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Crime & Courts

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John Tuttle
2 days ago

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking the public for help and information that may lead to the apprehension of an armed and dangerous bank robber who has robbed three banks in Northern California this year. Dubbed the “Bad Breath Bandit” for his use of a disposable paper face mask during the commission of each of the robberies, the suspect is a white male who stands approximately 6 feet tall, weighs approximately 210-250 pounds with a medium build, and has dark hair.

On November 13, 2014, at approximately 10:24 a.m., the...

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Matthew Hedger
2 days ago

Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz issued a strong warning this week in the aftermath of an Amber Alert that authorities now say was issued as a result of a hoax perpetuated by the 14-year-old high school boy who was the subject of the alert.

“I am angry and will seek restitution for any and all monies lost from Sergio Vazquez,” said Kuntz, “and whoever else I find out was involved.

The situation unfolded Monday after Vazquez’ mother called police to say her son had texted or called her at around 12:30 p.m. from inside a white van...

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Matthew Hedger
2 days ago

The following is a partial list of persons facing misdemeanor arraignments in Amador Superior Court on Monday, November 24. All persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Kenneth Allen Dever

Judy Michelle Jones

Victor Ignacio Zuniga

Somphone Khoonsirivong

Erik Michael Rodriguez

Cecilia Veronica Santiago

Jennifer Aurelia Lewis

Joshua Rober Dumlao

Kristina Fay Sigston

Martin Morales

Marilyn Joyce Hebel

Jonathan Craig Brooks

Jose Guadalupe Ayala Arellano

Bruno Arthur Schock

Gustavo...

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Matthew Hedger
2 days ago

The following people have been arrested and booked into the Amador County Jail on the dates and times indicated. All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

November 6

Plymouth

Patrick Dale Freeman, 40, Plymouth; 10:54 a.m. on the 9100 block of Landrum Street; Possession of ammunition by a felon.

Rawlin James Shobert, 33, El dorado; 4:52 p.m. on Highway 16 at Willow Creek Road; Misdemeanor warrant arrest.

Jackson

Jennifer Leanne Truelock, 38, Mountain Ranch; 1:48 p.m. on the 225 block of Sutter...

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John Tuttle
2 days ago
Amador County Superior Court Judge Susan Harlan has announced she plans to retire from the bench early next year. In a letter dated Friday, November 14, 2014 to Court staff, Harlan said she has sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown advising him she plans to retire on January 16, 2015. Harlan writes, “This has been a difficult decision for me” and that, “It has been my honor and privilege to work with all of you over the past several years.” Harlan graduated cum laude from the University of the Pacific in 1974. She obtained her law... [Read more]
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John Tuttle
2 days ago
Lucia Magana-Verduzco

Alleged Plymouth Robbery Perpetrator Due In Court Today

The woman arrested in connection with the attempted murder and robbery at the Far Horizons 49er Trailer Village in Plymouth will be in court today. Lucia Magana-Verduzco is still in jail on $1 million dollars bail for attempted murder, attempted robbery and other charges. She was arrested in connection with an incident at the mobile home park where two men tried to rob two other men, resulting in one of the victims being shot in the head and the other being bludgeoned....

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Matthew Hedger
2 days ago

An injunction issued last week that halted construction of a Dollar General store in Pine Grove will again be the subject of a court hearing at 2 p.m. today in an Amador County Courtroom.

Superior Court Judge Steve Hermanson issued the injunction Nov. 14 after hearing arguments from a group calling itself the Pine Grove Business Alliance, who allege that the project violates the county’s general plan and that California Environmental Quality Act reports associated with it are faulty. Hermanson’s action temporarily halted construction...

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Matthew Hedger
6 days ago

This is Sergio Vazquez. He is the 14-year-old subject of an Amber Alert issued by the Calaveras CHP at 10 a.m. this morning. If you have seen this Calaveras High School boy, call 911. Two unknown men are described as having abducted Sergio in a white van this morning. There is no other description of the van or the men.

THIS IS AN AMADOR LEDGER DISPATCH BREAKING NEWS STORY. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

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Matthew Hedger
1 week ago

By Bill Lavallie and Matthew Hedger

A series of unrelated accidents involving alcohol, deer, sunlight kept fire and emergency personnel busy this week, while police and sheriff’s deputies also dealt with a hit and run near Rancho Murietta.

In one of the most serious incidents this week, an Ione man had to be air lifted to a Sacramento hospital after an encounter with a deer November 7, at around 5:40 a.m. The California Highway Patrol said Gary Roger Shope, Jr., 44, was driving a 1977 Jeep CJ on Buena Vista Road south of Highway 88...

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Matthew Hedger
2 weeks ago
Lucia Magana Verduzco

A Sacramento woman — who authorities say may be a prostitute who incited the incident — is under arrest this morning, suspected of bringing two associates — who are still on the loose — to the Far Horizons 49er Resort in Plymouth to rob two Ohio men who were allegedly processing more than 100 pounds of marijuana.

According to a press release issued this morning, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office responded late Monday evening just after 11 p.m. to multiple 911 calls reporting a disturbance with shots fired at the RV Resort. One...

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John Tuttle
2 weeks ago

Jose Ramirez, a retired New York police officer and ultra-fit triathlete, is an unlikely victim. But last December in Cancun, Mexico, after completing an Ironman competition, he was tricked into believing his life was in danger. Like an increasing number of U.S. citizens on both sides of the border, Ramirez was the target of an extortion scheme known as virtual kidnapping.

Unlike traditional abductions, virtual kidnappers do not intend to physically detain their victims. Instead, through various deceptions and threats of violence,...

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Matthew Hedger
2 weeks ago
Daniel Michael Knapp

A concerned citizen who alerted deputies to an open gate at an unnamed business in Martell Oct. 30 is being credited with helping nap a pair of alleged burglars, one of whom remains hospitalized after suffering a “medical emergency” while being apprehended.

In a news release from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office late this week, authorities say it all started with a call about an open gate at around 7:30 p.m.

ACSO deputies responded to the area, and discovered that someone had indeed broken into the business. Deputies determined...

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John Tuttle
3 weeks ago

Botnets — nefarious networks of computers infected by automated malware programs — are on the rise, and as we come to the end of this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would like to call your attention to what they—along with their public and private sector partners—iare doing about them and how you can minimize your chances of unknowingly becoming part of one.

Botnets can be used in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, proxy and spam services, malware distribution, and...

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Matthew Hedger
3 weeks ago
Investigators are working to determine the identity of a decomposed body found partially submerged in the waters of New Melones Reservoir Oct. 27. A person walking a dog near the Tuttletown launch ramp notified authorities of the find at around 9:30 a.m. “Based on the level of decomposition, the body appears to have been in the water for well over a year,” said Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Sgt. Scott Johnson. “Due to the level of decomposition, the gender of the deceased could not be determined at this time. The... [Read more]
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Matthew Hedger
3 weeks ago

A series of unrelated accidents involving alcohol, motorcycles and wet and icy conditions kept first responders busy during the last weekend of October 2014.

A Jackson man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage on Oct. 24, just after 4 p.m., following a single-car accident on Highway 88 west of Marilyn Lane. The California Highway Patrol said Paul Leon, 46, was driving a 2001 Subaru westbound on the highway at around 35 miles per hour when he “exited a left-hand curve and ran off the right...

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Matthew Hedger
3 weeks ago
Erica Johnson. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Daughter Stabs Father in Copperopolis

Calaveras deputies responding to a domestic dispute call have arrested a woman who allegedly stabbed her own father. According to a news release issued by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department, the incident occurred Oct. 25 at around 8 p.m. at a residence in the 1000 block of Feather Court, in Copperopolis. Deputies arrived on scene and located a 51-year-old man in a bedroom who had sustained injuries from a sharp instrument. The victim told deputies his daughter, Erica Robinson, stabbed him...

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Bill Lavallie
10/24/2014 11:29 AM
Jeffrey Lee Larsen

An accused burglar who allegedly told police he only broke in because he thought someone inside a residence was being “attacked” was beaten off by a hammer-wielding tenant before police arrived at the scene.

Jackson Police responding to a report that someone had broken into the rear of the now-defunct Bottle Shop business on Main St in Jackson Sunday around 11:40 a.m. found Jeffrey Lee Larsen, 53, no known address, disheveled and bloodied and holding a metal beam.

According to reports, responding officers told Larsen to drop the...

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Bill Lavallie
10/24/2014 11:57 AM

Editor's Note: This is the latest update of a story first brought in by Photojournalist Bill Lavallie October 18.

By Bill Lavallie and Matthew Hedger

A suicide attempt at a Jackson hotel, an elderly man who would not respond to police attempting a traffic stop on Highway 88 and a surly bar patron who allegedly dialed 911 multiple times to yell at dispatchers all culminated in a “perfect storm” of events for Amador law enforcement personnel in the late evening hours of Thursday, Oct. 16, and a wild weekend of speculation on popular...

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Matthew Hedger
10/24/2014 11:48 AM
Bowman, Hammock and Mabrey are all seen here handcuffed and headed back into the residence under the close supervision of ACSO deputies. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie

Editor's Note: This is an update to a story we've been following all week and represents the latest information we been able to retrieve from law enforcment sources. For more pictures, see the earlier posts in the news and crime sections.

The Amador County Sheriff’s office has arrested five people with alleged connections to a Mexican drug cartel after responding to a report of shots fired and discovering an illegal marijuana grow and package operation in the 1500 block of Duck Creek Road near North Lake Camanche in the Ione area...

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Matthew Hedger
10/24/2014 11:24 AM
Daniel Brian Thompson

Former Ione Fire Instructor Pleads Not Guilty In Woman’s Death

Former Cal Fire battalion chief Orville “Moe” Fleming pleaded not guilty Monday in the stabbing and strangulation death of 26-year-old Sarah Douglas, whose body was found in a home the two shared with a bed sheet tied around her neck May 1.

The 56-year-old Fleming has been held without bail since May after he eluded authorities for 16 days following the discovery of Douglas’ body.

Fleming appeared in court with a new mustache, replacing the one he shaved off while on...

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