Sacto 9-1-1
May 31, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What's latest on man accused of slaying family members in Rancho Cordova?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to Grigoriy Bukhantsov, who was charged with killing his sister-in-law and two young children?
Submitted by: Zuzik, Rancho Cordova

ANSWER: Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 20, is still awaiting trial for the October slaying of his sister-in-law and two of her children in their Rancho Cordova home.

May 31, 2013
Stockton man pleads guilty to operating marijuana businesses in Sacramento

A Stockton man pleaded guilty today to operating multiple marijuana businesses and cultivation sites, including four in Sacramento.

Matthew Davies, 35, entered the plea in federal court in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Davies pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana, two counts of manufacturing marijuana in connection with two separate indoor marijuana grow operations and seven counts of distribution of marijuana, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the plea agreement filed today, Davies, along with co-defendant Lynn Farrell Smith, 62, of Stockton, owned and operated various marijuana businesses. One of the two marijuana manufacturing operations was a sophisticated indoor growing facility involving thousands of plants in a warehouse on Vickie Lane in Stockton. Stockton Police officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at warehouse and found more than a dozen workers inside trimming plants. The discovery led to a federal investigation, and a search warrant was executed at the location.

May 31, 2013
DUI patrols to target impaired drivers near Folsom Lake

Law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers near the Granite Bay access to Folsom Lake this weekend.

Placer County's DUI task force will deploy saturation patrols targeting people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the Beal's Point and Granite Bay areas. The patrols will be conducted from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The activity, part of the Avoid the 7 campaign, will involve officers from seven local law enforcement agencies: the California Highway Patrol; State Parks; Placer County Sheriff's Department; and the Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln police departments.

Officials urge drivers not to take the chance of being arrested for a drunken driving. Not only do motorists driving under the influence risk killing or injuring themselves or others, they also risk the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and other expenses.

May 31, 2013
Repair shop operator sentenced to jail for grand theft auto

A vehicle repair shop operator was sentenced today to 120 days in county jail for conducting a fraudulent lien sale of a vehicle that was brought to his shop for repairs.

A Sacramento County jury last month convicted Alim Hussain, 34, of felony grand theft auto. In addition to his jail sentence, Hussain was placed on five years formal probation, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

On June 9, 2010, the registered owner of a 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser left his vehicle at Hussain's vehicle repair shop for transmission repairs. Soon after, the owner of the vehicle left the country and never paid for the repairs.

May 31, 2013
Woman draws 192-year prison sentence for child molestation

A woman with a record of child molestation has been sentenced to 192 years in prison.

A Sacramento County jury last month convicted Rosemary Eusted, 40, of 17 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with force against a child under the age of 14. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny today sentenced her to 72 years plus 120 years to life in prison.

Eusted began continuously molesting two girls in November 1997 at her Rio Linda home, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. The victims were 6 and 7 years old at the time. They did not report the sexual abuse for several years out of fear of retaliation and further physical abuse, authorities said.

In May 2005, Eusted was convicted of two counts of child molestation in Placer County in a case involving different victims whose ages ranged from 5 to 10 years old. These victims testified in the Sacramento County case.

May 31, 2013
Fomer Dixon youth basketball coach accused of sex with teen

Troy Anthony Hensley.jpgA former youth basketball coach in Dixon has been arrested by Davis police after being accused of an illegal sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Troy Anthony Hensley (pictured),37, was taken into custody without incident in Davis on Thursday and is being held at the Monroe Detention Center in Woodland on suspicion of engaging in an illegal sexual relationship with a juvenile, making criminal threats and intimidating a witness, according to a Davis Police Department news release.

Davis police said they were notified May 22 by the Dixon Police Department that Dixon officers had initiated an investigation of an alleged relationship between Hensley and a 17-year-old Dixon girl. The two reportedly engaged in the sexual relationship in Davis for three-and-a-half months in 2012.

May 31, 2013
Amador County men face charges of illegally killing bears

Bee Metro Staff

Two men from Amador County are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in El Dorado Superior Court after they were arrested April 20 on suspicion of unlawfully killing bear and being in possession of bear parts for sale.

Peter George Vitali of Pioneer and Arthur Martin Blake of River Pines were arrested in the Eldorado National Forest and are suspected of killing three bears -- a sow and two bear cubs -- after bear-hunting season was closed.

The two men allegedly were in possession of 20 bear claws and three bear gall bladders, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Bile from bear gall bladders is believed by some to have medicinal properties and is sold on the black market, the department said.

It is a felony offense in California to sell, buy or possess for sale any bear part. Possession of more than one bear gall bladder is considered evidence that the bear gall bladders are possessed for sale.

May 31, 2013
Dogs shot in Carmichael by CHP for safety of public

Two dogs running loose in Carmichael were shot by California Highway Patrol officers for public safety reasons earlier this week.

The CHP received a call about 10:50 p.m. Tuesday that two dogs were attacking a deer in the Carmichael area. No dogs were initially found, but a badly injured deer was located.

Sacramento County Animal Control had to euthanize the deer at the scene because it was badly mauled, according to CHP spokesman Officer Lizz Dutton.

May 31, 2013
Man acquitted of 3-year-old's murder enters plea in drug case

A man acquitted of murder in the death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old boy five years ago pleaded no contest in an unrelated case today to transportation of heroin and cocaine.

Joseph Phillip Skates, 28, entered the plea in Sacramento Superior Court over a May 12, 2012, traffic stop for which he also was accused of driving under the influence.

Skates had been arrested for the Nov. 9, 2008, death of Manuel "Manny" Maciel, who suffered his injuries in a North Natomas apartment two days earlier while in Skates' care.

May 31, 2013
Cal Fire way ahead in number of fires fought as windy weekend approaches

Cal Fire has responded to 90 percent more fires in the first five months of the year.

Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire crews have responded to nearly 1,900 wildfires across the state. Cal Fire typically responds to about 990 fires during the same time period.

Fires fought by state crews have burned about 45,000 acres since the first of the year, up from a typical year when 7,700 acres burn.

May 31, 2013
Two robberies of men on late-night runs to Woodland convenience stores

Two men were held up in separate robberies that occurred when they left convenience stores last night in Woodland.

In the first stick-up, Horacio Hernandez, 46, of Woodland was walking back from the 7-11 store at 1229 East Main Street about 9:45 p.m. when robbers described as male teens around 16 years old approached him. One pulled a silver revolver from his waistband and demanded Hernandez empty his pockets.

The other took the property from Hernandez and both of the robbers left on foot northbound on East Street from Lemen Avenue.

Woodland police said that at about 10 p.m. another robbery occurred when Ryen Hirschenhofer, 22, was held up near Quik Stop Market on Kentucky Avenue. He was approached by two men in their 20s who first asked him for a cigarette.

Then, one man pulled a gun from his waistband and demanded Hirschenhofer's property. Hirschenhofer turned over his belongings to the robber and noticed that the other man was holding a gun at his side.

The suspects were seen fleeing on foot westbound on Kentucky Avenue.

Anyone with information pertaining to either robbery is asked to call Woodland police at (530) 661-7800.

May 30, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was outcome of shooting at South Natomas store?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: There was a gang-related shooting at a Circle K on San Juan Boulevard and Northgate. What was the outcome?
Submitted by: Name, City

ANSWER: You may be referring to a 2011 shooting outside a store at San Juan Road and Northgate Boulevard in which one man was killed and another injured.

May 30, 2013
Sacramento man indicted for fraud, identity theft

A Sacramento man is accused of applying for a passport and Social Security benefits under an assumed identity and wrongfully collecting those benefits.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento today returned a five-count indictment charging Rafael Ortega Zarate, 69, with making false statements in an application for a United States passport, making false statements in an application for Social Security benefits, theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, in October 2012, Zarate falsely applied for a U.S. passport under the assumed identity of Ernesto Ortega. He allegedly applied for Social Security benefits in August 2009, falsely representing that he was Ernesto Ortega and was a United States citizen by birth. The indictment also alleges that between December 2009 and May 2013, Zarate wrongfully collected $33,711 in Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service and the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General.

May 30, 2013
Former Sacramento funeral director sentenced for embezzling

A former Sacramento funeral director has been sentenced in federal court in Sacramento to 15 months in prison for bank fraud related to embezzlement from his former employer.

According to court documents, Trent Mark Davis, 48, of New Iberia, La., was a licensed funeral director at Sacramento Memorial Lawn. He was responsible for meeting with the families of people who had died, arranging funeral services, preparing contracts and collecting payment for services.

Instead of giving the funds to Sacramento Memorial Lawn's general manager for deposit to the company's account, Davis deposited a number of customers' checks into his own account, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He also embezzled cash payments customers gave him that were intended to pay Sacramento Memorial Lawn for funeral arrangements.

May 30, 2013
Man missing from North Highlands home found safe

Missing person.jpgA North Highlands man who was reported missing Wednesday has been found.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reported that 36-year-old Eric Reser has returned home and is safe.

Reser had disappeared from his home in the 6100 block of North Haven Drive about 1:30 p.m. Sheriff's officials said he was considered at risk because of diminished mental capacity.

May 30, 2013
Rocklin traffic stop leads to stolen catalytic converters

An early morning traffic stop by a Rocklin police officer Wednesday led to the arrest of two people and the recovery of recently stolen catalytic converters.

About 2:50 a.m., the officer noticed a vehicle in the area of Stephanie and Wesley drives and stopped it for a vehicle code violation. While talking with the driver and passenger, the officer spotted inside the vehicle four catalytic converters and tools for removing converters, according to a Police Department news release.

Both occupants were arrested. They were identified as Huong Van Nguyen, 60, who is homeless, and Ton Saeteurn, 30, of Sacramento. They are accused of receiving stolen property, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools.

Three of the converter theft victims who live in Rocklin contacted the Police Department on Wednesday morning and the converters that had been recovered were subsequently matched to their vehicles, police said.

May 30, 2013
Sacramento's correctional center: Information, insights

jail wing.JPGThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department invited the local media for a tour of the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center this morning.

Located in deep, rural south Sacramento County, RCCC is one of two correctional facilities run by the Sheriff's Department and primarily holds inmates who've already been sentenced. Inmates awaiting trial typically are housed at the Main Jail in downtown Sacramento, though RCCC currently holds about 420 pre-trial inmates who couldn't fit in the Main Jail.

Here's some information about the facility and some of the programs there:

• RCCC currently houses about 2,100 inmates, 250 of whom are women and 380 of whom are products of the state's realignment plan, meaning they are part of the group of non-violent, non-sexual offenders who would have been sent to state prison but instead were sent to their local county jail as a result of state efforts to reduce prison overcrowding. The jail's absolute maximum capacity is 2,550 but a more realistic maximum, officials said, is 2,400.

May 30, 2013
Free 'Etch and Catch' catalytic converter event in Sacramento

Motorists can have license plate numbers etched onto the catalytic converters on their vehicles for free in east Sacramento on Saturday.

The Sacramento Police Department is partnering with A Auto to etch the license plate numbers onto catalytic converters at the "Etch and Catch" event. The effort takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at A Auto, 6101 Folsom Boulevard.

The etched numbers may deter the taking of the air pollution control devices and can help law enforcement tie captured thieves to specific converter thefts.

May 30, 2013
Woman arrested in Sacramento drive-by of her two relatives

Onetta McCoy, 33.JPGA woman was booked into Sacramento County Jail for her part in the drive-by shooting of two of her relatives, according to police.

The shooting took place outside a home on Icarus Court in the Parkway neighborhood around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Two men, ages 21 and 31 years old, were standing outside the house when they were shot.

Police said that the shots came from a vehicle that officers believe was driven by Onetta McCoy, 33, a relative of the two injured men. The men were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

McCoy was found and arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, conspiracy and accessory after the fact. Police are still looking for the shooter.

May 29, 2013
Woodland man arrested in alleged hammer attack

A Woodland man was arrested tonight after allegedly hitting another man with a hammer during a fight.

Woodland police officers were dispatched to the 500 block of Saunders Way about 6:40 p.m. regarding a fight involving a hammer. When police arrived, the parties involved had already been separated.

Officers found a 55-year-old Woodland man bleeding slightly from the head, according to a Police Department news release. The man reported that he had been struck in the head with a hammer during a dispute. He refused medical treatment at the scene.

Officers arrested 37-year-old Paul Whiteleather on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into Yolo County Jail.

May 29, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was driver arrested in death of Elk Grove jogger?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: I believe in May 2010 or 2011, a young woman was killed by a truck that ran a stop light on Laguna Boulevard and Laguna Park Drive while she was on her morning run. Has there been any update on this case?
Submitted by: Juli, Sacramento

ANSWER: Teresa Hess, 54, of Elk Grove was fatally injured April 5, 2011, when she was struck by a pickup truck as she jogged across Laguna Boulevard.

May 29, 2013
Natural gas odor at Sacramento International Airport investigated

Firefighters and hazardous material crews were dispatched to Sacramento International Airport's Terminal B this evening after an odor of natural gas was reported.

Laurie Slothower, airport spokeswoman, said the odor was reported at 7:01 p.m. Airport firefighters investigated the scene and determined that the situation was not hazardous to airport patrons. Slothower said the terminal was not evacuated.

The odor was detected inside and outside the terminal, but Slothower said it was strongest in the basement, where baggage handling operations are located. She said two employees complained of nausea but felt better once they were outside in fresh air. They were medically cleared at the scene.

Slothower said airplane arrivals and departures were not affected, although arrival of baggage at the carousel for passengers on one Southwest flight was delayed about 20 minutes.

She said Pacific Gas & Electric crews were on scene and the investigation has been turned over to them to determine the source of the odor.

May 29, 2013
Help sought finding man missing from North Highlands home

Missing person.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a man who went missing from his North Highlands residence this afternoon.

Eric Reser (pictured), 36, was last seen in the 6100 block of North Haven Drive about 1:30 p.m. He is considered at risk because of diminished mental capacity, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Reser is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing 285 pounds. He has brown, crewcut hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a grey jacket with black sleeves, a green baseball cap and blue jeans. He may be carrying a brown canvas bag containing other items of clothing.

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

May 29, 2013
Police seek Mustang in hit-and-run that killed man in wheelchair

Stock+photo+of+suspect+veh.jpgSacramento police have released an updated description of the vehicle sought in connection with a hit-and-run crash that fatally injured a man in a wheelchair last week.

A 51-year-old man was crossing the street in the area of 19th and X streets about 1:28 a.m. May 22 when he was struck by a vehicle traveling eastbound on X Street, according to a Police Department news release. The motorist did not stop.

The suspect's vehicle initially was described as a two-door white Honda or Acura, but police now believe it was a 1994-1998 white Ford Mustang, similar to the vehicle pictured, with black exterior mirrors. Police say it should have damage to the right front headlight area and is missing the right side mirror. The vehicle may also have damage to the right front fender and bumper.

Anyone with information regarding the vehicle or crash is asked to call the Police Department's dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 29, 2013
Accident on southbound Highway 99 sends six to hospital

Six people were transported to the hospital after a traffic accident this afternoon on southbound Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento, the Sacramento Fire Department reports.


Video by Sacramento Fire Department

May 29, 2013
Mistrial declared on doctor's remaining sexual abuse counts

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene L. Balonon declared a mistrial today on the seven sexual abuse counts remaining against already-convicted workers compensation Dr. Scott Dodd Anderson.

Prosecutors did not say if they intend to try Anderson, 64, a third time in the case where he already has been convicted on three felony counts of having sexual contact with his patients and three more misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.

Jurors told the judge they were deadlocked on the seven additional counts involving two alleged victims. The votes on most of the counts favored acquittal.

Balonon scheduled Anderson's sentencing for July 12.

May 29, 2013
Rancho Cordova man sentenced to prison for child exploitation

A Rancho Cordova man was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor.

Brandon Marks, 25, was sentenced in federal court in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. He will be subject to 40 years of supervised release following his time in prison for enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, and for receiving and sharing child pornography, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

According to court documents, on May 29, 2012, an undercover detective responded to a Craigslist advertisement that Marks had posted in which he sought to acquire children's underwear. After a week of online and cell phone communications, during which Marks sent several images and one video of child pornography, Marks agreed to meet the undercover detective at a Sacramento hotel to have sex with what he thought to be a 12-year-old girl. He was arrested when he arrived at the hotel.

May 29, 2013
Sacramento Skinhead gets lengthy sentence under three-strikes law

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has sentenced a white supremacist to more than 75 years in prison after a jury convicted him of distributing methamphetamine to benefit the Sacramento Skinheads street gang.

Judge Marjorie Koller sentenced Charles Gilbert Demar to 75 years to life plus nine years under the state's three-strikes law.

Demar was convicted May 1 of manufacturing, transporting and possessing methamphetamine for sale. The jury also found true the allegation that his crimes were committed to benefit the white supremacist street gang, according the Sacramento County District Attorney's office.

Demar was under surveillance by law enforcement in March 2011 when he drove away in his truck from officers. Demar would not immediately pull over and was seen throwing drugs out the truck window, the DA's news release said.

A search of his apartment and garage turned up Sacramento Skinhead signs and photos, chemicals and apparatus used to make methamphetamine and finished methamphetamine. A search of his cell phone turned up a video he had made of himself and another person making the drug, according to the release.

May 29, 2013
Carmichael woman safely back home

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reports that a woman missing from her Carmichael home since Monday morning has been found safe.

Aundrea Jones, 69, had last been seen about 9 a.m. in the 3500 block of Verla Street. She was considered at risk because of mental health issues and her reliance on medication that she did not have with her, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

This morning, the sheriff's department reported she had been found.

May 28, 2013
Rancho Cordova man's disappearance called mysterious

Armando Ponce 2e3ul (1).jpgThe Rancho Cordova Police Department seeks the public's assistance in finding a 21-year-old man who is missing under mysterious circumstances.

Armando Ponce (pictured) left his home in the 3000 block of Laurelhurst Drive about 5 p.m. May 13, telling family members that he was going to meet someone in Woodland. He has not been seen since.

Police said his unaccounted for absence is inconsistent with his normal behavior.

May 28, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened in 1999 heist of $2.3 million from cash shuttle?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the Brinks driver who lost his cargo at a stop near Cordelia?
Submitted by: Gary Hall, Modesto

ANSWER: The theft of $2.3 million from a Loomis, Fargo and Co. truck on March 24, 1999, remains unsolved.

The tractor rig with an unarmored trailer reportedly left a Sacramento loading site about 7:30 p.m. on a rainy evening. When it arrived in San Francisco, approximately $2.3 million in cash -- described as small bills weighing more than 250 pounds -- was missing.

According to stories in The Bee, workers first noticed a pool of water on the trailer's floor, then discovered a hole in the roof large enough for an average-size man to slip through.

A motorist later reported having seen a figure jump off the truck as it slowed down at a weighing station at Cordelia, near the junction of Interstate 80 and Interstate 680 on the outskirts of Fairfield.

After the heist, Loomis, Fargo and Co. discontinued cash shuttles.

Have a Sacto 911 question? Submit it here.

May 28, 2013
Sacramento police: Meadowview shooting of two stemmed from family dispute over graduation

Two men were shot outside a Meadowview home this afternoon as the result of an ongoing family dispute involving a graduation, according to Sacramento police.

The victims, 21- and 31-year-old cousins, are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at local hospitals, said police Officer Michele Gigante. Their 33-year-old female cousin is in custody, accused of driving the car used in the shooting, and police are looking for the shooter, Gigante said.

Police responded to Icarus Court, near Mack Road and Franklin Boulevard, about 4 p.m. today after two men were reported shot. Detectives later learned that the gunfire stemmed from a family dispute among cousins after one cousin was not invited to a graduation, Gigante said.

Officers quickly located and arrested the female cousin on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. They are interviewing her about her passenger, who police believe was the gunman.

"It's just a matter of time before we identify the shooter and capture him," Gigante said.

May 28, 2013
Coroner's Office identifies male victim in Citrus Heights double homicide

The Sacramento County Coroner's has identified the male victim in last week's double homicide in Citrus Heights as Enrique De La Cruz, 29.

De La Cruz and 41-year-old Gladis Janeth Quinteros Ramos, both of Citrus Heights, were found shot to death about 11:30 p.m. May 21 inside a car on the shoulder of Birdcage Street.

Officers responded to a report of shots fired in the 6000 block of Birdcage Street, where they found the two dead inside the vehicle.

Police said a light-colored sedan was seen speeding from the scene northbound on Birdcage toward Greenback Lane around the time of the shooting. Witnesses also reported seeing a white pickup truck driving away southbound on Birdcage Street.

May 28, 2013
Help sought to find missing Carmichael woman

Jones,+Aundrea.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a woman who has been missing from her Carmichael home since Monday morning.

Aundrea Jones (pictured), 69, was last seen about 9 a.m. in the 3500 block of Verla Street. She is considered at risk because of mental health issues and her reliance on medication that she does not have with her, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Jones is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 230 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a red and purple jacket, dark-colored skirt and light-colored boots.

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

May 28, 2013
Coroner: Man who died in Sacramento police custody did not suffer fatal trauma

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office said today that the man who died in Sacramento police custody Friday night did not die as the result of traumatic injury.

It is not yet clear how John Nat Torretti Jr. died, and the coroner's office still awaits the results of toxicology tests, according to a news release.

But the finding appears to discount the concern among some community members that Torretti died of injuries suffered at the hands of police officers who attempted to take him into custody.

"We hope this would alleviate any concerns that the public had," said Officer Doug Morse, a police spokesman. "The coroner's report is extremely consistent with what investigators have found during the investigation."

Officers noticed Torretti had lost consciousness shortly after a violent struggle with officers trying to take the 42-year-old man into custody. One officer struck Torretti with a baton and used pepper spray, but neither were effective in subduing the suspect, according to police. Officers ultimately were able to take him into custody, in part after a bystander kicked the suspect and helped police regain control.

Officers came into contact with Torretti after responding to a call from a Folsom Boulevard store employee who said a man had entered the store and was making "unintelligible statements," causing the employee to fear for her safety.

May 28, 2013
Sacramento man dies in motorcycle accident Monday

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

DUTCH FLAT -- A Sacramento man died Monday after losing control of his motorcycle in heavy holiday traffic on Interstate 80 near Dutch Flat.

Steven Brown, 66, was traveling westbound on I-80 near the Alta exit about 11 a.m. when the solo-vehicle accident occurred, said Sgt. Kevin Pierce of the Gold Run California Highway Patrol office.

Brown died when he was ejected from his motorcycle and struck the paved median, Pierce said.

May 28, 2013
El Dorado supervisor booked on suspicion of perjury, filing false documents

El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting has been booked into jail on an arrest warrant alleging perjury and other charges.

A press release from the El Dorado County District Attorney's office today said Nutting was arrested today on two counts of filing false documents, perjury relating to failure to disclose income and having a financial interest in a county contract and failing to recuse himself from voting.

Nutting is scheduled to be arraigned on June 10 at 1:30 p.m. in Dept. 1 of El Dorado Superior Court.

May 28, 2013
UPDATE: Suspect identified in American River Parkway attempted sexual assault

BEARSHIELD,+DAKOTA-19.jpgA man suspected of attempted sexual assault on a woman along the American River Parkway this morning has been identified as 19-year-old Dakota Cheyenne Bearshield (pictured).

Police said the 9:45 a.m. Tuesday attempted sexual assault took place near the bike trail at H Street. The woman told citizens in the area about the incident and police were summoned.

Police set up a perimeter and sent out a "reverse 911" to area residents, telephoning neighbors about the suspect in hope that the community could help find the attacker.

May 28, 2013
More than 100 arrested for DUI in Sacramento County over holiday

Sacramento County law enforcement arrested 104 motorists for driving under the influence over the long Memorial Day holiday.

From early Friday morning to late Monday night, officers from 17 jurisdictions kept a watchful eye for drunk drivers. One sobriety checkpoint was set up, two special saturation patrols were mounted and officers on routine patrol were especially attentive to the problem of drunk drivers.

During the 2012 Memorial Day weekend, 135 suspected drunk drivers were arrested. No DUI deaths were reported in Sacramento County either 2012 or 2013 Memorial Day weekend.

May 28, 2013
Rancho Cordova woman identified as victim in Memorial Day double homicide

One of the two people shot dead on Monday at a large apartment complex in Foothill Farms has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Coroner's deputies identified her as Roxanne Mason, a 34-year-old Rancho Cordova woman.

Sacramento County Sheriff's detectives are investigating the shooting that left Mason and a man in his early 40s dead on Monday afternoon.

May 28, 2013
Deputies investigate SUV that went into Delta

San Joaquin County investigators say several bodies found in the Delta are connected to an SUV that crashed into the water over the weekend, Fox40 reports.

Three bodies have been pulled out of the water. More victims may be found, according to the Fox40 report.

May 27, 2013
Two arrested in separate incidents after tangling with firefighters

David+Hawley,+29.jpgSacramento fire crews had to deal with more than fires and medical aid over the weekend.

Saturday night, a suspected drunken driver rear-ended a fire truck, and Sunday night police were called when firefighters responding to a fire were confronted by a man with a shotgun.

The Saturday night incident occurred about 11:42 p.m. in the 2100 block of J Street, in midtown Sacramento. According to the Police Department's daily activity log, officers were dispatched to assist Fire Department personnel in dealing with an individual who was combative.

Officers arrived to find a man, identified as David Hawley (pictured), 29, who had driven into the back of a fire truck. Police said an investigation indicated that Hawley accelerated from a red light, hit a taxi van, sideswiped another car and then slammed into the back of the fire truck, which was parked with its lights on while the crew dealt with an unrelated medical aid call.

Hawley reportedly got out of the car, walked up to fire personnel and began to struggle with them.

Police said the taxi driver and Hawley were injured in the collision.

Hawley was taken to a hospital, then booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence with injury, driving when his license had been suspended or revoked for DUI, being a habitual traffic offender, and hit and run with property damage. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Sunday, police were dispatched shortly after 9 p.m. to assist firefighters who had been called to extinguish a fire in a backyard in the 1400 block of Birchwood Lane in the South Land Park area, where they were confronted by a neighboring property owner armed with a shotgun.

According to the police log, the neighbor came out of his house with the shotgun and began threatening a firefighter. The man eventually put down the gun but then went up to the firefighter and yelled insults. The man, identified as Richard Stevenson, 61, appeared to be intoxicated, police said, and allegedly made comments about defending his neighborhood. When he began walking back to his house and his shotgun, firefighters took him to the ground and waited for police to arrive.

Stevenson, who police said suffered minor injuries, was transported to a hospital, where he was cited by officers and released.

May 27, 2013
UPDATE: Deputies investigate 2 shooting deaths in Foothill Farms

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com

Sacramento County Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that left two people dead outside a Foothill Farms apartment complex Monday afternoon.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos called the deaths, "a true whodunnit" with few clues, no witnesses and no suspects so far.

The Sheriff's Department received calls of a shooting around 1:30 p.m. at the Arbor Ridge apartments, a sprawling complex on Oakhollow Drive in the Foothill Farms area.

May 27, 2013
Fire damages home in Arden area

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com

An Arden area home was damaged by a fire this morning that started in the garage and spread to the attic before Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews extinguished it.

None of the four adults living in the home was injured in the blaze at 1209 Shadowglen Road, according to a fire department spokeswoman.

The department estimates the fire damage at $100,000 to the $200,000 structure, the spokeswoman said.

Through Twitter, the department said the cause seemed to be accidental, starting in the garage.

May 26, 2013
Coroner identifies man slain in Stockton Boulevard robbery

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the man who was shot and killed in a robbery Friday night in the south area of Sacramento as Moises Perez Pina.

Pina, 51, was one of two men who were shot by two armed robbers, police said, in the 6100 block of Stockton Boulevard about 11:09 p.m. Friday night. The other unidentified victim suffered what authorities described as non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests have been announced in the case.

May 26, 2013
Rancho Cordova house fire kills two people, 17 pets

sacmetrofire 2.jpgA deadly house fire in Rancho Cordova early Sunday claimed the lives to two people and 17 pets, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department said.

Fire Capt. Chris Quinn said firefighters first received a cell phone call at 4:06 a.m. today reporting a fire at the single-story house in the 10500 block of Georgetown Drive in Rancho Cordova.

When firefighters arrived, he said, flames were visible. They knocked the fire down within 15 minutes.

May 25, 2013
South Sacramento robbery attempt ends with one dead

Bee Metro Staff

Two men were shot, one fatally, when they apparently tried to run from a pair of armed robbers in south Sacramento, according to a police statement released Saturday.

Police said officers responded to reports of gunfire in the 6100 block of Stockton Boulevard at 11:09 p.m. Friday. The officers found one victim with a gunshot wound to the lower body that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. But a second victim discovered a short time later was suffering from critical gunshot injuries and eventually was declared dead at the scene by Sacramento Fire personnel.

An initial investigation showed the victims, who were not identified, had been approached by two armed men who were trying to rob them. The victims were shot as they tried to leave the scene.

Two suspects, both described as African Americans in their late teens with thin builds, were seen fleeing the area immediately after the incident.

The Sacramento Police Department is urging anyone with information about this crime to contact the dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 25, 2013
Police make 16 DUI arrests as holiday gets underway

Bee Metro Staff

Authorities arrested 16 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the Sacramento region Friday, with police agencies stepping up patrols over the Memorial Day Weekend.

During the same 24-hour period last year, 26 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI, said Officer Anderw Bates of the Folsom Police Department. There were no DUI-related deaths last year or this year in the first 24 hours of the holiday patrol.

Increased patrols will be kept in place through midnight on Monday.

May 24, 2013
Man seriously injured in Robla-area shooting

One man was taken to a hospital this evening with injuries that are possibly life-threatening after he was shot in the Robla area.

Sgt. Andrew Pettit of the Sacramento Police Department said officers were summoned at 7:40 p.m.by fire department personnel, who were responding to a report of a shooting.

They found the victim at a market at Norwood and Jessie avenues. Pettit said the victim's companions reported that they were in a vehicle at Bell Avenue and O'Conner Way when they were confronted by a large group of males wearing white T-shirts, who began shooting at them.

May 24, 2013
UPDATE: Police investigate death of suspect who fought with officers

A man died this evening following what Sacramento police described as a violent fight with officers that began inside a Metro PCS store in the 8300 block of Folsom Boulevard.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said a female clerk called police at 5:46 p.m. after the man entered the store. She indicated that she felt threatened by the man, so officers responded with lights and sirens.

When officers approached the store, Morse said, the man held the door closed in an attempt to prevent them from entering. With the suspect and the clerk inside, officers forced the door open and the man, said to be in his 40s, began fighting with officers.

May 24, 2013
Police report body recovered from Sacramento River

Sacramento police and fire crews have recovered a body from the Sacramento River near Riverside Boulevard.

Sacramento Police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the body is that of a male and may be the driver of a vehicle that went into the River at Sutterville Road and Riverside Boulevard, near Interstate 5, late Tuesday night.

Pettit said officers responded to a report of a vehicle accident at 11:48 p.m. Tuesday, but were unable to find any sign of a vehicle when they got to the scene.

Wednesday morning, officers returned to the location and found evidence that a vehicle had gone into the river. He said divers located a vehicle and spotted a body but were unable to recover it at the time.

May 24, 2013
Three men sentenced for roles in human trafficking ring

Three men have been sentenced for involvement in a human trafficking ring in which women from Mexico were used as prostitutes in five Northern California cities, including Sacramento, Yuba City and Chico.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that Nery Najarro-Rodriguez, 42, Jorge Perez-Hernandez, 37, and Luis Mata, 30, pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit pimping and pandering as part of a multi-county investigation. Each was sentenced today in Sacramento Superior Court to three years in county jail.

The charges stemmed from an FBI investigation into a human trafficking network that spanned several Northern California counties. Young women, ages 21 to 30, were brought from Mexico and sold for sex to as many as 20 clients in a single day, according to an Attorney General's Office news release. The sex acts occurred in brothels in Chico, Stockton, Yuba City, Fairfield and Sacramento, officials said.

May 24, 2013
Third suspect arrested in January Citrus Heights homicide

johnson.jpgpowell.jpglanglois.jpgCitrus Heights police have announced a third arrest in connection with the death of a 52-year-old man Jan. 5.

Andrew Les Johnson (top left photo), 28, of Citrus Heights was arrested May 17 in San Diego. He was the last outstanding suspect in the death of Jack Swaim, who was found outside his home in the 6300 block of Stonehand Avenue, police said. Johnson, who was arrested by San Diego police, has been transported to Sacramento and booked into Sacramento County Jail.

Police responded to the Stonehand Avenue address about 6:30 a.m. Jan. 5 and found Swaim unconscious. Swaim reportedly had been struck with an unknown object outside his home. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Jeffrey Douglas Powell (top right photo), 30, of Sacramento was arrested Jan. 12 in the 7700 block of Wintergreen Drive in Citrus Heights by detectives serving an arrest warrant. Police also announced at the time that they had an arrest warrant for Johnson. In February, police arrested Christopher Langlois (lower photo), 29, of Orangevale in connection with the homicide.

Powell and Johnson were booked on suspicion of murder and burglary, and Langlois, on suspicion of murder.

Because the three men have been charged by the District Attorney's Office, police said they could not comment specifically about the facts of the case. A news release announcing Johnson's arrest states that this was not a random crime and investigators believe Swaim was an unintended victim.

May 24, 2013
Suspect in Woodland kidnap attempt indicted in child porn case

A man arrested in the attempted kidnapping of a woman in Woodland last November was indicted this week for trading in child pornography.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday returned a four-count indictment charging Kyle Michael Hall, 24, of Woodland with receipt and distribution of child pornography, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, between May 10 and Oct. 30, 2012, Hall distributed and/or received child pornography through the Internet.

May 24, 2013
Grand jury indicts Sacramento woman for pimping minor

A 23-year-old Sacramento woman has been accused of pimping a minor.

A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday charging Shanntaye Ebony Hicks with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and two counts of transportation of a minor, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Between March 3 and March 23, Hicks allegedly maintained a female victim by means of force, threats of force, fraud and coercion, to engage in a commercial sex act, according to the indictment. It also is alleged that on two occasions in March, Hicks transported the girl to Reno and Las Vegas with the intent that the girl engage in prostitution.

May 24, 2013
Former dispensary operator gets 6-year prison term in pot case

By Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com

A former Sacramento dispensary operator, who courted the high life as a marijuana entrepreneur with an MTV audition tape and closet full of cash, was sentenced Friday to spend six years in federal prison.

Bryan Smith, 28, was the last of six defendants to be sentenced in a case involving a south Sacramento dispensary, the R&R Wellness Collective, multiple growing houses, stolen electricity and pot distribution to Southern California.

In Sacramento, the city-registered dispensary was operating as a purportedly non-profit business providing medical marijuana to people with doctors' recommendations for medical use.

But in a raid on Smith's Elk Grove home, authorities found what they described as an apparent audition tape for an MTV program - "True Life" - that featured a pot-themed segment called, "I'm in the marijuana business," and portrayed lavish rewards.

May 24, 2013
Auburn knife fight victim and suspect sought

Auburn police report a knife fight occurred last night in town, but they are missing both a suspect and a victim.

Officers responded to Auburn Folsom Road and Lincoln Way about 11:40 p.m. where a fight was reported to have taken place. Officers learned that one man stabbed another, but neither combatant could be located.

The man who was stabbed ran away. The man with the knife was last seen leaving in a silver Hyundai Accent with "Marshall Auto Sales" paper plates.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Dustin McLaughlin at (530) 823-4237, ext. 221.

May 23, 2013
Pilot rescued after reporting crash near Truckee Airport

A pilot was rescued this afternoon after reporting an airplane crash in the Truckee area.

The Nevada County Sheriff's Department received a report about 3 p.m. of a downed aircraft in the area of the Truckee Airport. The reporting party was the lone occupant of the single-engine aircraft that had crashed about 7 miles east of the airport, near the California-Nevada border, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The victim contacted the sheriff's dispatch center via cell phone.

Helicopter rescue crews from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention and the California Highway Patrol assisted in airlifting the victim from the crash site. The victim's name and condition were not released

Sheriff's officials said the cause of crash is not known. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are being notified and will handle the investigation.

May 23, 2013
Man accused of defrauding Granite Bay woman faces new charges

A man previously accused of defrauding a Granite Bay woman of more than $7 million has been indicted in connection with a second scheme, this one involving a Pennsylvania financial manager.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento today returned a 20-count superseding indictment charging Troy Stratos, 47, formerly of Los Angeles, with three counts of mail fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

In December 2011, Stratos was indicted for mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice in relation to a scheme to defraud a Granite Bay woman of more than $7 million. The superseding indictment includes all the charges in the original indictment and adds four counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering relating to a different scheme to defraud a financial manager of $11.25 million in client funds, officials said.

May 23, 2013
Police seek thieves who stole Woodland Cemetery equipment

Woodland police are looking for thieves who stole equipment from a cemetery storage area.

Officers received a report about 7 a.m. today that a maintenance yard and shed had been forcibly entered at the Woodland Cemetery, 800 West St.

The suspects took small power equipment form the yard and from inside the shed, according to a Police Department news release. Police said the theft occurred during the hours of darkness the previous night.

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

May 23, 2013
Sacramento police honor employees at annual awards ceremony

The Sacramento Police Department hosted an awards ceremony today to recognize more than two dozen of its employees and volunteers.

The annual event is designed to honor "those that work tirelessly to keep our community safe," said Officer Doug Morse.

spd commendations.JPGThe 17 officers who received the bronze medal of valor are: Officers Mike Blessing, Gary Dahl, Andy Davis, Natalie Duckham, Todd Edgerton, Kevin Griffin, Doug Rosin, Michael Severi, Ryan Trefethen, Randy Van Dusen, Ray Villegas and Steve Walters; sergeants Greg Brown, Adam Green, John Lightfoot and Mike Nichols; and Lt. Dennis Joy.

May 23, 2013
Sacramento doctor convicted in sexual abuse of patients

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Dr. Scott Dodd Anderson on six counts of sexually abusing two of his patients four years ago at a workers' comp clinic on Folsom Boulevard.

ANDERSON.jpegThe jury acquitted Anderson (pictured), 64, on two other counts but has not reached verdicts on seven other counts related to two other alleged victims.

Judge Eugene L. Balonon took the partial verdict today because one of the jurors had a vacation scheduled to begin on Friday. He named one of the alternates on the panel to replace the juror who is leaving. The panel will begin deliberations on the seven remaining counts on Tuesday.

The judge will not schedule a sentencing date until the jury resolves all of the counts.

The convictions came on three felony counts of engaging in sexual contact with his patients and three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.

Anderson was not remanded into custody.

Today's verdict came on the sixth day of deliberations in Anderson's retrial. His first trial finished in November with a jury acquitting him on two counts and failing to reach a verdict on 15 more.

Anderson had initially been charged with three counts of rape as well as additional counts of forced oral sex, sodomy and penetration by force. Those charges were dropped before his first trial.

All of the allegations were lodged by patients who suffered workplace injuries that he treated at U.S. HealthWorks on Folsom Boulevard.

May 23, 2013
Drug czar report shows most Sacramento inmates test positive for drugs

Drug Czar.JPG
The nation's drug czar on Thursday released study results showing that 78 percent of adult males arrested in Sacramento County tested positive for at least one illegal drug.

Gil Kerlikowske (pictured with Vice President Joe Biden), director of National Drug Control Policy, during an address today at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., released the results of a 2012 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) report that collected data from inmates in five cities or counties.

In his address, he said more than half of adult males arrested for crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, tested positive for a least one drug.

The five cities or counties in the report were Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New York and Sacramento. Positive results ranged from 62 percent in Atlanta to 86 percent in Chicago.

May 23, 2013
Homeless man struck with bat during fight in Woodland

Woodland police are looking for a man who they believe hit a transient on the head with a baseball bat during a fight on Wednesday.

Police said Monty Tesnear, 57, was hit on the head and left arm during the brawl, reported about 11 p.m., in which combatants used with knives and bats. Tesnear was treated at Woodland Memorial Hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

The assault apparently happened behind a shuttered movie theater on Main Street where other transients had gathered in an alley. Police described Tesnear's attacker as a black man, about 50 years old, who goes by the name of "Marcus."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (530) 661-7800.

May 23, 2013
Coroner identifies woman killed in Citrus Heights double homicide

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a woman found shot to death in a double homicide Tuesday night in Citrus Heights.

She was identified as Gladys Quinteros, 41, of Citrus Heights. The man found dead with Quinteros has yet to be identified by the coroner.

Officers were called to a report of shots fired in the 6000 block of Birdcage Street about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Once on the scene, they found a man and Quinteros dead inside in a car along the shoulder of Birdcage Street.

Police said a light-colored sedan was seen speeding away northbound from the scene on Birdcage Street toward Greenback Lane around the time of the shooting. Witnesses also reported seeing a white pickup truck driving away southbound on Birdcage Street.

No further information was released by police.

May 22, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to woman accused of fatal Citrus Heights stabbing?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: On March 13, 2010, there was a stabbing death of Monica Ann Anderson at an apartment complex in Citrus Heights. Lan Anh Le was arrested. Could you tell me what the outcome was?
Submitted by:Jim, Sacramento

ANSWER: Lan Anh Le was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Monica Anne Anderson at Anderson's Citrus Heights apartment.

Le, 23, was sentenced in October 2012 to 25 years to life in prison and is incarcerated at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.

May 22, 2013
Pedestrian hit by car, seriously injured in Oak Park

A pedestrian has been taken to a hospital with critical injuries after being struck by a vehicle at Martin Luther King Boulevard and 23rd Avenue in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood.

Sacramento Police Department spokesman Officer Doug Morse said the collision occurred at 6:12 p.m. He said the vehicle, a red four-door sedan, remained at the scene. Morse said the pedestrian was a male, but he did not know his age.

No further details were available. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

May 22, 2013
Thieves damage Plumas National Forest campgrounds

The U.S. Forest Service is asking the public's help in catching thieves who have caused more than $35,000 worth of damage to Plumas National Forest campgrounds at Lake Davis and Frenchman by removing copper pipes and brass fixtures.

"Thankfully, the campgrounds were open before Memorial Day because repairs were done so quickly by our concessionaires, Thousand Trails," Beckwourth District Ranger Deb Bumpus, said in a written statement.

But the money diverted to repairs means other needed work will not be accomplished this year, Bumpus said. Plans that have been postponed for Lake Davis include a fence along Honker Cove Road and the environmental analysis for a disc golf course, according to a news release. The Forest Service also won't be able to purchase picnic tables or put gravel on the road at Frenchman.

May 22, 2013
Man draws prison term for trying to board plane with loaded gun

A Montana man arrested last year at Sacramento International Airport when he attempted to board a plane with a concealed firearm has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Harold E. Waller, 46, of Circle, Mont., was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. He will be subject to three years of supervised release when he completes his time in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, in March 2012, Waller drove from Montana to Sacramento. On March 22, he purchased a one-way ticket to Alaska at the US Airways counter for the same day. Waller proceeded to the security checkpoint, placed three bags on the table near the X-ray belt and waited his turn to proceed through individual screening.

May 22, 2013
Gang member convicted in 2001 north side murder

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Antoine Blesset in the Feb. 10, 2011, shooting death of Christopher Sisoukchaleun at a liquor store on Del Paso Boulevard.

Jurors found that Blessett, 38, murdered the 20-year-old victim for the benefit of the defendant's street gang, the Meadowview Bloods.

Judge Michael W. Sweet scheduled Blessett's sentencing for June 13.

May 22, 2013
UPDATE: Woman jailed after stand-off at south Sacramento home

By Cathy Locke and Kim Minugh
clocke@sacbee.com

CURNOW,+STACY+-+34.jpgA woman who barricaded herself in a south Sacramento home for nearly three hours this afternoon before surrendering to police has been booked into Sacramento County Jail.

Stacy Curnow (pictured), 34, was arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, and drawing and exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a police officer.

A handgun believed have been fired during the incident was recovered at the scene, according to a Police Department news release.

Sacramento police officers surrounded the home in the 100 block of Tristan Circle, near Mack Road and Center Parkway, after determining that a woman believed to be armed was inside.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said police responded about 2 p.m. She said a woman, later identified as Curnow, was reportedly despondent and was believed to be alone inside the home. Gigante said Curnow had called family members, who called police.

SWAT officers and negotiation team members were sent to the scene. Gigante said the sound of shots had been heard from inside the home.

Police said Curnow surrendered at 4:39 p.m. No one else was inside the home.

Nearby Charles Mack Elementary School was locked down during the incident.

May 22, 2013
Two convictions, one hung jury in Meadowview drug murder trial

Three separate Sacramento juries have convicted two men and failed to reach a verdict on a third defendant accused in the Jan. 1, 2011, bludgeon murder of 48-year-old Scott Hanson during an attempted drug robbery on Amanda Way in Meadowview.

Convicted of first-degree murder were Joseph Lee Conn, who turns 26 next week, and Arsenio Barajas, 24. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegations that Conn murdered Hanson during the course of a robbery. Barajas' jury didn't reach a verdict on the special circumstances allegation.

Today, the third jury concluded deliberations on defendant Jaime Charles Sandoval, but could not reach a verdict, and Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle declared a mistrial. Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley Franzoia said she would retry Sandoval.

Both Conn and Barajas face life sentences.

After his sentencing, Conn is expected to be extradited to Colorado where he is facing murder charges there, Bagley said.

Two other people arrested in the case, Bryan Smith and Tamicia Soto, both pleaded guilty to being accessories to murder and are scheduled to be sentenced by Sawtelle on Friday.

Editor's note: This story was changed at 2:30 p.m. May 23 to reflect that defendant Barajas wasn't convicted of special allegations of murder during the commission of a robbery. Also, he faces life in prison, not life in prison without parole.

May 22, 2013
South Lake Tahoe officer pleads guilty to obstruction, witness tampering

A South Lake Tahoe police officer pleaded guilty today to witness tampering and obstruction, according to the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento.

John Gerald Poland, 44, was arrested Jan. 23 following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.

According to court documents, on June 29, 2011, Poland, interfered with a federal investigation of a gang member in South Lake Tahoe. Poland persuaded the gang member's girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

In October and November 2011, Poland tampered with the girlfriend in an investigation into Poland's own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. He also told another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities.

Poland is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller on Aug. 7.

May 22, 2013
River Bend Park fire is contained once again

A stubborn 11-acre grass fire in River Bend Park that flared again this morning due to windy conditions has been contained by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters.

Firefighters battled the blaze last night and were performing mop up duties this morning when the blaze along the American River erupted in brush and grass again. About 10:45 a.m. the fire was contained once again by firefighters.

A total of 19 engines and two water tenders responded to the park near Bradshaw Road and Highway 50. The park was closed this morning so that firefighters could put out the blaze.

May 22, 2013
Cell phone ticket numbers about the same but usage down in state

About 57,000 drivers were ticketed for handheld cell phone talking and texting during an April crackdown by the California Highway Patrol and other police agencies.

The California Office of Traffic Safety notes the 57,000 tickets matches the number handed out the year before. The average number of tickets handed out in a non-distracted driving awareness month is 36,000.

While the ticket numbers are the same, the percentage of drivers actively using cell phones at any one time in the state dropped from 10.8 percent in 2012 to 7.4 percent this year. Those figures are compiled during a March observation survey.

May 22, 2013
Sacramento man gets 30 months for sale of crack near school

A Sacramento man was sentenced in federal court for selling crack cocaine near an Oakland elementary school.

Oscar Baker Phillips, 34, was sentenced Monday in Oakland to 30 months in prison, followed by six years of supervised release. Phillips pled guilty on March 5 to distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.

In a plea agreement, Phillips admitted that on July 3 he sold .27 grams of "cocaine base" for $20 on Oakland's Sycamore Street, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.

That location is within 1,000 feet of St. Andrew's Baptist Missionary Elementary School and Kindergarten.

May 22, 2013
Update: Man in wheelchair killed in Sacramento hit and run

A man in a wheelchair died when he was struck by a car early this morning in Sacramento.

Police received a call of a person struck by a car at about 1:30 a.m. today at 19th and X streets. Police and fire personnel responded.

The man in his 50s was declared dead at the scene.

A witness told officers that the man in the wheelchair was in the street when a car traveling eastbound on X Street struck him. Sacramento police said in an activity log that the man in the wheelchair was not in a crosswalk and was going against a red light when crossing X Street.
The car was described as a white two-door Honda or Acura. The motorist did not stop.

May 22, 2013
Body found in canal in Natomas

By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento police said no foul play is suspected in the death of a woman whose body was found in a Natomas canal.

Two joggers came upon the body of the woman in her 70s in the water near Bridgecross Drive and Natomas Boulevard about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Sacramento County Coroner's office responded and took over the investigation. Her identity has not been released.

May 22, 2013
Double homicide on Citrus Heights street last night

Two people were found shot to death in a car in Citrus Heights last night.

Officers were called to a report of shots fired in the 6000 block of Birdcage Street about 11:30 p.m. Once there, they found a man and a woman dead inside in a car along the shoulder of Birdcage Street.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

May 21, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to drunken driver who struck pedestrian?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the man that hit a pedestrian, not in the crosswalk, on Northgate a few years ago and killed the young man?
.
Submitted by: Mind Wondering, Sacramento

ANSWER: Vincent Alfred Velasquez, who struck and killed a teenager on Northgate Boulevard in February 2011, entered no contest pleas to driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.

May 21, 2013
Citrus Heights police investigate Monday drive-by shooting

Citrus Heights police are investigating a drive-by shooting that injured a 19-year-old man late Monday, authorities said.

The teen suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot to his ankle, said Citrus Heights police Sgt. David Moranz. He was treated at a local hospital and released this morning.

Officers responded to reports of a drive-by shooting in the 6300 block of San Pablo Drive, near Greenback Lane and Mariposa Avenue, just before midnight Monday. Detectives are investigating the shooting, but have few leads and no suspects, Moranz said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at (916) 727-5500.

May 21, 2013
Garzon faces trial in alleged Davis hate attack

Clayton Garzon will face trial on assault and hate crime allegations connected to the March 10 beating of a gay Davis man, a Yolo Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

"We have evidence of a severe beating - not just a punch, but a significant beating," said Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg at Garzon's preliminary hearing.

Garzon faces three felony assault charges and hate crime enhancements in the attack outside the I Street home in Davis where Lawrence "Mikey" Partida had just celebrated his 33rd birthday.

Partida was severely beaten and hospitalized in the attack.

May 21, 2013
Police arrest man for allegedly calling 911 at least 100 times

Jimmy Shao.JPGSacramento police have arrested a man who they say has made more than 100 calls to 911 in the past several weeks.

Jimmy Shao, 56, was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of falsely reporting an emergency and making annoying and harassing 911 calls.

Sixty of the 911 calls were transferred to the Sacramento Police Department. Dispatchers told the caller to stop dialing 911 because he had no emergency.

Police declined to comment on why Shao said he needed to phone 911.

May 21, 2013
Lodi police arrest man on suspicion of knifepoint rape of minor

lodi.jpg
Lodi police said they have arrested a man for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in a hotel.

John Ganoe, 44, pictured, who police said is a registered sex offender, was arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor, rape and other sex crimes. His bail was set at $450,000.

Police said they apprehended Ganoe in Stockton after an arrest warrant was issued last week. A police press release said that Ganoe lured the teen to a hotel room in the 800 block of South Cherokee Lane on Wednesday. Once inside the room, Ganoe held her at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her overnight, police said.

She was eventually released. Lodi police said they spent about 100 hours actively investigating and searching for Ganoe until he was arrested Monday afternoon.

May 21, 2013
Death of Yolo County inmate reported by sheriff

Yolo County Sheriff's officials say that an inmate died Saturday after being found in his cell with labored breathing.

Todd Alexander Phillips, 29, was pronounced dead at Woodland Memorial Hospital after being taken by ambulance from the main jail. Phillips had been in custody since April 12 for various felony and misdemeanor offenses.

The sheriff's office said in a press release that about 12:45 p.m. Saturday a correctional officer peered into Phillip's cell and noticed the inmate was "agitated and upset." Phillips was in bed and experiencing labored breathing, according to the release.

Officers placed him in restraints for safety reasons and jail medical staff responded to the cell.

Medical personnel outside the jail were notified and Phillips was taken to the hospital. "Efforts to revive Phillips failed and he was pronounced dead at the hospital," according to the press release.

The sheriff's office will investigate the death and the coroner's department will conduct an autopsy.

May 20, 2013
Two who died in Auburn plane crash are identified

The two people killed when their single-engine airplane crashed in Placer County over the weekend have been identified as a couple from Lassen County.

Bruce Albright Rhymes, 59, and his wife, Kathy Lorraine Rhymes, 58, died Sunday when their aircraft crashed near Auburn Airport, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Cessna 170 crashed under unknown circumstances in a wooded area.

May 20, 2013
Vandalism at Woodland church hall includes threat against police

Woodland police said that a Catholic church hall was vandalized with graffiti, including a threat against officers.

Police were dispatched to the Holy Rosary Community Center, 575 California St., about 5 a.m. today for a vandalism report. Once there, officers found gang graffiti, including a threat to kill law enforcement.

"Though the graffiti did not cause permanent damage, any vandalism to a church is a felony and this case is being investigated as such," said a police press release.

Anyone with information that might help solve the case is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 666-2411.

May 20, 2013
Suspected Carmichael pharmacy robber recovers enough to be booked

Zechariah Abraham Scholes.JPGA man shot last week when he allegedly attempted to rob a Carmichael pharmacy at gunpoint has been cleared to be booked into Sacramento County Jail.

Zechariah Abraham Scholes, 36, had been in the hospital since he was shot on Tuesday by a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy. His condition had improved enough so that on Sunday he was booked into jail on suspicion of kidnapping and robbery.

He is being held on $150,000 bail.

May 19, 2013
Hazardous materials leak reported in Norwood industrial park

Sacramento fire officials are responding to a hazardous material leak reported tonight in an industrial park in the Norwood neighborhood.

A level 2 hazmat situation was declared around 9:15 p.m. at 4225 Pell Drive, near Northgate Boulevard and Interstate 80, fire officials said. The leak is reported to be sewage or methane gas from sewage inside a business.

May 19, 2013
Coroner ID's 27-year-old homicide victim in south Sacramento

By Al Pierleoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

The 27-year-old man who was shot to death early Saturday at the 4800 block of Baker Avenue has been identified as Atelea Matini Kaihea, a Pacific Islander, according to Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Another man, 22, was found at the scene near Stockton Boulevard. He had been shot once in the arm and was taken to a hospital. He has been identified as the victim's cousin, said Ramos.

"We have virtually no information about a suspect," Ramos said. "There was a vehicle seen speeding away, but we do not know if that was a suspect's vehicle."

Kaihea's cousin has so far been unable to supply investigators with the details of what happened, Ramos said.

The incident occurred at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. When deputies responded to a call that gunshots had been fired in the Baker Avenue area, they found Kaihea lying in front of a house with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

May 19, 2013
10-year-old North Highlands girl gunned down watching TV with family

Elvira Campos.jpgBy Stephen Magagnini
magagnini@sacbee.com

A 10-year-old girl was shot to death Saturday night while watching TV in the living room of her North Highlands home, Sacramento Sheriff's investigators said today. The barrage of bullets that penetrated the house from outside also wounded the girl's father and mother.

A cluster of four bullet holes now mark the front window of the home on Channing Way, penetrating the glass several inches over the top of the love seat the little girl was apparently sitting on, facing the family's TV across the living room. Three other bullet holes can be seen around the window frame and door.

The girl's parents are expected to recover, said Sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos.

May 19, 2013
Two killed in plane crash near Auburn Airport, officials say

Bee staff

Two people in a single engine airplane died early today when their aircraft crashed near Auburn Airport, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

At 12:30 a.m. today, the sheriff's office received a call from the California Office of Emergency Services to help search for a downed aircraft.

Commercial airliners had confirmed a distress signal from the plane's emergency locating transmitter, the sheriff's office reported.

May 17, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to Citrus Heights man arrested in Mariposa gem heist?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened in court to Michael Gomes, who was one of the men accused of the Mariposa County gem heist?
Submitted by: Elizabeth, Auburn

ANSWER: Michael Anthony Gomes, 43, was arrested in January at his Citrus Heights home in connection with the September robbery of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa.

May 17, 2013
Former plumbers union business manager, wife sentenced for misappropriating funds

A former business manager of a Yuba City plumbers union and his wife were sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento for misappropriation of funds.

Robert L. Carr, 58, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Theresa Ann Carr, 55, to three months in prison by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Both were also ordered to pay $120,000 restitution to Local Union No. 228, United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO of Yuba City, based on their previous convictions for conspiring to misappropriate labor union funds and two counts of misappropriating labor union funds.

According to their plea agreements, Robert Carr was the financial secretary-treasurer and business manager of the Plumbers Union and Theresa Carr worked at various times as an employee of the union. Because of his offices and employment with the union, Robert Carr had access to the Plumbers Union's checking accounts and credit cards. Authorities said he misused both the checking account and credit cards causing at least $120,000 in losses to the union.

May 17, 2013
Couple charged in 2010 arson of Antelope home

A couple were arraigned Thursday in federal court in Sacramento on charges related to the arson of their former home in Antelope.

Alexander Sakhanskiy, 39, and Larisa Sakhanskiy, 43, of Sacramento pleaded not guilty and each was released on a $50,000 bond, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. A status conference is scheduled for June 6 before Chief U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr.

On May 2, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging the Sakhanskiys with arson to commit another felony, mail fraud, wire fraud and arson affecting interstate commerce. The indictment alleges that on May 22, 2010, a fire destroyed the couple's home, a single-family house at 5745 Hawkeye Lane in Antelope. The home was also being used as the business location of "Alex's Plumbing."

May 17, 2013
Judge orders murder trial in animal control officer's death

A man accused of fatally shooting a Sacramento County animal control officer in Galt late last year will have to stand trial on special-circumstance charges that he murdered a public official in the course of his duties.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage on Friday set a July 9 trial date on Joseph Francis Corey, 66, in the Nov. 28 killing of Roy Marcum, 45, at the defendant's home in the 600 block of First Street in Galt.

Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley Franzoia argued that Corey loaded up a high-powered hunting rifle with "big game ammo" that killed Marcum when the officer went to the house to round up animals left behind after a bank had foreclosed on the property.

Forced out of the house the day before, Corey doubled back and broke in and was inside the cluttered residence with a loaded shotgun and a rifle as well as numerous handguns, according to the prosecution.

"We're lucky only one person was killed," Bagley told Savage, noting that Marcum had two other people with him when Corey fired through the door and killed the animal control officer.

May 17, 2013
UPDATE: Man arrested in kidnapping of girl from S. Sacramento street is registered sex offender

A man previously convicted of sex offenses has been arrested in connection with the mid-day abduction of a 7-year-old girl on a south Sacramento street nearly a week ago.

Cedric Lain Holland, 25, was booked into Sacramento County Jail Thursday night on suspicion of kidnapping to commit another crime and violation of parole. He was taken into custody at his home on Sixth Avenue in Sacramento, about two miles from the location where the kidnapping occurred, said Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos.

A vehicle believed to have been used by Holland during the commission of the crime was also found at his residence and is being held for evidence.

The girl and her mother were walking near 54th Street and 47th Avenue about 1 p.m. May 11 when a man drove up and grabbed the child. He then forced her into the trunk before driving away.

A moment later, according to a sheriff's news release, the girl was able to escape when the trunk opened. The man drove away.

May 17, 2013
Alleged 'homeless hitman' acquitted in woman's killing

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today acquitted Teng Thao, the alleged "homeless hitman," of murder charges in the Jan. 9, 2011, shotgun shooting death of Jenny Cha.

The jury returned its verdict after more than a day of deliberations, meaning that the 59-year-old Thao is likely to be released sometime today.

Prosecutors charged Thao with setting up in a field next to a West Lemon Hill apartment building that had been converted into a gambling den. Cha, 25, who was in the gambling parlor at 37th Street and 45th Avenue, had stepped outside for a cigarette around 3:15 a.m. when she was shot in the back with a shotgun that had been pointed at her through a fence.

Authorities believed it was a jealous ex-boyfriend who arranged the killing.

Thao's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Norm Dawson, argued to the jury that the witnesses who identified Thao as being in the field on the other side of the fence and then leaving it in the moments after the shooting couldn't be believed

May 17, 2013
Suspected gambling dens shuttered in Woodland

Woodland police shut down suspected gambling operations on Thursday.

Members of the state Department of Justice and the Yolo County High Tech Task Force joined Woodland police to serve search warrants at 1810 East Main St. and 825 East Street about 3 p.m. Thursday.

Woodland police said both sites were secured without trouble. Few patrons were at the locations at the time of the crackdown.

Computers and money were seized as evidence, police said in a press release.

May 17, 2013
Police say serial flasher active in S. Sacramento

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A male sexually touched and exposed himself to a teenage girl walking on a city street this week, Sacramento police said.

Police released a sketch of the suspect, who may be the same person sought in a string of indecent exposure incidents in South Sacramento.

In the latest incident, a 17-year-old girl was walking near Florin Road and 17th Street in Meadowview about 7 a.m. Wednesday when a man rode up on a white BMX-style bicycle with pink handlebars. He attempted to speak with the girl, but she showed disregard for him and went on her way, police said.

May 17, 2013
Woodland police officers suffer minor injury in making arrest

Three officers suffered minor injuries in a struggle with a man in Woodland last night.

Woodland police were called to a home on King Place at about 10 p.m. Thursday where a man's parents reported their son was violent and agitated. The police call indicated that the son might be under the influence of drugs.

When officers tried to take Eddie Bouphavichith, 27, into custody, he allegedly fought with them -- even after a Taser was deployed. He was eventually handcuffed.

After being treated for injuries at Woodland Memorial Hospital, Bouphavichith was arrested on suspicion of resisting a police officer and three counts of battery on a peace officer causing injury.

The three officers who suffered injury were able to carry on with their duties.

May 16, 2013
Down train guardrails snarl traffic across 19th Street

Traffic was snarled for about 20 minutes shortly after 6 p.m. today in Sacramento along multiple railroad crossings at Q, S, P and N streets, close to 19th Street.

The guard rails were in a down position for 20 minutes, blocking traffic. Motorists were spotted trying to steer around the barricades.

Regional Transit workers were seen directing traffic at the S Street crossing, which is shared by Sacramento Regional Transit and Union Pacific. An RT worker said the issue usually happens three times a week.

A Union Pacific train proceeded slowly, honking its horn several times to warn bystanders and cars. Alane Masui, RT spokeswoman, said Union Pacific was responsible for the guards and referred all questions to the railroad company.

Aaron Hunt, a spokesman for Union Pacific in Sacramento, apologized for the traffic snarl.

"Our gates have a fail-safe mechanism, so that if there is an issue, it just goes down," Hunt said.

As of 6:30 p.m., the guardrails were up.

May 16, 2013
Two Sacramento men sentenced in drug trafficking case

Four men, including two from Sacramento, were sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento for trafficking in the drug Ecstasy.

They were charged with conspiring to distribute MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and possession with the intent to distribute MDMA, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Robert Ly, 29, of Sacramento to nine years in prison, and Darryl Smith, 31, also of Sacramento, to five years and 10 months in prison. David Chong, 38, of Alameda received a 10-year prison sentence, and Dassany "Daisy" Keohimanh, 30, of Stockton, was sentenced to eight years and one month.

May 16, 2013
Plane crashes in Tahoe National Forest

A plane crashed this afternoon near Verdi Peak in the Tahoe National Forest, authorities said.

There is no word on the type of aircraft or number of people involved in the crash, said Sgt. Tim Standley of the Sierra County Sheriff's Office.

Multiple agencies, including the sheriff's office, U.S. Forest Service and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are responding.

"It's a very remote area out in the middle of the forest," Standley said of the crash site. "The response will be on foot."

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board, typically the lead agency in plane crashes, will arrive in about six hours, according to Standley.

May 16, 2013
Elk Grove man charged with producing child-porn videos

Michael+Paul+Gibson.jpgA federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging an Elk Grove man with two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography.

Michael Gibson, 37, is accused of using minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to a sworn complaint filed May 3, in March, a computer at Gibson's residence was observed offering files of child pornography through an online file-sharing network. On May 1, law enforcement agents searched Gibson's house and found a hard drive that contained videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Also located were hidden-camera videos taken by Gibson in bathrooms in his house.

May 16, 2013
Lodi man booked on manslaughter in death of roommate

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Lodi police said they have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his roommate.

Richard Welker, 33, (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter, felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of ammunition, according to a police press release.

Officers responded to the 700 block of South Central Avenue about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a shooting. When they arrived, police found Arlie Druen, 33, had been shot more than once.

He was taken by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Welker, Druen's roommate, was then arrested.

May 16, 2013
Free "Etch and Catch" catalytic converter event in Elk Grove

Motorists can have identification numbers etched onto the catalytic converters on their vehicles for free in Elk Grove next month.

The Elk Grove Police Department is partnering with Jiffy Lube to etch the license plate numbers onto catalytic converters at the "Etch and Catch" event. The effort takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 4 at Jiffy Lube, 9611 Auto Center Drive in Elk Grove.

The etched numbers may deter the taking of the air pollution control devices and can help law enforcement tie captured thieves to specific converter thefts.

Thieves caught with unetched catalytic converters often say they found the device or got it from an unnamed acquaintance, area police have said.

Thieves especially try to steal the emission control devices from Toyota Sequoias and Tundras, but also are drawn to other high-off-the-ground trucks and SUVs from other carmakers.

Thieves slide underneath and unbolt or saw off the converters and then sell them at metal recyclers.

May 15, 2013
Afternoon fire damages two homes in Rancho Cordova

Two Rancho Cordova homes were damaged this afternoon in a fire thought to have started between the houses.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded about 4:30 p.m. to reports of black smoke and fire coming from a house on Azalea Garden Way, south of Douglas Road and east of Sunrise Boulevard. The person reporting the fire didn't know whether anyone was inside, according to a Fire Department news release.

The first firefighters to arrive searched the houses for occupants and began working to extinguish the fires. Their efforts were complicated by a compromised gas meter, officials said.

May 15, 2013
Father arrested in death of 3-week-old daughter

Alias+James+McLaughlin,+20.jpgA Sacramento man has been arrested, accused of fatally injuring his 3-week-old daughter.

Alias James McLaughlin (pictured), 20, was booked into Sacramento County Jail this afternoon on suspicion of murder.

Sacramento police were called to the UC Davis Medical Center about 3:48 p.m. Friday regarding an infant that had been transported to the emergency room. It was reported that the baby was not breathing and had succumbed to injuries, according to a Police Department news release.

May 15, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to father accused of killing infant son in late '90s?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Whatever happened to Robert Vela? He was accused of killing his infant son at his parents' home in the Pocket area. I think it was in the late '90s.
Submitted by: Grammy G., Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Robert Ramirez Vela Jr. of second-degree murder in the 1996 death of his 1-year-old son, Daniel Vergos.

May 15, 2013
One person killed, two injured in collision near Marysville

A Yuba City woman died and two other people were injured this morning in a collision on Highway 20, northeast of Marysville.

Tania H. Fox, 47, was driving a 1997 Dodge Neon westbound on Highway 20, approaching Plantz Road about 7:50 a.m., when for some reason the vehicle left the roadway, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. Fox apparently overcorrected, steering her vehicle into oncoming eastbound traffic, where it was struck broadside on the passenger side by a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria driving by Robert L. Lugo, 47, also of Yuba City.

Lugo applied his brakes, but was unable to avoid hitting the Neon, which continued to travel down an embankment on the south side of Highway 20, where it came to rest facing east, according to the CHP.

May 15, 2013
UPDATE: Man booked for burglaries at midtown art gallery linked to 57th Street break-ins

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A man arrested Tuesday by Sacramento police in connection with a rash of midtown business burglaries - including three break-ins at a long-established art gallery -- today was accused of two additional burglaries.

Gregory Musso Knecht, 43, (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of burglary after detectives armed with a warrant on Tuesday searched his residence in the 1500 block of J Street. Property stolen during several recent burglaries was found at Knecht's residence, police said.

Police initially tied Knecht to four business burglaries between May 4 and May 10. Three of the burglaries occurred last week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Barton Gallery, 1723 I St.

May 15, 2013
Man pleads to manslaughter in 21st Avenue drug killing

A 30-year-old man is facing 21 years in prison after pleading no contest Monday to voluntary manslaughter in what authorities believe was a drug-related shooting death two years ago.

Augustine Aranda entered the plea as his murder trial was about to begin in Sacramento Superior Court for the March 8, 2011, shooting death of Mark Vincent Colquitt, 48, in the 2800 block of 21st Avenue.

Judge Timothy M. Frawley scheduled Aranda's sentencing for July 26.

May 15, 2013
Missing Rio Americano freshman found safe

Missinggirl.jpegA Rio Americano High School freshman whose family thought she may have been lured away by someone she met online has been found.

Daria "Dasha" Clarke, 15, has been reunited with her family, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Last Thursday, Clarke went to algebra class and was also seen on campus about 10 a.m. But when her mother arrived back at school to pick her up at 12:30 p.m., she was nowhere to be found, her mother, Margie Clarke, said on Sunday.

Supporters distributed leaflets in the American River Drive area near the school.

May 15, 2013
Help sought in finding Madison Avenue credit union robber

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Sheriff's detectives need help identifying a robber who held up a Madison Avenue credit union.

The robber hit the Schools Financial Credit Union, 5210 Madison Ave, at about 12:45 p.m. Friday. He used a note to demand money from a teller and then left with cash.

A sheriff's department press release describes the robber as a white man in his mid-30s, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and around 250 pounds. He has red hair and a goatee.

He wore a brown baseball cap with a black logo on the side, a black shirt and dark pants. Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call the sheriff's robbery bureau at (916) 874-5051.

May 15, 2013
Alleged teen cat burglar in Woodland makes noisy exit

Woodland police said they arrested a boy today who broke a store window in order to escape from the business he had allegedly entered to burglarize.

Officers responded to the Hollywood Market, 1321 College St., shortly after midnight where a citizen reported that somebody had smashed a store window. The window-breaker was hiding in the bushes, according to the citizen.

The vandal took off with the citizen following, and reporting his whereabouts to dispatchers until he lost sight of the teen on Buena Tierra Drive. Officers responded and quickly found the 15 year old.

Officers went to the store and learned that the teen likely entered the market from the rooftop and was forced to break the window to escape, according to a police press release. The teen was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of burglary and vandalism.

May 14, 2013
Driver guilty of second-degree murder in crash near Woodland

A Yolo County jury has found a Sacramento man guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a passenger in the vehicle he was driving in January 2012.

The jury also convicted 23-year-old Ryan Scott Baird of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with two prior convictions for driving under the influence, driving under the influence causing injury and driving with blood alcohol at or above .08 causing injury, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Killed in the crash was Robert Sunderland III.

In addition, the jury found Baird guilty of enhancements for causing great bodily injury to Oscar Saeed Rodriguez, causing great bodily injury with a coma to James Black and causing injury to multiple victims.

May 14, 2013
Citrus Heights couple sentenced for credit card fraud

A Citrus Heights couple has been sentenced to prison in a case of credit card fraud and mail theft involving more than 300 victims in Sacramento County.

Matthew Ray Ausborn, 33, and Christina Leanne Barrios, 29, were charged with ID theft, credit card fraud and three counts of possession of stolen U.S. mail, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Ausborn was sentenced to three years and one month in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and Barrios was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. A restitution hearing is scheduled for June 4 before U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez.

According to court documents, on July 2, 2011, Sacramento County sheriff's deputies found Ausborn and Barrios asleep inside an idling car on a residential street in Carmichael. The deputies arrested Barrios on an outstanding warrant, and Ausborn consented to a search of his vehicle. The search turned up a small amount of methamphetamine and approximately 400 pieces of stolen mail involving more than 250 Sacramento County victims. Also found were multiple identification documents for other people, checks, financial documents, handwritten notes containing personal identifying information, a laptop computer, printer and blank-check paper.

May 14, 2013
Deputy shoots armed robbery suspect at Carmichael pharmacy

A man who allegedly attempted to rob a CVS pharmacy at gunpoint was shot late this afternoon by a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy when the suspect refused to put down his gun, a sheriff's official said.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said the suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital with injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening.

Ramos said deputies responded about 5 p.m. to a report of a robbery in progress at the CVS pharmacy at Marconi and Walnut avenues in Carmichael. The suspect, described as a white man in his 30s, was reported to have a gun.

May 14, 2013
Woman pleads no contest in DUI death of 6-year-old boy

A woman driving under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs who ran over and killed a 6-year-old boy walking to school last year and injured his 8-year-old brother pleaded no contest today to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Tresa Bales-Sterba, who was 52 at the time of the fatal Oct. 5 collision, is facing a maximum term of 15 years in state prison. She will be sentenced July 15 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel D. White.

Prosecutors said Bales-Sterba ran a red light while speeding through an intersection in Citrus Heights at Mariposa Avenue and Greenback Lane. According to police reports, Bales-Sterba's Chrysler 300 hit a Chevrolet Suburban and then spun into Henry Perez-Rocha and his big brother Juan. Henry died Jan. 16 at UC Davis Medical Center. Juan was released from the hospital four days after the wreck.

The two boys were walking in the crosswalk with their mother to Skycrest Elementary School at the time of the collision.


May 14, 2013
Sacramento police release sketch in attempted kidnapping case

Sacramento police released a sketch today of a man who reportedly ordered an 11-year-old girl into his car in North Natomas last week.

On Wednesday, the girl was walking home in the area of Honor Parkway and Bill Bean Circle about 4 p.m. when a man pulled up in a black sports utility vehicle, according to police. The man got out of the car and ordered the girl to get in, but she ran and told her parents what had happened.

spd sketch.jpgThe man was described to police as a black man in his 20s with dark blue eyes and long black hair. A police sketch artist worked with the 11-year-old to create the sketch, pictured at left.

Police are still investigating whether the incident is linked to the kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl in south Sacramento County over the weekend. In that Saturday afternoon incident, Sacramento sheriff's detectives say a man grabbed the girl, who was walking along 47th Avenue near Stockton Boulevard with her mother, and forced her into the trunk of his car.

The girl soon was able to open the trunk and jump out. She was not seriously injured.

According to the Sheriff's Department, that suspect was described as a man 25 to 35 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing 170 to 190 pounds. He had light brown skin and shoulder-length, black hair worn in braids or dreadlocks. He was wearing a black shirt with a white design on the front, and was driving a dark green or blue four-door sedan with tinted windows.

SSD kidnap sketch.jpgAn artist also produced a sketch of that suspect, pictured at left.

Sacramento police Officer Michele Gigante said detectives from the two agencies are exchanging information but have not been able to determine whether the same man is responsible for both crimes.

In light of the recent incidents, police are trying to spread the following safety tips for children:

-Avoid walking alone.

-Avoid short cuts and walk only in safe areas.

-Never go into a stranger's home or car.

-If approached or followed by a car, do not approach or speak to anyone inside. Instead, run and get help.

-Remain alert to your surroundings.

-Always report suspicious behavior.

Anyone with information about the identity of either suspect is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP, or to text in a tip to 274637 with "SACTIP" followed by the tip information. Callers cam remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 14, 2013
Motorist arrested in midtown Sacramento after high-speed chase

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A motorist who led police on a chase that reached speeds of 90 mph Tuesday in a pursuit that zigzagged across Sacramento was arrested after his car slammed into a pickup truck in the city's midtown.

The chase began before 4 p.m. on the grounds of the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, said UC motorcycle officer Rob Sotelo, who attempted to approach the driver before he fled.

Sotelo described a chase that wound down Stockton Boulevard into south Sacramento to midtown and into east Sacramento on Folsom Boulevard before the unidentified driver hopped onto Highway 50 at 59th Street.

May 14, 2013
Man arrested in burglaries of Arden Arcade music store

Eric+Brown+mugshot.jpgA 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with two burglaries of an Arden Arcade music store that involved the thefts of thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments.

Eric Brown (pictured) was taken into custody in Citrus Heights last week, accused of break-ins at Tim's Music Store in the 2800 block of Marconi Avenue, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release. Sheriff's officials said he was identified through an anonymous caller who recognized him from surveillance video from the business.

About 12:30 a.m. May 2, sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a smashed window at Tim's Music Store, and determined that several musical instruments had been taken from the business. The following day, they were called to the same business about 10:15 p.m., where someone had again smashed a window to enter the business and steal several instruments. Sheriff's officials said the loss was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

May 14, 2013
Colfax man accepts plea in killing of girlfriend, unborn child

A Colfax man could face life behind bars after accepting a plea agreement Monday for the 2011 killing of his girlfriend and unborn child.

Sara Lynn Burr, 30, of Grass Valley was shot and killed following a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, Lee Martin Konnerth, 37. After an argument at Konnerth's father's Colfax residence, Burr - armed with a kitchen knife -- tried to leave the home.

Using a rifle retrieved from a closet near the front door, Konnerth shot Burr in the back, killing her and the the 5-month-old fetus.

The relationship was described as volatile before the killing, officials said. The child would have been Burr's third.

The plea agreement was taken by Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols.

Under the plea agreement, Konnerth is facing 19 years, and eight months to life. Formal sentencing is scheduled at 1 p.m. July 17 in Dept. 4.

May 14, 2013
Box outside Woodland classroom not a threat

A suspicious box outside a Woodland classroom turned out not to be a danger.

Staff at Prairie Elementary, 1444 Stetson St., found the box on the ground about 8:15 a.m. today. Uncertain who put the box outside the classroom and not knowing what was inside, school employees summoned Woodland police.

Several classrooms were evacuated and the Yolo County bomb disposal team arrived to X-ray the box. Class resumed when it was discovered that the box only contained personal papers, according to a police press release.

May 14, 2013
CHP identifies man who died in high-speed chase

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

TRUCKEE -- The California Highway Patrol has identified a man who died following a high-speed chase near Donner Summit on Monday as William Orr, 55, of Penn Valley.

After receiving a report of a reckless driver, a CHP officer pursued Orr's vehicle after he refused to pull over near Yuba Gap. Orr's car reached speeds beyond 100 mph.

Orr died after losing control of his BMW convertible, which overturned several times after striking a dirt embankment near a construction zone on westbound Interstate 80, west of Soda Springs.

Two Calfiornia Conservation Corps workers, both from Fresno, were injured when the BMW overturned and struck them as they attempted to flee.

Linda Heuangpaseud, 23, was flown to a Reno hospital with head injuries. Jose Gabriel Garcia, 19, was taken to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee complaining of pain.

May 14, 2013
Man arrested for Auburn thefts and struggle with police

After a struggle, Auburn police arrested a man suspected of theft at two convenience stores last night.

Officers were first dispatched to a 11:45 p.m. Monday merchandise theft report at the 7-11 store on Sacramento street. Later, an officer noticed a man walking hear Highway 49 and Fulweiler Avenue who matched the description of the 7-11 store shoplift.

The officer turned his vehicle around in time to see the man enter a Shell station convenience market. The man entered and allegedly tried to make off with a 12-pack of beer.

May 14, 2013
Victim apparently robbed twice by same culprits

Two robbers held up a man and then apparently used the information in his wallet to go to his home where they stole weapons.

The man was in his car in the 5900 block of Bamford Drive in the Valley Hi neighborhood about 1:45 p.m. Monday when he was approached by two armed men. The driver was ordered out of his vehicle.

The men rifled through the driver's pockets, taking his car and house keys, wallet and cell phone before forcing him into the trunk of his own car. The robbers then fled on foot.

May 14, 2013
Alleged wine theft leads to arrest of two in South Sacramento

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Two men were arrested by Sacramento police for stealing wine on Monday.

Officers were patrolling about 9 a.m. near Meadowgate Drive in South Sacramento when they saw a vehicle "lurch" into traffic. The officers pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and the driver stayed at the car.

However, the passenger ran, carrying what was described as "box of wine," according to a police activity log. It was quickly determined that the men had robbed a store.

Responding officers eventually caught up with the man with the wine. An officer suffered a minor injury while taking Jerome Wells, 35, (pictured right) into custody.

The driver was identified as 45-year-old Jonathan Reed (pictured left). Both men were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

May 14, 2013
Man killed in Fair Oaks house fire identified by coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the man who died along with four dogs in a house fire on Monday in Fair Oaks.

He was identified as 64-year-old Ronald Burns.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded to the fire on the 4000 block of Main Street around 3:15 p.m. First-arriving firefighters reported heavy smoke and flames at the rear of the home.

May 13, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Has former El Dorado Hills resident been sentenced in investment fraud scheme?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Was Daniel Chartraw sentenced May 2, and if so what was the sentence?
Submitted by: Chris, Los Angeles

ANSWER: According to U.S. District Court online records, Daniel Chartraw's sentencing has been continued to July 18.

May 13, 2013
Firefighter hurt, families displaced in two-alarm apartment fire

Bamford fire.jpgA Sacramento fire captain was injured this afternoon in an two-alarm apartment fire that displaced two families.

Assistant Fire Chief Niko King of the Sacramento Fire Department said several 911 calls were received about 3:38 p.m. reporting fire at an apartment complex at 5935 Bamford Drive in the Valley Hi area. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the units, and a second alarm was declared.

King said a mother and three children were in one of the two-story units, and a mother and two children were in the other when youngsters began screaming, alerting them to the fire.

May 13, 2013
Driver killed, workers injured in high-speed chase over Sierra

A Reno man who led CHP officers on a high-speed chase on Interstate 80 died this afternoon after crashing into a roadwork area and injuring two California Conservation Corps workers.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Pete Mann said the CHP was advised about 1:41 p.m. to be on the lookout for a reckless driver on eastbound I-80 in the Dutch Flat area. He said an officer from the CHP's Gold Run station spotted a speeding BMW in the Yuba Gap area and attempted to pull it over, but the driver failed to stop and a pursuit began.

The BMW, traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph, continued eastbound to the Truckee area and then into Truckee proper, where the driver exited at Donner Pass Road, continued across the overpass, then re-entered I-80, heading westbound.

May 13, 2013
Little girl escapes kidnapper on south-area street

2013-05-11 PC 207 13-103681 FINAL.JPGA little girl was able to escape Saturday after being kidnapped in broad daylight from a south-area street by a man who placed her in the trunk of his car.

Sacramento sheriff's deputies say residents of the south area of Sacramento should be alert for the man who may attempt to kidnap another child.

The attempted kidnapping occurred about 1 p.m. Saturday when a 7-year-old girl was walking with her mother in the 5300 block of 47th Avenue. A man pulled up and grabbed the girl, placing her in the trunk of his car.

May 13, 2013
Three detained for catalytic converter thefts at Sac International

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives are interviewing three men found with a bagful of catalytic converters at Sacramento International Airport.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said the discovery comes at a time of increased catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in airport parking lots. A deputy assigned to the airport was on patrol in the economy lot about 6:30 a.m. when he noticed a parked vehicle with three men inside.

A bag was on the ground outside another vehicle nearby. The deputy stopped and apparently interrupted the theft of a catalytic converter from a large truck, Ramos said.

A search of the vehicle with the men turned up three other large truck catalytic converters inside a bag. Ramos said the men would likely be booked on grand theft charges.

Thieves typically slide under vehicles and cut the car air pollution control devices from vehicles. The devices are then sold for their metals.

May 13, 2013
Woodland teen sent to hospital after being knocked out by auto

A teenage pedestrian was knocked unconscious when struck by a car this morning in Woodland.

Woodland police officers responded to the East Gum Avenue and Kate Lane about 7:20 a.m. today where the 15 year old was down on the roadway. Near the boy was a four-door sedan that police said was involved in the traffic crash.

The teen was transported by ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center. The driver of the sedan did not suffer any injury, according to a police press release.

No further information was immediately available, police said. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the traffic division at (530) 661-7880.

May 13, 2013
Rio Linda killing victim identified by coroner

The name of the man shot to death Friday night in Rio Linda has been released by Sacramento County Coroner's deputies.

He has been identified as Terrell Deandre Smith, 28, of Sacramento.

The shooting occurred about 10:15 p.m. at a home in the 6800 block of Radalyac Court. Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrived to find Smith inside a residence with at least one gunshot wound to his upper body, according to reports. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two men found at the home were detained for questioning. They reported to police that two or three vehicles were seen speeding away from the house after the shooting, though it was unclear if the occupants of the vehicles were related to the incident.

No suspects have been identified and the motive is still unknown. Anyone with information about Smith's killing is asked to contact the Sheriff's homicide detectives at (916) 874-5115.

May 12, 2013
Sacramento deputy arrested in alleged Yuba City assault

By Anita Creamer
acreamer@sacbee.com

A veteran detective with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department who lives in Yuba City was arrested Friday in Sutter County on possible assault charges, according to reports in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

John G. Foster, 50, allegedly ran down a 17-year-old with his minivan in Yuba City after what family members describe as a long-running dispute. According to the newspaper, the minivan is an unmarked vehicle used by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Sgt. Jason Ramos, sheriff's department spokesman, confirmed that Foster works for the department and has been on unpaid administrative leave since Friday.

"With respect to what he was driving during the incident, that is part of the criminal investigation, so I will defer to the arresting agency on responding to that," Ramos said in an e-mail.

May 12, 2013
5 arrested in marijuana operation linked to Elk Grove fire

By Anita Creamer
acreamer@sacbee.com

Five people were arrested after a house fire in the 6000 block of Laguna Villa Way in Elk Grove on Saturday morning led investigators to the discovery of three residential marijuana growing operations, Elk Grove police said.

Police also recovered 550 marijuana plants and about six pounds of packaged marijuana, as well as $1,400 and a loaded, sawed-off shotgun, authorities said.

The other two alleged growing operations were in the 6800 block of Kilconnell Drive and the 7500 block of Shelby Way in Elk Grove, said police.

"This is an ongoing investigation," said Elk Grove police spokesman Christopher Trim. "There may be additional homes involved, or not. Traditionally, one house leads us to another and another."

Arrested in connection with the case were Felix Su, 43; Kim Ta, 41; Duong Su, 54; Raymond Su, 24; and Mui Ly, 47.

May 11, 2013
Brother of slain 8-year-old arrested in Calaveras County

Calaveras County officials announced tonight that they have arrested the brother of 8-year-old Leila Fowler in connection with the third-grader's stabbing death April 27.

The boy, age 12, had told authorities that while his parents were not at home, he found his sister stabbed. He identified a tall man with gray, long hair as an intruder.

But tonight, Sheriff Gary Kuntz told reporters that the boy was taken into custody at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at the Valley Springs sheriff's substation, according to a live webcast of the announcement.

After a brief statement, Kuntz declined to take questions from reporters.

The girl's slaying occurred in the Rancho Calaveras neighborhood of Valley Springs, a town of about 7,500 people on the western climb into the mountains, about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento.

[Press conference video from FOX40:]

May 11, 2013
UPDATE: Elk Grove firefighters quench blaze, discover marijuana-growing operation

Authorities have served a search warrant at the site of an apparent marijuana-growing operation -- a home that was destroyed by fire today, Elk Grove Police reported.

Elk Grove Police spokesman Officer Christopher Trim said a woman who drove to the home has been arrested. Authorities plan to search a second location, he said, and more arrests could follow.

The fire was reported shortly after 11:30 a.m., and firefighters from both the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department and the Sacramento Fire Department responded.

"As they were putting out the fire, they discovered signs of a marijuana-growing operation," Trim said. "They called us."

The home in the 6000 block of Laguna Villa Way appeared to have been a rental house, Trim said.

May 11, 2013
Two people injured in drive-by shooting in Oak Park

Two people received non-lethal injuries this afternoon in a drive-by shooting at 4th Avenue and San Jose Way, Sacramento police said.

Sacramento Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said police cordoned off the area and were interviewing witnesses after the shooting, which occurred about 1:30 p.m.

"We are trying to identify those involved," Morse said, describing the case as "an ongoing investigation."

The identities of the victims were not immediately available. Both were talking to authorities and were being treated at a nearby hospital.

May 11, 2013
Man shot to death in Rio Linda

A man was shot to death late Friday in Rio Linda, authorities said.

The incident happened shortly before 10:15 p.m. at the 6800 block of Radalyac Court. Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrived to find a black male inside a home "with at least one gunshot wound to his upper body," according to reports. Emergency personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Two men found at the home were detained for questioning. They reported to police that two or three vehicles were seen speeding away from the house after the shooting, though it was unclear if the occupants of the vehicles were related to the incident.

The identity of the victim, who appeared to be in his 20s, has not been released pending notification of his family.

No suspects have been identified and the motive is still unknown. Anyone with information pertaining about this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff's homicide detectives at (916) 874-5115.

May 10, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was trial outcome for man accused of killing ex-wife?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Whatever happened in the trial of my murdered friend Jill Alamo?
Submitted by: Colleen, Sacramento

ANSWER: Augustine Espino Munoz pleaded no contest in 2011 to second-degree murder in the 2007 strangulation of his ex-wife, Jill Alamo.

May 10, 2013
Woodland man gets life sentence for sex assault on 2-year-old

A Woodland man has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for molesting a 2-year-old boy.

Yolo Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock also sentenced John "Tim" Ganthner, 46, to an additional 11 years and 8 months for physical injuries inflicted on the child in connection with the sexual assault, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

On the morning of Aug. 23, 2011, Ganthner was left alone to watch the child while his grandmother performed volunteer work with a local charity. When the grandmother returned home about 12:30 p.m., she noticed that the child had severe injuries to his private areas and chest. A medical exam determined that the child had been beaten and sexually assaulted, officials said.

May 10, 2013
Saturday night DUI checkpoint planned on Arden Way

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Saturday night on Arden Way near Challenge Way.

It will begin at 8 p.m. and continue for five to seven hours.

Motorists traveling through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release.

May 10, 2013
Help sought finding teen last seen on American River Drive

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a teenage girl who has been missing since Thursday morning.

viewer (2).jpg

Daria Clarke, 15, was last seen in the 4500 block of American River Drive about 10 a.m. She is considered at risk because of mental health issues and because she may be in the company of people who could endanger her welfare, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Clarke (pictured) is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 195 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a black shirt and gray leggings.

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

May 10, 2013
Las Vegas man sentenced for defrauding South Lake Tahoe investor of $2.9 million

A Las Vegas man is headed to prison after being sentenced in federal court in Sacramento for defrauding a South Lake Tahoe investor of $2.9 million.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. today sentenced Jed Baron, 55, to five years and three months in prison for wire fraud related to the investment scheme, according to a Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Baron made a series of false business proposals to a victim in the Lake Tahoe area, including investment in a venture to sell Irish seafood to restaurants in Las Vegas. Instead of using the victim's money for the intended purpose, Baron diverted the funds for personal use and to pay other investors from previous deals.

May 10, 2013
Sacramento brothers admit to ID theft, bank fraud schemes

Two Sacramento brothers have pleaded guilty in a case involving identity theft and bank fraud.

Glen Patrick Shoults, 27, and Jackie Lester Shoults III, 31, admitted to stealing the identity of U.S. Postal Service and department store customers to commit bank fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Between Feb. and Dec. 15, 2012, Glen Shoults' girlfriend, co-defendant Kathleen S. Wade, worked at a Sacramento department store, according to court records. The Shoults brothers, at times using Wade's sales clerk position, made fraudulent transactions on bank and credit card accounts of numerous victims.

May 10, 2013
Woman who slapped deputy hoping for jail time gets her wish

The 31-year-old woman who slapped a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy this week in hopes of being thrown in jail and kicking her cigarette habit has received time behind bars.

LOPEZ.JPGEtta Mae Lopez (pictured), 31, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery on a peace officer and was sentenced to 63 days in jail on Thursday, said Shelly Orio, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Lopez gets credit for the three days she served. She was also was sentenced to five days for violating her probation from a drunken driving conviction.

Deputy Matt Campoy on Tuesday booked Lopez into jail after being slapped by Lopez as he exited the main jail, in uniform, at the end of his shift.

Campoy said Lopez moved into his way and continued to block his path before eventually slapping him in the face. Lopez, the deputy said, told him that she slapped him to serve time in the smoke-free jail and in that way quit smoking, cold turkey.

May 10, 2013
Sacramento motorist in disabled parking spot awakens to his arrest

A man parked in a space reserved for disabled drivers fell asleep in his vehicle, leading to attention from Sacramento police and his eventual arrest.

Officers noticed a vehicle parked at Elder Creek and Stockton Boulevard in a space reserved for the disabled about 11 a.m. Thursday. Police said no vehicle placard allowing use of such spaces was visible.

Inside the vehicle, Chris Murel Nesseth, 31, was seated in the driver's seat, sound asleep. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up a loaded handgun and narcotics, police activity log shows.

Nesseth was booked into Sacramento County jail on gun and drug charges.

May 9, 2013
Police: Open doors, windows invite nighttime intruders

As the weather warms up, it may be tempting to sleep with windows and doors open, but Sacramento police warn that this is an invitation to intruders.

Burglars look for homes that offer easy, quiet access, and police say they have seen an increase in nighttime burglaries through open windows and doors. They cite three possibly related incidents:

• In the 600 block of Bowles St., someone entered through the unlocked sliding glass door and took personal property from the home while the residents were asleep.

May 9, 2013
Placer sheriff warns of scammers posing as law enforcement officers

The Placer County Sheriff's Department is alerting residents to a telephone scam involving callers who identify themselves as law enforcement officials.

Some residents have reported receiving phone calls from an individual claiming to be a Placer County sheriff's official. They were told they were owed money and asked to wire money to release the funds, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The caller then gave a phone number to call to verify that the caller was a member of law enforcement. Authorities stress that any number given should always be verified through other sources, rather than taking the caller's word for it.

Detectives urge people to never give money or information over the phone to anyone they don't know, adding that a law enforcement officer would never call and ask someone to wire money.

Anyone who questions the legitimacy of someone who claims to be a deputy or a detective is advised to call the Sheriff's Department's non-emergency line , (530) 886-5375, to verify that the individual works for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

May 9, 2013
Brother, sister accused in murder-for-hire plot

Manuel+perez+mugshot.jpgNatalia+Perez+mugshot.jpgChristine+Engkabo+photo.jpgA brother and sister are in Sacramento County Jail, accused in a plot to have a woman killed.

Manuel Perez (top left photo), 47, and his sister, Natalia Perez (top right photo), 45, were arrested earlier this week on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder and criminal conspiracy, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

Manuel Perez has been in custody since December on charges related to committing lewd acts with two minor females. He is alleged to have victimized one of the females on several occasions in 1996, and the other child during 2010.

May 9, 2013
Woman convicted in 2008 El Dorado Hills DUI crash back in jail

A woman convicted of of drunken driving in a collision that injured two bicyclists in El Dor