Tag Archives: Inyo County Sheriff’s Department

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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

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Jigsaw Pass, photo by the Inyo County Sheriffs department
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Former Inyo Correctional officer jailed

Debra Didisee enters guilty plea, reports to jail

Former Inyo County Sheriffs Department correctional officer Debra Didisee recently plead guilty to a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement.  The guilty plea was entered on June 24th.  While sentencing is set for August 26th, Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy indicates Didisee asked to begin her term in Inyo County Jail.  Didisee was booked into Inyo County Jail on Friday, July 3rd.  According to Hardy, if Didisee pays $13,000 of restitution by sentencing, she will serve a agreed 180 days in jail and face five years of probation.  The District Attorney notes probation will include substance and alcohol abuse terms and require that she not manage money of others without permission of probation and/or the court.  Hardy is anticipating Didisee will pay the initial restitution, but if not, the court could impose up to a one year jail term.  The $13,000 restitution amount is described as an agreed minimum.

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Booking Photo, Debra Didisee. Courtesy of inyo county sheriffs department.

At the time of her initial arrest back in March, the District Attorney indicated the matter was being investigated on referral from the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.  The investigation began when the Sheriffs Department became aware of missing funds in the Inmate Welfare Account and the Inmate Commissary Account at the Inyo County Jail.

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Inyo Identifies remains

Shepherd Pass Remains Identified

The body that was located off the Shepherd Pass trail has been identified as 37-year old man, Kenneth Pledger, from Colorado City, AZ.  According to the Inyo County Sheriffs Department, at this time the cause of death has not been determined.

Back on Monday, May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000′ elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.

Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office.

cover photo by inyo county sheriffs department

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Inyo SO makes arrest

Incident on North Pa Ha leads to arrest

28-year old Gabby McDarment Jr was taken into custody Friday, May 29th. According to the Inyo County Sheriffs department, units were sent to the 300 block of North Pa Ha lane just after 4:30 Friday afternoon. Sheriff’s personal and Bishop Tribal Police responded to the scene. According to Inyo County Undersheriff Jeff Hollowell the initial call for services indicated, “A male subject had broken into the residence and was threatening to harm the occupants”. The subject, McDarment Jr, was taken into custody, transported initially to Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital, cleared and transferred to Inyo County Jail. The suspect was booked on suspension of attempted murder and battery causing serious bodily injury. According to Undersheriff Hollowell, McDarment Jr is being held in Inyo County Jail with bail set at $510,000. The investigation continues.

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Remains recovered near Shepherd Pass

Shepherd Pass Recovery Mission

Adverse weather delays recovery
Remains yet to be identified

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department report:

On Monday May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000” elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.

Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death has not yet been determined, nor has positive identification of the remains.

“The remains were about 75-yards due east of the Shepherd Pass trail, about 200-yards from the Sequoia National Park boundary, located in a flat area where it would be safe to presume that a fall was not the cause,” stated SAR Coordinator Brian Hohenstein.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CHP H-80 for their assistance, and the Inyo SAR volunteers.

cover photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department

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17 year old Jailed following pursuit

Sunday pursuit ends in crash, arrest

A 17-year old Bishop boy was taken to jail Sunday following a vehicle pursuit that ended with a crash near the Mt. Whitney fish hatchery.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Bishop police department took a stolen vehicle report just prior to 3pm Sunday.  The vehicle, a 2004 Toyota Corolla was reportedly stolen from the Bishop Union High School parking lot.  Just after 3pm, the Inyo County Sheriffs department reported they had located the vehicle being driven in Big Pine.  The report notes that the vehicle traveled southbound on highway 395.  Near fish spring road the CHP and Inyo County deputies attempted to make an enforcement stop, however the vehicle failed to yield continuing southbound, “in a reckless manner.”

According to the highway patrols reports, “spike strips were deployed to end the pursuit and the driver made a sudden turn in an attempt to avoid driving over the spike strips.”  The vehicle overturned several times.  The 17-year old juvenile suffered minor injuries, and was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital.  The highway patrol indicates the driver was then arrested for Felony Auto Theft, Felony Eluding, Driving under the Influence, and driving without a valid drivers license.  The juvenile was taken to the Inyo County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Jury Trial ends with Conviction

Inyo Jury Convicts Christopher Ortiz in Felony Domestic Violence Case

Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy announced this morning that Bishop-area resident Christopher Ortiz was convicted this week after a short jury trial on a felony charge of Domestic Violence and a misdemeanor child abuse violation based on events occurring on December 6, 2014.  Following the jury’s verdicts, the court found to be “true” a special allegation that Mr. Ortiz had previously served a term in state prison.

Sentencing in the case is set for April 14, 2015 in Independence, and Mr. Ortiz is facing up to six years in state prison. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Turner, following an investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. The District Attorney’s office would also like to thank the Bishop Paiute Tribe RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounters) staff for their support and assistance in this case.

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Missing Man found Dead

Inyo and Mono County Search and Rescue teams called into service

On March 14, 2015, shortly after midnight, the Inyo County Sheriff Department was dispatched to the Lower Gorge for a report of an overdue hiker.
The missing hiker, Scott Sederstorm age 44 of Bishop, was reported to be at the Lower Gorge earlier in the day doing some climbing. When Sederstorm did not return that evening, his fiancé drove to the lower gorge parking lot and located Sederstorm’s van and dog.
An Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy along with a Fish and Game Officer searched the area for Sederstorm but were unable to locate him.
At about 6:30AM the Inyo County Search and Rescue team was called.
About an hour after the Inyo SAR team began their search of the area, Sedestorm’s body was located by a family friend in the gorge. Once the body was identified, Deputy Degeorge of Mono County took over the investigation.
Several Inyo SAR members along with several Mono SAR members remained on scene to assist in the body recovery.

cover photo by Mono County Search and Rescue

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