home, carrying electronic equipment.

February 7, 2012
Santa Barbara County man sentenced for marijuana growing operations in El Dorado County

A Santa Barbara County man was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento for his involvement in marijuana growing operations in El Dorado County.

Ryan Louis Ennis, 39, of Buellton was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to nine years for conspiring to cultivate marijuana.

In sentencing, Judge Mendez described Ennis as the leader and financial backer of a sophisticated, well-funded marijuana operation, saying that he provided marijuana to distributors on the East Coast, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

February 7, 2012
Death investigation turns up explosives in El Dorado County

A coroner's investigation of a of a man's death in a rural area of of El Dorado County turned up a store of explosive materials.

About 11:30 a.m. Friday, El Dorado County sheriff's deputies were called to the 2300 block of Sandridge Road in the southern part of the county regarding a report that a man had been found dead in his driveway. Deputies confirmed that Donald Smith, 69, appeared to have died of natural causes, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. As part of the coroner's investigation, deputies then undertook to inventory and ensure safe keeping of Smith's property.

While checking a shop located a ways from the main residence, deputies found items they believed to be of a suspicious nature. They summoned the sheriff's bomb squad, and technicians confirmed that the items were explosive ordnance and explosive compounds.

February 7, 2012
Help sought locating teen missing from Florin-area home

Watson photo.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department seeks the community's help in locating a teenage girl who was reported missing from her Florin-area home.

Madison Watson (pictured), 13, was last seen Sunday evening at her home in the 7900 block of Springarden Way. She was discovered missing Monday morning and is believed to have voluntarily left her residence sometime during the night, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. Officials said she is considered at-risk because of her unstable mental condition.

She is described as white, about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing approximately 100 pounds. She has light brown, shoulder-length hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.