Police Blotter: April 6, 2007

Controlled burn prompts numerous calls

Smoke from a Verde Valley burn permit on Mingus View drive drew dozens of calls to local fire dispatch center, worried that a blaze had gotten out of hand.

Cottonwood Ditch Company had drained the ditch to clean it and burn weeds. The flames grew tall, buyt the fire was restricted to the ditch itself. The area involved stretches from Cottonwood Street near Cottonwood Cove Parkway to the area near Wendy's Restaurant.

Smoke prompted calls into the evening Monday.

Gunplay during family argument

A family fight brought the Yavapai Sheriff's Office on East Rio Mesa Trail Tuesday. When deputies arrived they found two subjects outside the residence: Marrianne Florence Michaels, 52, and her 19-year-old son who had phoned police.

The victim told deputies that he and Michaels had been in an argument and that Michaels had pointed a 9mm handgun at him and threatened to shoot him. This was not the first such argument they had been involved in, he said, but it was the first time that a weapon was used.

Michaels denied any use or even possession of a handgun but deputies located a gun holster on Michaels' bed and an unloaded 9mm Glock handgun hidden in a bathroom cabinet. The magazine for the gun was lying next to the gun.

The woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and recklessly handling a weapon.

Probationer nabbed for cocaine

Adult Probation asked sheriff's deputies to assist with a residential search Monday morning in Cornville.

Three ounces of cocaine was located in the residence on Rainbow Ridge and a request was made for the Special Crimes Section to continue the search.

When detectives arrived, they made contact with Julia May Thompson, 38, who was already in custody. Thompson was questioned and told investigators she had more cocaine stored in a nasal spray bottle in her bedroom. Detectives found approximately 25.9 grams of liquid cocaine in the spray bottle. Also located was a plastic baggie with cocaine residue hidden in a hairspray can, glass drug pipe hidden in a shoe, and $4,200 in cash.

Thompson was arrested and charged with possession of narcotic drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a forged instrument. Adult Probation also plans charges.

Plenty of false identification

On Tuesday, April 3, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputy who was patrolling northbound on I-17 observed a gray sedan traveling 20 mph below the posted 75 mph speed fast lane. The sedan was swerving in and out of the traffic lane, accelerating and then randomly slamming on its brakes, forcing other vehicles to take evasive actions..

The deputy stopped the vehicle at the McGuireville exit. The suspect vehicle stopped for several seconds in the middle of the off ramp before finally pulling onto the right shoulder. Romero Ricardo Ruiz, 39, of Phoenix presented what he admitted was a fake Sonora, Mexico driver's license. Also in the vehicle were two adult women and a baby who were related to Ruiz.

Ruiz tested positive for cocaine. He was also found to be in possession of several fake ID cards, including a Social Security card and Resident Alien card, all with different names.

Ruiz was charged with four counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument, three counts of Taking the ID of Another, and one count each of DUI, DUI/Drug, Endangerment, Evidence Tampering, and Failure to Produce ID.

Grandma charged with child abuse

Yavapai Sheriff's deputies were called to a home on Beaver Vista Road in Rimrock after a neighbor reported an unconscious woman lying in the driveway with a crying 10-month-old baby nearby.

Montezuma-Rimrock Fire personnel were already on the scene and told deputies that they had been unable to revive the woman. Dianne Elizabeth Rodgers, 58, of Phoenix, was found to be incapacitated from alcohol consumption.

Rodgers, who is the grandmother of the child, was eventually awakened but was unable to communicate well with authorities and stated she did not remember anything before fire personnel woke her up. Her blood alcohol content tested at .223 percent.

Rodgers was arrested and charged with child abuse and endangerment.

The baby was unharmed.

Meth store on the roll

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office initiated a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon on a silver mini-van that was exceeding the speed limit on I-17. Deputies made contact with the driver, Charles R Stultz, 55, of Rimrock and passenger, Dennis Michael Heiderick, 51, of Cornville.

When Stultz was asked for a driver's license he stated he did not have one but offered a credit card for identification. A computer checked showed his license was suspended. Heiderick's license check also came back suspended. Stultz was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

A subsequent search of Stultz's van produced a black bag that contained several plastic baggies of methamphetamine, with a combined weight of 144.8 grams (5.10 ounces).

Stultz and Heiderick were both charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and transportation and sales of dangerous drugs. Stultz was also charged with Aggravated DUI and DUI/Drug.

Neighbor robs house

The Yavapai Sheriff's Office responded to a residence on Wild Burro in Verde Village on a report that a home had been entered and a compound bow and muzzle-loading rifle were stolen.

A witness told YCSO she had seen two men running from the house and then ran into a neighboring residence belonging to 23-year-old William Mahoney Jr. Mahoney was contacted about the burglary and at first denied any knowledge but eventually admitted to authorities that a stolen muzzle loader rifle was hidden under the couch in his living room.

Mahoney knew the burglary participants and had been using methamphetamine with them earlier that day. He could not provide names or other information regarding the suspects. A test of Mahoney flashed positive for the presence of methamphetamine in his system.

Mahoney was arrested and charged with theft and possession of dangerous drugs. the investigation remains open.

Missing weapon

A Cottonwood officer has lost his handgun. The off-duty Cottonwood Police Officer placed his duty weapon on the trunk of his car while dealing with an equipment issue, but inadvertently drove away with the weapon still on the trunk. When the officer got to his destination in Cottonwood he realized his error and determined that the weapon was no longer on the trunk of the vehicle.

Members of the Cottonwood Police Department made an exhaustive search, but failed to locate was gun. Police believe that someone must have picked up the handgun shortly after it fell from the officer's car.

The weapon is described as a black Glock Model 22C, 40 caliber pistol. It had a clip with 15 rounds of ammunition, and was not in a holster or case. It has been entered into the National Crime database.

The Cottonwood Police Department is requesting anyone with information on this incident contact the department at 634-4246.

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