Thu, May 23

Raiss replaces Suttle as Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking commander

Lt. Dan Raiss

Lt. Dan Raiss

The Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking board has named Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Lt. Dan Raiss as the unit's new commander.

Sheriff Scott Mascher, who promoted Raiss to the rank of lieutenant on March 5, suggested him to the board for consideration as PANT commander, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

Raiss was interviewed by the PANT Board Wednesday afternoon and was chosen to take command beginning March 17, D'Evelyn said.

"This is a permanent appointment," D'Evelyn added Thursday evening.

Raiss has been with Yavapai County for more than 17 years, starting his career in 1996 with the Adult Probation Department as an Intensive Probation Officer. After three years, Raiss entered the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy and was appointed a deputy sheriff in 1999.

Raiss has worked on a wide array of assignments, including patrol deputy, K9 deputy, traffic specialist, Special Crimes Unit, DUI/Drug Recognition Expert program coordinator, criminal investigations sergeant, and recruitment and training sergeant.

Raiss replaces former PANT Commander Sgt. Bill Suttle, whom Mascher put on paid administrative leave indefinitely on Feb. 21 in connection with a Dec. 22, 2012, bar fight involving Iron Brotherhood police motorcycle club members.

In the incident, which took place at Moctezuma's Bar in Prescott, Suttle told investigating Prescott Police officers a "kid" - Justin Stafford, 22 - went up to Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill Fessler, grabbed Fessler's Iron Brotherhood vest, and "talked trash," so Iron Brotherhood members grabbed Stafford, pulled him away and got into a fight, according to the unredacted police report.

Suttle, vice president of the Iron Brotherhood's Prescott chapter, said he broke up the fight, and immediately sent "Top Gun," the member who allegedly hit Stafford, to the hotel at which the club members were staying. Suttle and Fessler told investigating officers they couldn't remember "Top Gun's" real name.

When asked about Suttle's status with YCSO, D'Evelyn said "nothing has changed. He is still on administrative leave pending review by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office and the (Arizona Department of Public Safety)."