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Michael Lewis (PCSO photo)

Michael J. Lewis, 39, was arrested on an active warrant by Maricopa Police on Monday. Lewis was also allegedly in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and an unused syringe.

Police conducted a traffic stop at 9:34 p.m. at Circle K located at 18141 N. John Wayne Parkway. A passenger in the front seat of the vehicle verbally identified himself as Michael Lewis, who was wanted on an active warrant with a bond amount of $4,006. He was placed under arrest.

According to the MPD report, the small amount of meth was located in a folded receipt along with the syringe in his pockets. Lewis confirmed to officers that it was meth and that he was planning to inject it using the syringe, according to police report’s probable-cause statements.

Lewis was booked into the Pinal County Jail for the active warrant, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

During the service of a routine protection order on Nov. 26, Jason Simpson of West Avella Drive, was found to be in the possession of two potentially prohibited weapons, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

The two firearms, a New England shotgun and Remington shotgun, were found to be too short to own.

The New England had a 13.5-inch long barrel while state law dictates an 18-inch long barrel is mandatory. The Remington had a total length of just 24 inches with state law requiring a total length of 26 inches.

MPD charged Simpson for possession of the firearms.

 

 

 

A man reportedly tried to fight two people on Bedford Drive early Sunday morning and was arrested on suspicion of assault and domestic violence.

Maricopa Police arrested Mathew Zak after he allegedly pushed his ex-girlfriend and another man and tried to force his way into her house, according to the report.

Zak arrived at the house at around 1 a.m., began ringing the doorbell and “tried to gain access,” the allegations state. Another man answered the door and refused to let Zak inside. Zak then allegedly “continuously pushed” the man forcefully in his attempt to enter the house.

The ex-girlfriend came to the door during the scuffle. According to the MPD report, Zak grabbed her arms “and began to push his way into the residence.”

The other man then grabbed Zak and pulled him off the woman, at which point Zak began shoving him again, the report states. The man allegedly punched Zak in the face “in self-defense.” Police then arrived and placed Zak in custody. He was booked into the Pinal County jail on recommended charges of assault per domestic violence and assault.

Saturday Maricopa Police charged Pedro Zabala with two counts of criminal damage when he was having an overnight stay at a friend’s house.

According to police records, officers responded to an address on North Celis Street at 1 a.m. Saturday after the female resident came home and became engaged in an argument with Zabala.

Reports indicate he threw clothing items on the front patio and was then locked outside by the resident. She found her washer overloaded with clothing and bleach. She said the clothing was hers and was taken out of her closet.

 She told officers that about $3,000 of her clothes were ruined in the incident.

At 7:40 a.m. Saturday she heard banging on her front porch and contacted police.

 Zabala was located walking south of her home by a neighbor. Officers located him and also found the windshield of the woman’s car smashed in three places, the driver’s door mirror was broken off, air was let out of a tire, the rear window was smashed and there were five dents in the driver’s door.

 Zabala allegedly was carrying a yellow baseball bat when stopped by officers. Estimated damage to the vehicle is $2,000.

 

 

John D. Forker was charged by Maricopa Police Friday evening with criminal damage, domestic violence assault, endangerment and disorderly conduct after allegedly pushing and hitting his girlfriend’s son at a residence on West Walker Way.

According to police records, Forker is accused of pushing his girlfriend’s son into furniture and then repeatedly punching him in the face.

According to records, Forker is said to have pushed him while the man was holding a 1-year-old girl. A lamp was also broken in the altercation, according to police reports.

 Officers reportedly found the victim with injuries and scratches as well as “spitting blood.”

 

Tiffany Yenis (PCSO photo)

 

On Nov. 5, Maricopa Police responded to a disturbance on North Kari Lane after a man called to report his wife, Tiffany Yenis, “woke up this morning and began yelling and acting out of control.”

He told officers his wife wanted to gather her personal belongings and leave with their two children. A second reporting party told officers she was also outside screaming and banging on the front door of the residence.

A police probable cause statement alleged Yenis then took a small television set and slammed it into the driver’s side window and door of a parked van. She was also seen slamming the television into the hood of the vehicle, according to the report.

 Yenis allegedly told officers she did grab the television and threw it against her husband’s van. 

 Yenis was placed into custody and transported to the Pinal County Jail.

Arthur Eric Magana (PCSO photo)

 

It took less than one hour Monday for a Pinal County jury to find Arthur Eric Magaña guilty of killing 20-year-old Wyatt Miller.

Magana was convicted of first-degree murder after shooting Miller 11 times in the back of the head and neck on Nov. 7, 2016. The jury also found Magaña guilty of armed robbery as Miller was killed during the theft of four ounces of marijuana.

Magaña, now 18, is accused of killing Miller inside his truck. The alleged murder took place in a rural area of Maricopa, according to court testimony.

Magaña was just 16 years old at the time of the murder but is charged as an adult due to the gruesome nature of the murder.

Magaña’s murder and armed robbery trial began Wednesday and was handed to the nine-woman, three-man jury Monday afternoon just after 2 p.m. The jury took under an hour to return the guilty verdicts. 

The jury was brought back into the courtroom at 3:45 p.m. to hear sentencing instructions and decide Magaña’s fate in the second phase of the trial.

Judge Kevin White said the jury will only determine the aggravated circumstances and not Magaña’s sentence. White will be the one to determine the 18-year-old’s sentence.

The state called two witnesses in the second phase of the trial including Maxine Medlock, Wyatt Miller’s mother.

“I’m not sure where to begin. Wyatt was the love of my life. He had such a good spirit. A loss of a child is so painful. The pain never goes away. Wyatt had his whole life ahead of him… I’m upset I have to live the rest of my life without him,” she said.

The state also called Travis Miller, Wyatt’s father. “We, as parents, aren’t supposed to bury our children,” he said. “My life has changed 180 degrees.”

The defense called no witnesses in the second phase.

The jury left the courtroom at 4:15 to determine if the first-degree murder charge would be enhanced due to aggravating circumstances. Attorneys were told to wait in the hallway as the jury decided.

The jury returned at 4:46 to hand down their aggravating circumstances endorsement.

Magana’s fate then rested in the hands of Judge White. He ordered Magaña held without bond and set sentencing for Dec. 17.

 

Arthur Eric Magana (PCSO photo)

Closing arguments began in Arthur Magaña’s murder trial Monday afternoon in Pinal County Superior Court, and the jury began deliberation within an hour.

Magaña, 18, is accused of killing 20-year-old Wyatt Miller by shooting him 11 times inside his truck on Nov. 7, 2016.

The alleged murder took place in a rural area of Maricopa during the theft of four ounces of marijuana, according to court testimony. Magaña was just 16 years old at the time of the murder but is charged as an adult due to the gruesome nature of the murder.

Magaña’s murder and armed robbery trial began Wednesday and was handed to the nine-woman, three-man jury Monday afternoon just after 2 p.m.

State opened closing arguments.

“What is the value of a life,” said prosecutor Patrick Johnson. “For this defendant, life is cheap. It was just the cost of doing business.”

Gustavo Olivo was also involved in the crime and has already pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder and armed robbery.

“He (Magaña) fired 11 rounds into the back of his head, and Wyatt didn’t even see it coming. He took the cowards way out and never gave him a chance,” Johnson said in closing arguments.

Officers trained in tracking followed footprints to a house where the defendants were located, according to Johnson.

“They made it pretty easy for them… They led officers right to themselves,” Johnson told the jury.

Investigators smelled marijuana after entering the house and found the four ounces of marijuana, allegedly taken from Miller. More evidence was found in the freezer and their shoes matched the prints. Blood was also found on their shoes, according to Johnson.

“This isn’t a self-defense case,” Johnson said. “This is not a case where someone has no other choice but to use lethal force.”

Johnson said the 9mm semi-automatic HK handgun used in the murder was purchased by Magaña’s mother. He added that blood on Magana’s clothing matched Miller’s DNA.

“He never realized he had Wyatt Miller’s blood on him,” Johnson told the jury.

Johnson called the crime a planned armed robbery and execution.

“His body tells you what happened. Of the 11 wounds, not one was in the face. Wyatt Miller never saw it coming,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Magana also bragged about the murder and “was proud of what he did. He was the one who pulled the trigger 11 times and killed Wyatt Miller… Not only killed him he executed him…it was a cowardly execution.”

Defense attorney David Gregan reviewed the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” statute with the jury. He said Olivo and Miller knew each other, and that Olivo is the one who went around the vehicle and grabbed the marijuana after the alleged murder took place.

“The state wants to convince you that this was a planned robbery,” Gregan said. “But that’s not the case.”

He said it wasn’t a planned robbery because they didn’t take everything and didn’t have a plan of escape from the scene.

“The evidence you saw at trial dictated that something happened out there,” Gregan said.

Gregan told the jury to realize Magaña was just 16 years old at the time and was defending himself.

“Something happened out there before the shooting. What it was, we do not know… no one knows for sure,” Gregan said.

Gregan said there was a second 9mm gun inside the vehicle that was not tested by investigators. The untested gun raised uncertainty, according to Gregan.

During the State’s rebuttal, Johnson said, “We know exactly what happened before the shooting because he (Magaña) told us… He executed him by shooting him in the back of the head 11 times.”

Johnson said the two made posts on Facebook before the incident indicating this was a planned armed robbery and Magaña bragged about the murder on videotape while in custody.

Johnson called Magaña the mastermind behind the armed robbery and execution and that Miller’s life had value and meaning even if he was a drug dealer.

“Wyatt Miller’s life had more value than four ounces of marijuana,” said Johnson.

Judge Kevin D. White read jury instructions and sent the jury to begin deliberations on the two charges, first-degree murder and armed robbery.

Arthur Eric Magana is scheduled for trial next week in the death of Wyatt Miller.

The trial of Arthur Magaña, 18, on a charge of first-degree murder is set to begin next week with jury selection, but the judge had to rule on an important issue Wednesday in an evidentiary hearing.

Homicide Detective Joe Bonucci took the stand in Pinal County Superior Court to talk about the night Magaña was arrested after the shooting death of Wyatt Miller, 20. That was Nov. 7, 2016, exactly two years before this week’s hearing.

In pre-trial paperwork, Magaña’s counsel had filed a motion to suppress statements, claiming a Miranda warning violation during interrogation. Judge Kevin White asked to hear the detective’s account of that night during Wednesday’s hearing before ruling on the matter.

Two days earlier, Magaña’s one-time co-defendant, Gustavo Olivo, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after reaching a plea agreement with the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. Olivo admitted to second-degree murder and armed robbery but said Magana was the gunman.

Magaña is charged with murder and armed robbery.

Wednesday, Miller’s father and Magaña’s mother attended the hearing.

Prosecutor Patrick Johnson asked Bonucci detailed questions about the night of the arrest in an effort to disprove the defense’s claims. Bonucci was the case agent and on-call detective. According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, a report of shots fired was logged at 7:30 p.m. and deputies arrived shortly after.

At 8 p.m., Bonucci was called by his supervisor and sent to the scene on a rural road south of Maricopa. While en route, he was informed there were two locations being investigated. Miller’s body had been found in a Chevy pickup truck on Cardinal Road “a hundred yards or so from the nearest residence,” and two suspects had been found at a home on Oak Road.

Bonucci testified no deputies interrogated Magaña or Olivo at the scene. He said one teen was placed in a PCSO vehicle while the other was placed in an Ak-Chin Police vehicle during the preliminary investigation. Eventually, both were placed in a PCSO posse vehicle, and an investigation team member placed a digital recorder in the vehicle. Bonucci said the suspects, who were 16 and 17 at the time, were not questioned in the car, either.

The detective said they later found the digital recorder to have been tampered with or the batteries removed.

Magaña and Olivo were taken to PCSO in Florence, arriving at 3:13 a.m. Bonucci said they were taken to the second floor and placed in separate interview rooms across the hall from each other.

Having learned on the trip back to Florence that the teens were under age 18, Bonucci said his team employed juvenile protocol, which included contacting a legal guardian for each before interrogation. In Magaña’s case, his mother arrived and was soon taken to the interrogation room to be with her son.

It was at that point, Bonucci testified, Magaña was read his Miranda rights. He opted not to answer questions without an attorney, he said.

Meanwhile, Olivo was allowed to have a phone conversation with a sister who was not his legal guardian. Bonucci said Olivo answered some questions before also invoking his Miranda rights, and the interview stopped.

Bonucci testified the teens were placed in one interview room where they could be monitored by video and audio while the investigative team tried to work out whether to book them into juvenile detention or adult detention.

“We knew they would be remanded and charged as adults,” he said.

During the disagreement among the authorities (the teens were eventually booked into juvenile detention), Magaña and Olivo apparently had a conversation while they waited. Bonucci said investigators did not talk to them, they were not interrogated, questioned, coerced or threatened, but they were recorded.

“It’s an interview room,” Bonucci said. “The interview room is recorded.”

What was said during that one-on-one conversation in the interview room was at the heart of the motion to suppress.

White ruled the situation was not a Miranda issue and several statements made during that conversation could be used as evidence during the trial. The judge disagreed with the defense counsel’s argument that the teens’ conversation took place in an “ad hoc continuation of the interview” and should have been part of the invocation of Miranda rights.

White also said there was no “custodial interrogation” and no indication Olivo “was acting as an agent of the state” or trying to make Magaña make incriminating statements.

Jury selection is scheduled for Tuesday. White said he is confident the trial will be finished by Nov. 21.

Gustovo Olivo, 19, was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. PCSO photo

Travis Miller and Maxine Linette Medlock spoke emotionally of the dreams they had for their son Wyatt Miller in court Monday.

Gustavo Olivo, 19, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and seven years probation for his part in Wyatt’s death two years ago. The sentencing by Judge Kevin White came after a plea deal in Pinal County Superior Court.

Travis Miller placed a photo of his son on the counsel table for White to see because “I wanted to put a face on the victim.”

Wyatt Miller was 20 years old when he was killed Nov. 7, 2016. “I had plans, I had goals, I had dreams that included my two sons,” Travis Miller said.

Olivo, wearing an orange PCSO sweatshirt, mainly stared ahead or at the floor as the father spoke.

“I think you are an evil, selfish coward,” Miller told him.

Olivo and Arthur Magana, 18, are accused of planning the murder that involved shooting Wyatt 11 times. Magana has a hearing set for Wednesday before the same judge.

“It is so devastating and heartbreaking to lose a child,” Medlock said.

Miller said the family is getting a little bit of justice with the sentence of Olivo and hopes for more in the case against Magana.

“This is only a part of the nightmare,” he said.

In his plea, Olivo admitted to planning and participating in the murder of Wyatt Miller but said Magana was the gunman. The seven years of probation is attached to the second charge of armed robbery. Travis Miller said Olivo could have stopped the murder at any time but did not.

Miller said he hopes Olivo takes advantage of the programs in “big boy prison” and comes out a better man. He said the last thing society needs is another uneducated felon back in the community.

Judge White said though he considered Olivo’s age of 17 at the time of the murder and his remorse in his sentencing, it was not enough to override the aggravating factors or harm done to the family. White noted the investigation report that stated the defendants laughed after Wyatt was shot in the back of the head.

The night Wyatt was killed, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of shots fired at around 7:30 p.m. on West Cardinal Road in an unincorporated area south of Maricopa. Wyatt Miller was soon found dead in a Chevy truck. Money and other property had been taken. Deputies followed two sets of footprints to a home on South Oak Road, where the teens were arrested. They were indicted Nov. 16.

In early court hearings, Olivo and Magana appeared together, but their cases were severed in April this year. Olivo’s extended family members were in court as were several members of Wyatt Miller’s family to hear Wyatt’s parents.

“He was fixing to move to Texas,” Medlock said of her son. “He had goals and things he wanted to make changes on. So much has been taken away from our family.”

Raymar Arthur, 31, believed to be the “Wiggin’ Out Bandit,” was taken into custody by the FBI without incident at his home in Maricopa. He is charged with 10 bank robberies and three attempted bank robberies, which occurred between March 27 and Oct. 4 this year.

Maricopa Police Department helped close down a street in Rancho El Dorado during the activity.

The nickname, “Wiggin’ Out Bandit,” came from the various wigs that were worn during the bank robberies. At least one bank was targeted twice. The robberies averaged about one a month until a spree in August hit Chandler, Mesa and Queen Creek.

During the robberies, the suspect verbally demanded money or presented tellers with a demand note, then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was physically injured.

The FBI believes Arthur is responsible for the following robberies and/or attempted robberies:

March 27, at approximately 5:55 p.m., at the Chase Bank, 1021 N. Ellsworth Road in Mesa.

April 11, at approximately 4:14 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1951 W. Baseline Road in Mesa.

May 11, at approximately 6:53 p.m., at the MidFirst Bank, 4750 E. Chandler Blvd. in Phoenix.

June 1, at approximately 6:11 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1951 W. Baseline Road in Mesa.

June 25, at approximately 6:01 p.m., at the US Bank, 3185 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.

July 16, at approximately 5:51 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 339 E. Brown Road in Mesa.

Aug. 1, at approximately 7:02 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 4970 S. Alma School Road in Chandler.

Aug. 2, at approximately 7:02 p.m., at the US Bank, 1960 W. Main St. in Mesa.

Aug. 16, at approximately 2:46 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 339 E. Brown Road in Mesa.

Aug. 22, at approximately 7:00 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1122 N. Higley Road in Mesa.

Aug. 23, at approximately 5:55 p.m., at the US Bank, 18495 E. Queen Creek Road in Queen Creek.

Aug. 23, at approximately 6:30 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 155 W. Combs Road in Queen Creek.

Oct. 4, at approximately 6:54 p.m., at the US Bank located at 1960 West Main Street in Mesa.

Surveillance photos of “Wiggin’ Out Bandit”

An anonymous tip from the public ultimately led to the identification of the suspect.

The day of his arrest, Arthur had a disposition in Maricopa Municipal Court on two charges in a DUI drug case from April. One charge was dismissed while he pleaded guilty to the second with incarceration ordered along with fines of more than $1,500.

 

Brandon Osife (PCSO photo)

Bo Runge, a Shell station clerk, was at work on the night of Oct. 13 when a man attempted to rob him, he told police. He said the man had his hands in his pocket and was, “trying to act like he had a weapon.” When the suspect attempted to go behind the counter, Runge grabbed a baseball bat. The suspect then fled on foot without obtaining money or merchandise.

Runge said the man claimed to have robbed the store before, which is at 19680 N. John Wayne Parkway. Maricopa Police took a still picture from the store’s video footage, which they circulated throughout the department. Officers identified the suspect as Brandon Osife, who was convicted of robbing the same store in an incident that occurred last year on Oct. 23.

Osife was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery a short distance from the store at 12:29 a.m. on Oct. 14. He is in Pinal County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Adam C. Fox (PCSO photo)

 

Adam C. Fox was arrested by Maricopa Police Department on suspicion of assault and criminal damage on the evening of Oct. 9 at 7:24 p.m. Both offenses are said to have occurred on Oct. 8 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The report alleges Fox became upset during a verbal argument with a woman and grabbed her by the throat.

“Adam then intentionally impeded the normal breathing of [the woman] by applying pressure to Jessica’s throat for approximately three to four seconds,” the report says. “[The woman] managed to free herself however Adam managed to grab her again.”

The reported victim said she didn’t feel safe leaving the residence on West Dutchman Drive until after Fox left the next day.

Rickey Alderidge (PCSO photo)

 

A Maricopa woman was loading groceries into her SUV in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter, 41650 W Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy Oct. 9 evening when a man approached her, demanding the keys to her vehicle before pulling a knife.

Her Jeep Cherokee Sport was already running with the keys in the ignition. When the man seemed to realize this, he “shoved [her] away from the vehicle and got into the driver’s seat,” according to a police report. She sustained lacerations and bruising on her legs, arms, hands and face.

The man reversed out of the parking spot, striking the woman’s grocery cart, which became lodged under the vehicle. Despite this, he successfully fled the scene.

The woman’s purse and cellphone were in the vehicle when it was stolen. Police were able to track the phone, locating the vehicle on North Canton Way north of State Route 84 in Stanfield. Rickey L. Alderidge was found in the vehicle and was placed under arrest at 11:22 p.m.

The victim was brought to the scene and identified Alderidge as the man who pulled the knife earlier. A knife matching the description given by the victim was found on him.

Once at the Maricopa Police Station, Alderidge said he was recently released from a prison in Texas and was homeless. When told he had been identified by the victim, he requested a lawyer and no further questions were asked by police. Alderidge faces charges of aggravated assault, armed robbery, theft of means of transportation and criminal damage.

He is in Pinal County jail on a $25,000 bond.

Randy Attson (PCSO photo)

 

A welfare check on a parked and running car in the early-morning hours led to a drug arrest Wednesday.

According to Maricopa Police Department records, a white car was parked on the dirt shoulder of Smith-Enke Road east of DR Horton Drive just before 4 a.m. The vehicle was running with its headlights on.

The man in the driver’s seat identified himself as Randy Attson, 41. The officer reported seeing a pint glass in the car’s cup holder containing liquid that looked like beer. Attson allegedly admitted the pint glass was from a bar he visited earlier.

The officer also observed a blow torch at Attson’s feet, indicating the implement is sometimes associated with illegal drug use. When the officer asked if there was a methamphetamine pipe in the car, Attson allegedly said it was between the driver’s seat and the center console.

A search reportedly turned up three glass pipes and about 2.5 grams of meth. A warrant check also revealed Attson’s driving privilege was suspended and he had an extraditable warrant out of West Mesa Justice Court for a traffic offense with a $1,300 bond.

Attson was booked at Pinal County jail, where he remains in custody. Recommended charges are possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

Darien Alexa Dawn Huggins, 16, was reportedly last seen in Maricopa Sept. 15. She is reported to be with Amran Mohammad Dawlatzai, 24.

UPDATE: Darien Huggins is back home.


Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a Maricopa teenager who has not been seen since last night.

Darien Alexa Dawn Huggins, 16, is thought to be with 24-year-old Amran Mohammad Dawlatzai, who may be in the East Valley.

Huggins is described as 5-foot-4, 140 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen at her home in Maricopa wearing a gray shirt and shorts, and her hair was in a ponytail. Dawlatzai is described as 6-foot-0, 250 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

He is driving a 1999 champagne-colored Ford F150 with Arizona plate CJN 9567.

If you have information, call 520-866-5111.

Timothy Campbell. PCSO photo

Maricopa Police arrested a man suspected of driving under the influence while transporting precious cargo last week.

Timothy Campbell, 38, is accused of carrying with him four children during a traffic stop Aug. 26 when he was tagged with seven varying counts of aggravated DUI and endangerment.

MPD arrested Campbell at approximately 3:55 p.m. at the Good 2 Go gas station at  John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Road.

A police report alleges prior to the arrest, one of the young passengers sparked the interest of an officer operating a patrol vehicle southbound on John Wayne Parkway.

“I observed a small juvenile female sitting on top of a person’s lap in the front passenger seat, (the child) then attempted to duck their head in a red Ford F-150 (truck),” according to the report.

The officer activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over at the gas station. The ages of the four children observed inside the truck were withheld in the report, but all were reportedly under 15 years old.

Campbell allegedly told the officer he was driving on a suspended license and reportedly admitted to consuming intoxicating beverages.

Police dispatch informed the officer Campbell is also required to drive with an ignition interlock device, but there was no device in the vehicle, according to the report.

Campbell completed a standard field sobriety test with “poor results.”

MPD transported the DUI suspect to its headquarters where Campbell completed a second breathalyzer test with results showing a blood alcohol content of .162, more than twice the legal limit.

Officers forwarded seven counts against Campbell to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office: Aggravated DUI: Driving with a suspended driver license (class 4 felony); Aggravated DUI: Driving without an ignition interlock device (class 4 felony); DUI with four children inside the vehicle under the age of 15 (class 6 felonies); Aggravated DUI impaired to the slightest degree (class 1 misdemeanor); Aggravated DUI .08 BAC or above (class 1 misdemeanor); Aggravated DUI: .15 BAC or above (class 1 misdemeanor); Endangerment (class 1 misdemeanor).

 

A person has died after being tased in a confrontation with Maricopa Police officers early Saturday morning in the backyard of an Acacia Crossing home.

According to MPD, a possible burglary was reported around 3:45 a.m. Officers responded to the 45000 block of Paitilla Lane. A caller reported the breaking of the glass door and told police someone had entered the house. She was told to stay on the phone and confine herself to a restroom for protection.

Officers arrived to hear the suspect in the backyard yelling.

“Officers entered the backyard and gave commands to the subject to get on the ground,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado reported. “During the arrest commands the subjected charged the officers and began to fight. Due to the subject’s acts of aggression toward he officers, he was tased.”

Police cuffed him and put on leg restraints. Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded and checked the suspect. According to MPD, the man stopped breathing while MFMD was on scene. He was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center.

He was later pronounced dead by the hospital staff.

The individual is described only as a 36-year-old male while the in-custody death is investigated by the Department of Public Safety.

Constance and William Gabriel were arrested in Maricopa and accused of contracting crimes in California. PCSO photos

A California contractor and her husband were arrested in Maricopa this month and now face at least 79 charges, including 33 felonies.

Constance Ruth Gabriel, 51, and William Ernest Gabriel, 65, were taken into custody Aug. 9 by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office on fugitive warrants after an investigation by the Contractors State License Board in Santa Clara County. They are charged with grand theft and elder abuse, among other accusations. Their bail was set at more than $580,000.

The Gabriels were returned to California today and are due to be arraigned Friday in San Jose.

“The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office will always support any agency that needs help getting criminals off the streets,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “Our deputies worked hard to track down and arrest Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel and are thankful we’re able to bring justice to their victims.”

The Gabriels are accused of stealing more than $855,000 from at least 33 victimes in a scheme to construct sunrooms. According th CSLB, in many cases they collected illegally large down payments and then either never did any work or did very little work before abandoning the jobs.

They operated Sunrooms America, Inc., Sunrooms America Direct and Gabriel Construction Company. Earlier this year, CSLB revoked the three company licenses.

“Contractors should never think that leaving California frees them from facing the consequences of their law-breaking actions here,” said CSLB Registrar David R. Fogt. “Our law enforcement partners in Santa Clara County and Pinal County, Arizona, share CSLB’s commitment to consumer protection and worked closely with us to make this arrest.”

Charges include aggravated white collar enhancements because the two allegedly took more than $500,000 from victims and damaged or destroyed property with a value exceeding $200,000.

Fabian Andrade (left) and Jacob Sanchez. PCSO photos

An alleged attempt to sell marijuana ended in the arrest of two suspected drug dealers Monday night, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

Jacob Sanchez, 21, and Fabian Andrade, 19, are accused of a host of charges including weapons misconduct, selling marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

Police were alerted to the alleged incident by a phone call at approximately 11:51 p.m. on Aug. 27.

The caller told emergency dispatchers that people inside a dark grey Nissan Infiniti passenger vehicle pointed a handgun at his or her residence near Jeremy and Wilson Streets in the Senita subdivision.

Officers identified the vehicle in the same location six minutes later and conducted a “high risk” stop, according to an MPD report.

After being safely detained, Sanchez and Andrade allegedly told officers they attempted to sell marijuana to the person who phoned police earlier that night at a different location.

The report accuses Sanchez of admitting to possessing the marijuana that was for sale. Sanchez also allegedly told police he handed the drug to Andrade, who then allegedly handed it to the customer.

The recipient of the transaction left without paying for the marijuana, the pair told police.

Sanchez and Andrade told officers they drove to the customer’s residence “at which time (Sanchez) had taken (Andrade)’s gun and placed it in his lap and then had it showing outside of the window as they were in front of (the) home.”

Both suspects allegedly said they went to the residence to seek payment.

The report alleges the men told police they exited the vehicle and approached the home. Sanchez reportedly admitted to ringing the doorbell and puncturing the tire of the customer’s vehicle with a knife.

Officers searching the vehicle used by Sanchez and Andrade reportedly discovered a handgun and scales with “green, leafy residue” located in the rear passenger compartment near where Sanchez was sitting.

Andrade reportedly told police he owned the handgun for protection while conducting drug sales, according to the report.

Police forwarded identical charges against the pair.

Sanchez and Andrade could face charges of misconduct involving weapons (class 4 felony), possession of marijuana for sale (class 2-5 felony), possession of drug paraphernalia (class 6 felony), criminal damage (class 1-2 misdemeanor) and disorderly conduct (class 1 misdemeanor).

MPD transported the suspects to Pinal County Jail, where they remain in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

Thomas Sikes (left) and Bryon Carrillo face charges after a crash killed two of their friends Sunday. MCSO photos

 

Detectives arrested two men from Maricopa in connection to a fatal accident that claimed the life of two other passengers in the Valley.

The one-vehicle crash reportedly occurred Sunday at approximately 1:30 a.m. on southbound State Route 143 near the Interstate 10 junction. Maricopa resident Johnnie Verdoza, 21, and Carlos E. Monteverde Garcia, 25, from Sonora, Mexico, were killed in the wreck, according to DPS.

The alleged driver, 22-year-old Thomas Robert Sikes, is facing two counts of suspicion of manslaughter and one count of endangerment. Sikes’ passenger, Bryon Jesus Carrillo, 21, is accused of obstruction of a criminal investigation.

The heavily damaged 2015 Nissan passenger vehicle was discovered during the early morning hours of Aug. 19 by a DPS trooper responding to a report of an unknown injury crash.

“After a walk though of the area, the trooper was unable to locate the driver of the vehicle or victims from the crash,” the DPS news release states.

The bodies of the victims were eventually discovered hours later.

At 9 p.m. Aug. 19, family members of one of the victims found the bodies approximately 50 feet south of the crash scene. The family tracked a cell phone signal to the location and reported it to Phoenix Police.

The DPS report states the bodies appeared to have been concealed with foliage.

The Pinal County Sherriff’s Office later notified DPS they received a call from Carrillo, a surviving passenger.

Adriana Colin-Lemus has also been charged in the incident. MCSO photo

Carrillo reportedly told law enforcement he and his friends were headed home to Maricopa after leaving a bar in Tempe at the time of the crash.

The report includes Carrillo’s recollection of what came after the wreck. He describes climbing out of the vehicle and his unsuccessful attempt to locate the two friends allegedly missing from the car.

Carrillo accused Sikes of encouraging him to leave the area together, according to the report.

Later, Sikes’ girlfriend reportedly picked up the pair at a nearby gas station. None of them called emergency responders to report the fatal crash, DPS said.

The girlfriend, 25-year-old Adriana Colin-Lemus of Peoria, is suspected of hindering prosecution.

Sikes, Carrillo and Colin-Lemus and are being held in Maricopa County Jail.

Diana Edwards. PCSO photo

A man called law enforcement last week after his wife discovered a woman attempting to break into their home.

Diana Edwards, 32, is suspected of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia and second-degree burglary. The woman was also wanted on two felony warrants at the time of her arrest.

The incident allegedly occurred Aug. 12 at approximately 11:11 a.m. at a residence on Cielo Lane in Maricopa, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

Edwards is reportedly the ex-girlfriend of the man living in the home.

According to the report, the man’s wife observed an unknown woman banging on the front door of the residence and attempting to gain access inside. The wife alerted her husband to the situation, and he “ran upstairs and retrieved a pistol in order to defend his wife and himself,” the man reportedly told MPD.

By the time the husband returned to the front door, the police report alleges Edwards had ran to the back of the residence and entered the home through an unlocked patio door.

After a verbal confrontation between the man and Edwards, she reportedly exited the home and jumped into the yard next door.

Upon police arrival, Edwards allegedly began resisting arrest by attempting to pull away from officers, according to the report.

Edwards is also accused in the report of kicking officers and attempting to bite a lieutenant three times while being secured in the back seat of a patrol vehicle.

MPD reportedly discovered a syringe of clear liquid that was later identified as amphetamine.

Edwards was transported to the hospital for having difficulty breathing “and it was discovered she had taken close to 100 various types of benzodiazepine pills,” the report alleges. The suspect was transported to the Pinal County Jail after being medically cleared.

Edwards was reportedly wanted on two felony warrants before her arrest Aug. 12, according to court documents.

The first, from an incident in October 2016, was four counts relating to forgery.

The second warrant included charges of unlawful flight from pursuing a police officer and drug possession/use from January 2018. A $5,000 bond is assigned to each of those warrants.

Edwards is also being held on an additional $10,000 bond for the aggravated assault on the peace officer charge.

Edwards is facing multiple felony charges including, burglary in the second degree (Class 3 felony); possession of drug paraphernalia (Class 6 felony); Resisting arrest (Class 6 felony); and aggravated assault against a peace officer (Class 6 felony).

A class 1 misdemeanor was included in Edwards’ host of charges for allegedly driving on a suspended license in 2012, according to court documents.

Jalen Lee (PCSO photo)

Detectives investigating an assault on a minor at Copper Sky nabbed the accused offender with a long rap sheet last week.

Maricopa Police arrested 21-year-old Jalen Lee Aug. 2 on suspicion of aggravated assault against a minor under 15 years of age. He’s also suspected of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges in 2016.

Lee’s most recent arrest came nearly one month after the alleged assault took place at Copper Sky Park July 5.

At that time, officers responded to reports of a fight at Copper Sky where a minor told them he was approached by two men he didn’t know, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

One man reportedly asked the victim how old he was. When the minor told him, the other male, later identified as Lee, allegedly said, “I don’t give a f—” and struck the victim in the face.

“(The victim) stated he fell to the ground and was hit by the same unknown person multiple times,” the report alleges.

The two men then fled the scene, but not before several people witnessed the altercation, according to the report.

An older friend who was with the victim at the time of the alleged assault but had run away at the sight of the two men approaching spoke with MPD later that night. The friend told police he has a “beef” with Lee and identified Lee as the person who hit the victim, according to the report.

Detectives identified Lee as their primary suspect and generated a photo lineup using Lee’s Arizona driver’s license.

At the victim’s residence on Aug. 1, his mother told detectives she had learned new information in the weeks that had passed since the assault that would help in identifying the suspect. She said her son’s friend, who spoke with police in July, sent her a picture of Lee from Snapchat and identified him as the person who hit the victim, the report stated.

“(The victim’s friend) confessed to (the mother) that he had a ‘beef’ with (Lee), not (the victim),” according to the report.

The mother posted the Snapchat photo reportedly of Lee to Facebook and asked the public’s assistance in identifying him.

The report alleges several people came forward with Lee’s name, identifying him as the man in the photo.

The victim also identified the man in the photo as the person who assaulted him. Police said Lee’s driver’s license photo matched the man in the Snapchat image.

Police arrested and interviewed Lee the following day. Lee reportedly denied involvement in the assault and “claims officers have the wrong person,” according to the report. Lee is being held in the Pinal County Jail on a $50,000 bond on a slew of charges, most of them unrelated to the Copper Sky assault.

Lee is suspected of aggravated robbery (class 3 felony); armed robbery (class 2 felony); aggravated assault against a minor under 15 years of age (class 2 felony); aggravated assault using a deadly weapon or instrument (class 3 felony); and DUI.

Leslee Martin (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa woman is accused of stabbing her husband with a kitchen knife in front of their two children in the Meadows last weekend.

The Maricopa Police Department arrested Leslee Martin, 40, at a residence on Belle Avenue July 28. She faces charges of aggravated assault, two counts of endangerment and two counts of disorderly conduct.

The incident reportedly began as a verbal argument between Martin and her husband at approximately 8:26 p.m.

“(The husband) was talking to a subject through text messages who his wife was planning on moving in with,” an MPD report alleged.

The subject later blocked Martin’s cell phone contact. The report alleges Martin became angry and began yelling at her husband. Martin’s husband then attempted to leave the home with the children.

As he exited the front door, the report states Martin’s husband set the children down next to him.

“(Martin) came running at (the victim) with a kitchen knife in her right hand and stabbed (the victim) in the left shoulder while slamming the door shut,” according to the report.

Martin’s husband was left with a three-quarters of an inch-wide stab wound to his shoulder. The report states he and the children then ran across the street.

Martin was arrested and transported to the Pinal County Jail, where she remains on a $10,000 secured bond. She’ll be in court Aug. 7 for a bond hearing.

In 2011, Martin pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Aaron Vasquez (MCSO photo 2014)

 

Residents left their Homestead neighborhood early Friday morning to discover numerous agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation swarming a nearby home.

The investigation at a residence on Mac Neil Street July 27 was linked to the arrest of an armed robbery suspect the same day, the FBI confirmed Tuesday.

Aaron Vasquez, 23, was arrested in connection with an armed robbery of a fast food restaurant on Alma School Road in Chandler on May 28.

A series of ongoing armed robberies in May across the valley caught the FBI’s attention and led the agency to believe Vasquez was engaged in “at least 15 armed robberies of various fast food restaurants between September 13, 2017 and July 19, 2018,” according to an FBI press release published Tuesday.

The alleged robberies took place in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe.

Details in the press release allege search warrants executed by the FBI and partner law enforcement agencies last Friday recovered items and clothing similar to items used in various robberies.

“In each robbery, the individual utilized a similar handgun and was described with similar physical characteristics,” the release stated.

The FBI charged Vasquez in a complaint filed in federal court that formally accuses him of the Chandler armed robbery in May but reported possible additional charges may follow in connection to the others.

The Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe police departments contributed resources to the investigation, according to the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.

“This is another example of Arizona law enforcement agencies working together to protect our communities from violent crime,” said Michael DeLeon, special agent in charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office.

The Maricopa Police Department said Friday the FBI notified the department of their presence at the address in Homestead. MPD was not on scene July 27, according to MPD Sgt. Hal Koozer.

Vasquez has a previous weapons misconduct conviction out of Maricopa County Superior Court in 2014.

Japhia Richards (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man’s probation officer turned him in for allegedly possessing a myriad of illegal drugs in his bedroom.

Japhia Richards, 33, was arrested July 21 from a home in Senita after officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia, heroin, marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills in his room, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The incident began when Richards allegedly admitted to his probation officer that he was in possession of syringes, spoons, cigarette wrappers and pipes that he said he used to smoke heroin.

Richards reportedly consented to a room search where the officer found the drugs, including five prescription pill bottles “with the names to the prescription ripped off.”

The police report stated Richards was unable to provide proof of being prescribed those pills.

MPD arrived to assist the probation officer who had detained Richards after the search.

A warrants check found Richards had a felony warrant out of Gilbert’s Highland Justice Court for two counts of aggravated DUI.

Richards was arrested on the felony warrant, two counts of possession of narcotic drugs (class 4 felonies), possession of dangerous drugs (class 4 felony), four counts of possession of prescription only drugs (class 1 misdemeanors), possession of marijuana (class 6 felony), and seven counts of possession of drug paraphernalia (class 6 felonies).

He’s being held in the Pinal County Jail on a $2,700 secured bond.

Sidney J. Cowger (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man has been accused of sexually abusing a young child for three years.

Sidney J. Cowger, 36, was arrested July 16 after the 10-year-old child described details of interactions. The child’s mother had contacted police July 15 with information she had learned from the child.

The child was taken to ChildHelp in Phoenix for a forensic interview and examination. A Maricopa Police detective attended the interview.

The child identified several places in Pinal County where sexual abuse allegedly occurred.

……………

Cowger was arrested July 16 at his place of work in Stanfield. He is held on $100,000 bond at Pinal County Jail and has an arraignment scheduled today in Superior Court.

MPD is suggesting charges of sexual abuse (a class 3 felony), sexual assault (class 2 felony), sexual conduct with a minor (class 2 felony), molestation of a child (class 2 felony) and continuous sex abuse of a child (class 2 felony).

Martin Catha (PCSO photo)

A man was already in criminal traffic trouble before he was dramatically taken into custody in Maricopa last week.

Martin Catha, 31, is accused of auto theft and driving with his license suspended after the midtown arrest Friday.

Catha was allegedly driving a Toyota Camary that had been reported stolen out of Tempe. The car was reportedly a rental car. A Maricopa Police officer saw the vehicle traveling west on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway at 5:45 p.m. and ran the license plate.

The report came back indicating the vehicle was stolen and had last been tracked by Chandler Police Department on Thursday. The MPD officer followed the Camary as it turned north on Pershing and began to turn west onto Honeycutt Road.

The officer initiated a “high-risk” traffic stop, blocking lanes of traffic as other officers responded. Catha was reportedly the only person in the vehicle.

He allegedly told police a woman named Rhianna gave him the vehicle at Wild Horse Pass Casino three days earlier and “told him the vehicle was OK to drive,” according to the MPD report. Officers noted Catha’s license was suspended and arrested him on suspicion of driving on a suspended license as well as theft of means of transportation.

He was booked at Pinal County Jail.

Alejandro Maldonado. (PCSO photo)

 

Police have made an arrest in a December carjacking that involved an armed man wearing a Halloween mask.

Alejandro Maldonado, 39, was arrested July 10 at a Florence parole office after law enforcement allegedly discovered evidence linking him to the vehicle.

The silver Kia Soul was reported stolen Dec. 5 by the owner of the vehicle in the Tacos ‘N More Mexican Grill parking lot. The victim told police a man pointed a black handgun at her head while she was seated in the vehicle.

“(The woman) said an unknown male dressed in all black, wearing a Halloween mask told (her) to ‘give me the (expletive) keys’ multiple times,” according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The vehicle was last seen northbound on John Wayne Parkway.

Three days after the alleged carjacking, a Phoenix PD officer located the stolen vehicle in an alleyway near Polk Street and 13th Avenue, which led police on a short pursuit.

The driver eventually fled on foot after abandoning the vehicle near Taylor Street.

Phoenix PD did not make contact with the driver but observed his physical characteristics and made note of his black clothing.

Officers later took latent prints from the driver’s side door and door handles. DNA swabs were also taken from the steering wheel and shifter.

A latent print analysis later hit on Maldonado, who was reportedly on parole with Pinal County Probation for armed robbery.

In a recent interview with an MPD officer in Florence, Maldonado denied knowing the victim and being involved in the armed robbery

His DNA and prints were in the vehicle, he allegedly told police, because he washed cars at his Aunt’s residence, according to the report. The victim denied having her vehicle washed there.

Maldonado is being held on a $50,000 secured bond in Pinal County Jail on recommended charges of armed robbery, a class 2 felony; two counts of unlawful means of transportation, class 5 and 6 felonies; and violating the terms of his parole.