Tag Archives: Inyo County Sheriff’s Department

Shots Fired, Man arrested

Tuesday Night Incident Ends with Arrest

February 4, 2016
by Arnie Palu

The Inyo County Sheriffs department has released additional details into a situation that played out Tuesday evening on South Pa Ha Lane.  In addition to the Inyo Sheriffs department, members of the Bishop Police Department and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene Tuesday night.  Law enforcement was sent to the 200th block of South Pa Ha lane on the Bishop reservation on the report of a subject firing a gun.   Wednesday afternoon the Inyo County Sheriffs department issued the following statement.

Last night (Tuesday, February 2nd) at approximately 8:30pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to PaHa Lane, west of Bishop, due to shots being fired in a residential area.  Deputies responded and obtained witness statements that confirmed that three gunshots did take place outside a residence. Two suspects were questioned and released, and one suspect was arrested at the scene. Raymond Joseph Bencoma III, a 40-year old man from Bishop, was taken into custody and booked under the following charge: felony assault with firearm. Bail has been set at $25,000.”

Bencoma, Raymond Joseph III
Raymond Joseph Bencoma III. photo provided by the inyo county sheriffs department

Investigators are encouraging anyone with additional information to contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383, or you may use the following link:  http://www.inyocounty.us/so/report-crime/

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Inyo Sheriffs Department Arrest two

Inyo Sheriffs Department  Makes Two Arrests

Raymond Gutierrez, age 59 of Bishop and Brandon Decker, age 33, of Bishop are taken into custody.  Two Inyo Sheriffs deputies were injured while apprehending Decker.  The Inyo County Sheriffs Department issued the following statement detailing the two arrests Tuesday. 

Inyo County Sheriffs Department Statement

January 6, 2016

Last night at 9:00pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a domestic disturbance that took place approximately an hour earlier at the intersection of Winuba and Diaz (west of Bishop). According to an interview with the victim, she was assaulted at the intersection by Raymond Vidal Gutierrez a 59 year old man from Bishop. Gutierrez was released from custody from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on January 5th; he was being held on an Inyo County warrant from 2004 for a felony weapons charge and probation violation. Prior to his transfer to the Inyo County Jail, Gutierrez spent 11-years with the California Department of Corrections for felony domestic abuse and false imprisonment charges. Gutierrez was not located at the scene.

At approximately 3:00am Gutierrez was located by Bishop Police at Denney’s restaurant in Bishop and placed under arrest.  He was transported to the Inyo County Jail and booked under the following charges: felony violation of parole (no bail), and felony domestic abuse. 

gutierrez
Raymond Vidal Gutierrez. Photo by Inyo County SO

            At about 2:00am this morning Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a 911 call regarding a burglary in progress west of Bishop near Manor Market. According to the reporting party, a man (later identified as 33 year old Brandon Decker from Bishop), broke into the residence through an unlocked backdoor and stole several items. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived shortly after the 911 call and completed a thorough check of the area. Decker was spotted about four houses down from the house that was broken into; he appeared to be breaking into that residence as well (later it was determined that Decker lived there with his father). Deputies noticed a pistol shaped object in Decker’s hand as he was entering the house and a holster on his right hip. After entering the property Decker locked the front door. Sheriff’s Deputies were able to convince Decker to come out of the house; however Decker resisted arrest and a physical altercation ensued. The two Sheriff’s Deputies sustained minor injuries in the process, but eventually Decker was taken into custody and transported to the Inyo County Jail.

Decker was booked under the following charges: felony burglary, felony obstruction, felony firearm charge, and misdemeanor receiving stolen property. Bail has been set at $100,000.

decker
Brandon Decker, photo by Inyo County SO
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Fugitive or mistaken identity

Fresno Woman released on bail

By Arnie Palu

A Fresno woman says its a case of mistaken identity, Inyo County officials say she’s a fugitive from justice.

According to KFSN (Fresno) Melissa Neylon a life insurance agent out of Fresno was getting a tour of the Inyo County Jail when deputies arrested her for an outstanding warrant. According to KFSN Neylon was going through security when she was flagged as a wanted felon as her fingerprints matched a warrant for a Melissa Chapman, who has been wanted by law enforcement since 2002 for identity theft.

According to Carma Roper, Inyo County Sheriffs department spokesperson, Neylon appeared in Inyo County Court Friday, December 18th and the Judge ruled that Neylon was a fugitive from justice, ruling the warrant was valid. The Judge did reduce bail to $50,000. Neylon posted bail and has been released from custody, but she is scheduled to appear back in Inyo County Court on January 13th.

Update (2:05 pm Tuesday, Dec 22)
KFSN is now reporting that a Prosecutor in Indian is indicating that Neylon is NOT a match to Chapman’s fingerprints.

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Southern Inyo Hospital CEO Resigns

Southern Inyo Healthcare District Board accepts Lee Barron’s Resignation

By Arnie Palu
December 11th

A week after seeing the Emergency room at Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine close, the hospital board has announced the acceptance of Lee Barron’s resignation.  The Board met in special session Thursday and came out of closed session announcing the acceptance of Barron’s resignation from the positions of CEO, CFO, and CCO effective Monday, December 14th.

The statement announcing the resignation states, “Lee has lead us through a period of some very difficult changes in the health care industry.  The Board thanks Lee for her years of service and wishes her the best in the future.”

On December 3rd the Inyo County Sheriffs department issued the following statement in response to the closing of the Emergency room at Southern Inyo Hospital.

After being informed that the emergency room at Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine has been closed until further notice, the Sheriff’s Office wants to provide public awareness of our current emergency medical services in southern Inyo County including the communities of Independence, Lone Pine, Olancha, Keeler, Darwin and Pearsonville.
As of today, December 3, 2015, southern Inyo County has the following emergency medical services available:
• Call 911 for ambulance response – all ambulance services are operational in southern Inyo County
• Northern Inyo Hospital, located at 150 Pioneer Lane in Bishop
• Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, located at 1081 N. China Lake Blvd.

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UCLA grad student found deceased

UCLA grad student found deceased

By Arnie Palu

The Inyo County Sheriffs department confirms the recovery of the body of missing hiker Michael David Meyers. On Saturday crews located his body in a recent avalanche debris field near Mt. Irvine.

Meyers, a native of St. Cloud Minnesota was reported missing on Sunday, November 15th. Family members indicate that Meyers went hiking in the Mt. Russell/Mt. Whitney area on Friday, November 6th. Meyers was expected to return to UCLA on Monday, November 9th. His 2002 gray Dodge Durango was located on Wednesday, November 18th near the Mt. Whitney overflow parking area. The Inyo Sheriffs department notes that the vehicle was spotted by a local resident while hiking in the Mt. Whitney trail head area. The Meyers family indicates that Michael had left a detailed itinerary of his rout up Mt. Russell on the vehicles dash board.

A massive search and rescue operation ensued. Inyo County crews worked with the assistance of a California Highway Patrol helicopter. The Inyo Sheriffs office indicates that additional resources were requested from the California office of Emergency Services. On Friday, November 20th approximately 40 search and rescue personnel from throughout the state, as well as a Chinook helicopter from the California Air National Guard were assigned. In the afternoon items belonging to Meyers were located in a recent avalanche debris field near Mt. Irvine. The Sheriffs Department indicates that additional resources were requested including search dog teams and sonar type equipment. On Saturday crews located the body of Michael Meyers in the avalanche area.

cover photo, Michael David Meyers, photo provided by the Meyers Family

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Thursday Arrest

Bishop Man arrested twice

20-year old Darrell Maddox Jr was arrested Thursday.  The Inyo County Sheriffs department and California Highway Patrol participated.  The Inyo County Sheriffs department released the following statement:

At approximately 1:00am Thursday morning Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Darrell Maddox Jr, a 20-year old man from Bishop, was intoxicated and behaving erratically. When Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the location where Maddox was reported to be, Maddox attempted to flee on foot. Deputies were able to detain Maddox; however Maddox was uncooperative, refused a field sobriety test, and was ultimately taken into custody for resisting/obstructing. While en route to the Inyo County Jail, Maddox began kicking the patrol vehicle ultimately damaging the inside of the door. Maddox was booked for obstruction, and vandalism.  After being detained in a sobering cell, Maddox was released with a notice to appear.

Later in the day Thursday, shortly after 10:00am the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification that Maddox had assaulted an elderly man outside of Carroll’s Market in Big Pine. The victim reportedly picked Maddox up as a hitchhiker directly north of Independence. Maddox asked to be dropped off in Big Pine; once the vehicle stopped the victim reported that Maddox punched him in the face then stole his wallet and phone.

Two California Highway Patrol officers located Maddox on the east side of Big Pine. Maddox got into a physical altercation with the officers, striking one of the CHP officers, which prompted the deployment of a Taser. CHP arrested Maddox, but then transferred custody to Inyo County Sheriff’s Office for booking. Maddox was booked into the Inyo County Jail under the following charges: felony robbery, felony cruelty to an elder, obstruction, resisting arrest, and battery on Peace Officer. Bail has been set at $100,000.

cover photo, Darrell Maddox Jr, photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs department

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4 arrested Friday

Local Compliance check executed Friday

A circling helicopter Friday in the Bishop and Big Pine area was part of a multi-agency effort.  Several local law enforcement agencies teamed up to conduct probation and parole compliance checks.

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department Statement:

On Friday, September 4, 2015 at approximately 7am a multi-agency operation was conducted in the Big Pine and Bishop area.  Approximately 34 locations were checked for compliance to ensure that the person or persons who are living there are adhering to the terms and conditions of probation or parole.

Four arrests were made during the operation:
Brian Dehaven 34-years old: Violation of Probation (3-day incarceration)

Dehaven Brian
Brian Dehaven

Rachel Chandler 39-years old: Violation of Probation ($50,000 bail)

Chandler Rachel
Rachel Chandler

Felis Landa 27-years old: Outstanding Warrant, Violation of Probation, Possession of Controlled Substance, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Brandishing a Weapon, and Vandalism ($50,000 out of Inyo County, and no-bail out of Mono County)

Landa, Felis
Felis Landa

Justin Wilcott 53-years old: Outstanding Warrant ($5,000 bail)
*All arrest were made without incident

Wilcott, Justin
Justin Wilcott

This operation is an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of the citizens and to maintain compliance with those individuals who have been placed on supervision after the conviction of a crime.  “We want to ensure that the persons placed on supervision continue to meet the obligations they agreed to, and at the same time ensure the public’s safety,” stated Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze.

The following agencies participated in today’s operation: Bishop Police Department, Mono County Sheriff, Inyo County Sheriff, Inyo County Probation, California Highway Patrol H80, and Olancha Fire Department’s Tactical Medic Team.

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Marijuana Grow Located

Large Marijuana Grow cleared

From Mono County District Attorney Tim Kendall.

On June 1, 2015 the Mono County DA’s Office conducted flight operations in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s marijuana eradication program. The purpose of the program is to locate large scale outdoor marijuana grows on public lands within Mono County. These flight operations resulted in the detection of several marijuana grows in rugged and remote locations in the southern Mono County area. The grow sites were very large in size and ran up to approximately seven miles in length.

As a result the Mono County DA’s Office, with the assistance of the Forest Service, initiated a two month investigation. The investigation was also aided with the assistance of the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department since some of the marijuana grows crossed over into Inyo County.

During the investigation, it was determined that the largest grow, which was located in Mono County, was typical of grows commonly operated by Mexican Drug Trade Organizations. Along with those characteristics, several Hispanic males were identified and were seen tending to the garden armed with rifles.

On August 11, 2015 Investigators with the Mono District Attorney’s Office, assisted by Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Guard and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, conducted a raid operation to arrest and detain any gardeners found in the site.

Due to unknown reasons, it was determined that the persons responsible for tending to the garden had fled, leaving the garden unattended. The heavy late July rains appeared to have damaged the marijuana plants within the garden and therefore that is suspected to be the reason that the garden was abandoned.

During eradication and reclamation efforts approximately 40,000 marijuana plants with a conservative street value of well over $2 million dollars were located and destroyed from this site. During reclamation efforts a total of 4,401 pounds of trash was removed. Some of that consisted of 10.82 miles of irrigation hose and 550 pounds of fertilizer.

Marijuana photo 2

Numerous other illegal and highly toxic pesticides were found being used in the garden and Hazmat crews later responded to recovered and removed those pesticides.
Large scale marijuana gardens on public lands creates a danger to the public and to our recreational users of these lands. Unfortunately, hunters, hikers and others that come across these types of gardens and the individuals who attend these gardens put themselves in great danger. Along with the public danger there are also serious environmental impacts that these marijuana gardens create. If you ever encounter a marijuana garden you should quickly and quietly remove yourself from the area. Do not continue on your path and do not make contact with anyone in the area. Immediately call the Mono County District Attorney or any other law enforcement agency as soon as you possibly can.

photos provided by the Mono County District Attorney

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Stabbing in Big Pine

Stabbing in Big Pine – Public’s Assistance Requested

Thursday night at approximately 10:40pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received an emergency call requesting an ambulance on Watson Street in Big Pine due to a stabbing. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and determined that one male subject had been stabbed; the victim was unresponsive and was immediately transported to Northern Inyo Hospital.

Interviews conducted with witnesses at the scene indicated there were three subjects with the victim: Bryce Williams 32-years old from Bishop, Jobe In-the-Woods 27-years old from Big Pine, and Ethan Williams 23-years old from Bishop. Investigators would like to interview these three subjects to determine what occurred.

Additionally, witnesses stated Bryce Williams stole a vehicle prior to deputies arriving on scene. The stolen vehicle is described as a 1998 white Nissan Frontier pick-up truck with the following California plate: 5X07934.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Bryce Williams, Jobe In-the Woods, and Ethan Williams as well as information on the whereabouts of the stolen truck.
If anyone has any information that could assist Inyo County Sheriff’s Office in this case, you are encouraged to contact us at 760-878-0383.

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Recovery at Jigsaw Pass

Inyo County Search and Rescue recovers fall victim

information from the Inyo County Sheriffs Department

Jigsaw Pass recovery

On August 5th at about 5:20pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified through CalOES of a SPOT device activation near Jigsaw Pass. The activation was followed by a message asking for a helicopter for an immediate evacuation due to an injury. A short time later another message was sent saying, “fatality.” Two Inyo County SAR members responded to the coordinates of the SPOT activation.

On August 6th at about 7:00am, CHP H-80 arrived and with the assistance of the Inyo County SAR team, H-80 was able to recover the body of Stephanie Subak (58 years old from Seattle, WA) and transport her to the Sheriff’s Posse Hut near the Bishop airport, where she was then driven to Brune Mortuary.

Interviews conducted with her hiking friends who were with her at the time of the accident indicated that Subak was descending down Jigsaw Pass when a rock that she grabbed onto gave way, causing her to tumble about 40 feet down a chute. Once Subak’s partners got to her, she was unconscious but breathing; she passed away about an hour later. According to the coroner Subak sustained multiple traumatic injuries that caused her death.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office extends our sincere condolences to Subak’s family and friends during this very difficult time. We also would like to thank the Inyo County SAR team and H-80 for their response efforts

jigsaw
Jigsaw Pass, photo by the Inyo County Sheriffs department
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