Tag Archives: Inyo County Sheriff’s Department

Bishop Woman Arrested

Victim treated at NIH, Woman Arrested

April 14, 2016
by Arnie Palu

The Inyo County Sheriffs Department has issued a statement detailing Tuesday nights events that led to the arrest of a Bishop woman.  The victim was treated and released.

Statement from the Inyo County Sheriffs Department:

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at about 10:50 PM, Inyo County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from an individual about a victim being stabbed at an apartment complex outside the city of Bishop.  Deputies and Emergency Medical Personnel from Symon’s Ambulance arrived  on scene to find a male subject with a defensive wound to his hand from a knife.

The suspect, 28 year old Yvette Fimbres, was in an argument with her estranged boyfriend; the boyfriend attempted to gather items to leave the residence when he was confronted by Fimbres who was holding a knife.  The boyfriend attempted to disarm the knife from Fimbres, in doing so he sustained a knife wound to his hand.  The victim was transported by ambulance to Northern Inyo Hospital where he was treated and released.

Fimbres was arrested and booked at the Inyo County Jail for Felony Domestic Battery and Felony Assault with a deadly weapon; bail is set at $25,000.00.

Photo Courtesy of the Inyo County Sheriffs Department
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Tecopa Search and Rescue ends with Recovery of Remains

Inyo Search and Rescue mission ends as a recovery

April 6, 2016
By Arnie Palu

A nearly month long search for a missing Carmel man ends with the discovery of remains near Tecopa.  83-year old James “Billy” Liles was know to frequent the southern Inyo County area.  Liles was first reported missing in early March.  On Monday, Inyo County officials verify that remains found near Tecopa have been identified as James Liles.  A full autopsy will be conducted as the Inyo County Sheriffs Department continues their investigation.

Inyo County Sheriffs Department Statement:

On Friday April 1st Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that human remains had been located near Tecopa. Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as the south-county coroner responded and transported the remains to Lone Pine. Tuesday morning, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the south-county coroner that the remains have been positively identified as missing person James “Billy” Liles (83-year old man from Carmel, CA).
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office launched a search for Mr. Liles following a report that was received on the evening of March 11th that a cellular phone was found in the desert east of Tecopa (the cellular phone was identified as belonging to James “Billy” Liles). Ground teams from Inyo County Search and Rescue and BLM combed the Tecopa area, and aerial reconnaissance was provided by CHP helicopter H-80. Mr. Liles was not located and the case remained opened.
A full autopsy will be performed out of county to determine cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office is still asking the public to please contact us at 760-878-0383 if anyone has any information that may assist us in this case

Photo courtesy of the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.
Inyo County Sheriffs Department, Tecopa search and rescue, California Highway Patrol, James “Billy” Liles

Inyo County SAR underway in Tecopa area

Inyo County Search and Rescue in Tecopa

submitted by Inyo County Sheriffs Department
March 16, 2016

 On the evening of Friday March 11th Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch was contacted regarding a cellular phone that was found in the desert east of Tecopa. It was determined that the cellular phone belonged to 83-year old James “Billy” Liles of Carmel, CA. Mr. Liles had been camping near Tecopa about two miles from where the cellular phone was discovered. On Saturday March 12th ten Inyo County Search and Rescue members, and three local Bureau of Land Management rangers began searching the Tecopa area, including the Armargosa Wash. Assisting in the search was CHP helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley. 

Interviews with family indicate that the Tecopa area is a location that Mr. Liles has frequented in the past; and that he enjoys photographing the natural surroundings. If anyone has any information that may assist in locating Mr. Liles, please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-878-0383. It is believed that he carries a 6-foot long walking stick and dresses in muted colors.


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Mono County Arrest

Standoff ends with Arrest

Submitted by the Mono County Sheriffs Department
February 26, 2016
In the early afternoon of Thursday, February 25, 2016, Mono County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Adobe Ranch Road, south of Highway 120 East, to investigate a report of a squatter in a vacant cabin. The suspect, later identified as William Ward, broke into the property and illegally took up residence.
A deputy spotted Mr. Ward driving an older sport utility vehicle toward him on a narrow dirt road. As the truck approached, the deputy blocked the road with his patrol vehicle and turned on his light bar. Mr. Ward accelerated his truck and rammed the patrol vehicle. Fortunately, the deputy was able to get out of his truck
prior to the impact. Mr. Ward reversed his truck and retreated toward the cabin.  Two deputies and a sergeant gave chase, eventually returning to the cabin.
Mr. Ward took refuge in the cabin, and the pursuing deputies took positions of cover and ordered him to surrender. A request was made for additional resources, and law enforcement officers from throughout Mono and Inyo Counties, along with support from medics and CalTrans, immediately deployed to the scene.
Meanwhile, Mono County Dispatch researched Mr. Ward’s criminal history. Mr. Ward had felony convictions for weapons-related offenses and had been incarcerated in state prison twice for those offenses.
As the afternoon grew into evening, Mr. Ward exited the cabin, armed with a rifle, and fired in the direction of law enforcement, shouting that they would have to kill him. Mr. Ward barricaded himself in the cabin, and it was clear he had no intention of ending the stand-off peacefully.  A coordinated plan was put into place to
diminish Mr. Ward’s capabilities, while allowing responding personnel to safely take him into custody. Tear gas was deployed into the cabin, and team entered the cabin. Although Mr. Ward was still armed and fought being arrested, the team successfully disarmed him and took him down without significant injury.
Medics were standing by and treated Mr. Ward for exposure to tear gas.  No responding personnel suffered injury during this incident. Many thanks to the responding personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop Police Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Forest Service, California State Parks, California Department of Transportation, Mono County Paramedics, and, of course, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.
Booking Charges for William Ward:
69 Penal Code:Felony Resisting / Obstructing a Peace Officer
245 Penal Code: Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon
417.8 Penal Code: Felony Exhibit a Firearm to Resist Arrest
459 Penal Code: Felony Burglary
2800.2(a) Vehicle Code: Felony Evading a Peace Officer
photo courtesy Mono County Sheriffs Department
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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. 

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.

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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