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crime

Three charged with child abuse, molestation, imprisonment, neglect

A 48-year-old Maricopa woman was charged March 15 by Maricopa Police with two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment and five counts of child neglect.

Her name was redacted from the MPD probable cause statement to protect the identity of her seven minor children, the alleged victims in this case. The woman’s two adult sons, ages 26 and 28, were also charged with seven counts of failing to report abuse of a minor.

The woman allegedly made several of her seven minor children perform in a popular YouTube video series. Most of the YouTube videos show the children going through super hero training or visiting fantasy lands. The series has nearly 800,000 subscribers and almost 250 million views as of March 19.

The allegations against the woman begin on March 13 when officers responded to a child abuse investigation. A woman told police that her adoptive sister disclosed to her that she was being abused at the family’s home on North Donithan Way in the Villages by her mother.

“The abuse was described as being pepper sprayed, left in a locked closet for days at a time with no food, water or restroom, and [she] stated her six other siblings [were] being punished in the same manner,” the probable cause statement reads.

When police went to the residence, they found one child in an unlocked closet, which did have a locking mechanism on it. The child was wearing just a pull-up. Officers then came in contact with six other children at the residence. All appeared to be malnourished, with pale complexions, dark rings under their eyes and underweight, and they said they were thirsty and hungry, according to the probable cause statement.

While officers were speaking with one of the children, “he consumed three 16-ounce bottles of water within a 20-minute timeframe. He advised he was pepper sprayed numerous times as punishment by his mother,” according to the probable cause statement.

One of the children was offered a bag of potato chips but was fearful to eat it as she did not want her mother to smell the chips on her breath, the officer wrote in the police report.

“While at the residence, (the woman) had her two adult sons prepare food for her children, (one of the children) stated her mother only allowed them to have food because the police were there, as she has not been allowed to eat for two days,” the probable cause statement reads.

The Department of Child Services responded to the scene and removed seven children from the woman’s custody, the report states.

A search warrant at the home allegedly turned up two cans of pepper spray. The closet where the children had reported being left for days was in the master bedroom and had a deadbolt lock, bare tile floor, no windows, furniture, blankets, clothing or toys.

According to the police report, the children told officers their mother would keep them locked in the closet for days without food, water or a restroom. They said their mother would “spray them with pepper spray all over their face and body, spank them, force them to take ice baths and, when resisting, would force their head underwater as well as … make them stand in the corner with their arms raised above their head for several hours at a time.”

One child told investigators they would “either get beat with a hanger or belt or a brush or get pepper sprayed from head to toe.”

One child, “said prior to her mom pepper spraying them, she typically puts on a mask first to protect herself,” the probable cause statement said.

According to the probable cause statement, some of the older children were pepper sprayed and locked in the closet for a week.

“All the children made mention of having to participate in their mom’s YouTube channel,” the probable cause statement reads.

The children told investigators they were disciplined if they did not recall their lines or didn’t participate as directed. They also said their mother took them out of school to keep filming the series “and they mentioned they have not been in school for years,” the probable cause statement reads.

The woman denied the allegation and was arrested and booked into the Pinal County Jail with her two adult sons.

Nicole Mistrioty (PCSO photo)

 

Allegedly shoplifting a $4 bag of pretzels has led to felony shoplifting charges against 21-year-old Nicole Mistrioty because of a string of other shoplifting charges on her record.

On March 11, Maricopa Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at QuikTrip (QT) on John Wayne Parkway at 8 a.m.

“An unknown person concealed a bag of pretzels in her purse,” and left the business without paying for them, according to a police probable cause statement.

A QT employee provided police with a detailed description of the woman and a license plate of the vehicle she was driving, a dark-colored Honda. They also had video footage of the woman taking the pretzels.

“I observed the female walk to the back of the store with a bag of pretzels valued to be approximately $4 and place the bag into her purse. The female then walked to the register, paid for a drink, and walked out of the QT without paying for the pretzels,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement.

The license plate number provided to police was registered to an address in Gilbert. The officer made contact with the people at the Gilbert residence, and they stated that the vehicle was sold two weeks ago, and they provided a second license plate of the car the buyer was driving when they purchased the vehicle.

That plate number came back to an address on West Mediterranean Way in Maricopa.

The officer drove to the location and made contact with Mistrioty, who matched the description given by the employee at QT. The officer also noted that the person in the video taking the pretzel was Mistrioty.

“I asked Nicole what happened at the QT and why I was speaking to her. Nicole stated she shoplifted a bag of pretzels at QT. I also observed the same bag of pretzels still in Nicole’s purse. She stated she was sorry and knew it was wrong. I asked Nicole why she didn’t pay for the pretzels since she paid for a drink, and Nicole stated she did not know,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement.

After reviewing Mistrioty’s criminal history, they discovered she was previously arrested three times for shoplifting in Phoenix, making the new charge a felony.

Mistrioty was taken to the Pinal County Jail and booked for felony shoplifting with two or more shoplifting charges within the past five years. The offense is a Class IV felony.

 

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.

Attorneys for Kathryn Sinkevitch moved to suppress a phone call police recorded in connection with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter in December 2016.

Sinkevitch is accused of shooting Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately, but had an infant son together. Agerter was reportedly attempting to gain parental rights to the child, who was 1-month-old at the time of the murder.

March 4, defense attorney Bret Huggins motioned to suppress the recording, claiming it was in violation of Sinkevitch’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights. Sinkevitch was initially taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

“On Dec. 16, 2016, after work, Kathryn Sinkevitch was invited over to the home of her friend Bridget Hopkins,” Huggins wrote in his motion to suppress. “Bridget lived with her husband and children at a residence in Mesa… Kathryn arrived there and was visiting inside the home.

“Police surrounded the house and arrested Sinkevitch and locked her in the back seat of a patrol car.

“This activity by the police was not supported by either an arrest or search warrant from any court,” Huggins wrote in his motion.

Sinkevitch was taken to the Maricopa Police Department from Mesa and locked into an interrogation room with a video camera running for several hours according to the motion.

About 2:30 a.m., according to the motion, Sinkevitch “told police she was tired and needed to sleep. The detectives pushed on. Detectives gave Kathryn her Miranda rights. Kathryn told the police clearly, ‘lawyer, I want a lawyer.’”

Huggins continued, “At no time did police take Kathryn to a magistrate in Maricopa County prior to removing her to Pinal County. At no time did police make any effort to get Kathryn a lawyer.”

According to the motion, Maricopa Police influenced her friend Hopkins into recording a telephone conversation between them by threatening “to charge her as an accomplice to the homicide” if she did not assist them.

“At the police direction, Bridget sent a message to Kathryn asking her to call back,” according to the motion. “When the requested return call came back, police directed Ms. Hopkins to answer on speaker as they recorded and monitored the conversation. Indeed, Bridget conducted the conversation as she had been directed by police to do, in order to obtain incriminating information against Kathryn.”

Huggins maintains that police obtaining this “incriminating information” in this manner was in violation of Sinkevitch’s rights after she made a request for counsel, and an attorney was not present when the conversation was recorded.

Huggins asked the court to conduct a voluntariness hearing as he challenges Sinkevitch’s willingness to give a statement to police. He accused the police of overreaching their authority by using her friend to conduct the questioning.

“In assessing voluntariness, the court must consider the totality of circumstances to determine whether the statements were or were not the product of a rational intellect and free will,” the motion reads.

According the Huggins, the court must decide if Miranda warnings were given and waived by Sinkevitch, in addition to proving that her statement to police was voluntary.

“When a person asks for counsel, police may not question him about any matter until an attorney is present. In this case, Ms. Sinkevitch requested counsel, yet she was not provided with a lawyer. Instead, police sought to get around the express request through subterfuge and buy (sic) using her friend,” Huggins’ motion to suppress reads.

The attorney requested the court to hold an evidentiary hearing and to suppress the recording between Sinkevitch and Hopkins. The next hearing scheduled in Sinkevitch’s case is April 10.

Scott Helms (left) and Christopher Devine were arrested March 5. (PCSO photos)

 

Two Maricopa men were arrested March 5 by Maricopa Police on numerous charges of sexual crimes on children.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, on Jan. 3 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported to the Internet Crimes Against Children that apparent child pornography was being sent between Scott Helms and another unidentified person on Facebook Messenger.

The unidentified person is under the age of 18 and their identity is protected in charging documents.

“After interviewing (the unidentified person) he admitted to sending nude photographs to Scott on several occasions through Facebook Messenger,” the probable cause statement reads.

The report states Helms knew the unidentified person was under the age of 18, admitted receiving nude photographs from them and “engaging in verbal sexual communication and promises.”

After a data analysis was performed on Helm’s cellphone, the nude photographs and the conversations were confirmed, according to the probable cause statement.

Helms, 53, was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, luring a minor and contributing to delinquency.

While investigating Helms, authorities discovered photos and videos of Christopher Devine, 48, having sex with minors during their data analysis of the cellphone, according to the probable cause statement. They also found sexually related communication between Devine and minors according to the report.

Devine was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual conduct with a minor, furnishing to a minor, luring a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The minor reported meeting Devine through a phone application called “Grinder,” the probable cause statement reports. When Devine was interviewed by police, he said they met through an app called “Daddy Hunt.”

Devine also admitted to engaging in oral sex with the minor on five occasions, anal sex on three occasions and knew they were under 18, according to the probable cause statement.

Both men, who live in Maricopa, were arrested and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Cedrick Jackson (PCSO photo)

 

Cedrick Jackson was arrested Feb. 28 on charges of felony possession of drugs (methamphetamine), paraphernalia, aggravated assault and resisting arrest after a Maricopa Police officer noticed an expired license plate.

Jackson was driving on John Wayne Parkway about 7 p.m. when an officer saw the expired plate on his vehicle. The vehicle was stopped on Cobblestone Farms Road. Jackson and two adult males were in the vehicle, according to the MPD probable cause statement.

A second officer arrived at the scene and allegedly smelled marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. A records check also indicated one of the passengers in the vehicle was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

Police had Jackson exit the vehicle and an officer told him there was an odor of marijuana inside the vehicle and his passenger was wanted on a warrant. Jackson exited the vehicle, but the officer reported he refused to comply with commands and faced the officer “with his fists clenched,” according to the report.

The officer grabbed Jackson as he attempted to pull away and put Jackson “in a control hold by wrapping his arms around Jackson and tackled Jackson to the pavement,” according to the report.

Additional officers arrived and helped place Jackson into handcuffs as the second officer kept control over the two passengers.

A search of the vehicle revealed a plastic bottle containing about 1.7 grams of methamphetamine. The container was found inside a door compartment.

According to the report, Jackson not only admitted the bottle belonged to him, but he also described it to officers. He said he resisted arrest because he knew officers would arrest him for the drugs, according to the report. The methamphetamine field-tested positive.

Jackson was transported to the Pinal County Jail and booked.

 

 

A 39-year-old Maricopa man was arrested for child abuse and threatening domestic violence after allegedly striking his daughter numerous times in the legs with a pipe.

The saga began Feb. 20, when the daughter allegedly invited a juvenile male friend over to the house on West Barcelona Drive in Maricopa without permission about 3 p.m., according to the Maricopa Police Department’s statement of probable cause.

The girl’s father caught the boy in her room and kicked him out of the residence, according to the report.

“While the juvenile male was being kicked out of the residence, [the father] slapped [the daughter] across the face,” the report states. “Once the juvenile male left the premises, [the father] went to the garage, obtained a PVC pipe and approached [the daughter]. She was struck numerous times on the side of the knee, the back of the thigh and on her rear-end by the PVC pipe.”

According to the report, the girl’s mother grabbed the pipe and said it was enough.

“After the last hit, she fell to the ground and her dad got on top of her and started strangling her, with two hands around her throat at the time,” the probable cause statement reads. “[The father] then got up and [the mother] reported he kicked her on the back of the leg.”

The girl was sent to her bedroom, “and [the father] came in and broke her cellphone. [The daughter] reported [the father] saying if she tells anyone she is going to get it worse the next time and made comments about killing her,” the probable cause statement reads.

The girl was not interviewed about the attack until Feb. 25, five days later, according to the probable cause statement.

“A medical forensic exam was completed where large hematomas were observed on [the girl’s] legs, rear-end and thigh and bruises on her arms and lower leg,” according to the report.

The Department of Child Safety was contacted and reportedly took custody of the girl.

On Feb. 25, at 8:48 p.m., the father was arrested at his residence, taken to the Maricopa Police Department and informed of his Miranda Rights. He was transported to the Pinal County Jail and booked.

Fabian Hernandez (PCSO photo)

 

A stolen Ford F-150 pickup was recovered Feb. 24 after it became stuck in the mud near the Sorrento subdivision.

Fabian Hernandez, 27, was arrested and charged with theft of means of transportation and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Officers with the Maricopa Police Department responded about 3:30 p.m. after a caller said a gray Ford F-150 was stuck in the area. A registration check of the license plate indicated to officers the vehicle was stolen out of the City of Coolidge on Feb. 22.

Arriving on site, the officer found five people standing around the vehicle, according the report.

The officer contacted the subjects, and two were identified by their Mexican Matricular cards. They said they were installing drywall nearby in new homes when they were approached by Fabian Hernandez, who asked if they could help him get his truck out of the mud.

One of the men told the officer they were done for the day, so they agreed to help push the pickup out of the mud.

The officer decided to detain two of the people near the truck and when they approached Hernandez, he took off running, according to the report. A Border Patrol canine helped find Hernandez 400 yards away lying in the brush.

Hernandez, Tyshon Norris and another unidentified person were transported to the Maricopa Police Department and interviewed. Norris, and the unidentified person, told officers that Hernandez picked them up in the stolen vehicle on the Gila River Reservation, according to the probable cause statement.

“They drove taking back roads and were heading to the Ak-Chin when the vehicle got stuck in the mud,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement.

Most auto burglars are simply checking for unlocked vehicles, according to MPD.

 

Car burglaries have been happening across the city, mostly in the Cobblestone Farms area.

In the past week, eight car burglaries have occurred in the Cobblestone area and three vehicles were stolen in other parts of the city.

“At the beginning of the year, we had 48 vehicle burglaries,” said Maricopa Police spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. “These criminals are going around and checking for unlocked vehicles. Once they find one that’s unlocked, they go through it and take whatever is in the vehicle. In the past, they have taken anything from laptops, wallets, loose change, cellphone chargers, GPS units and stuff like that.”

Alvarado said in the latest string of burglaries in Cobblestone, police do have video footage of the suspects trying to open cars without succeeding.

“They’re trying to see if vehicles are locked or unlocked. In the video, they’re simply checking the door and if it’s locked, they just move on to the next vehicle, until they find a target of opportunity,” he said.

Alvarado said nightly at 9 p.m. police use social media to remind people to lock their car and house doors, turn on their outdoor lights and remove any valuables from their vehicles.

“It is a good thing that we’ve gone from 48 at the beginning of the year to six or seven. It’s simply people not locking their doors,” he said.

There have been three vehicles stolen in the past week.

“We’ve had vehicles taken out of here,” Alvarado said. “We haven’t been able to determine if these doors were locked or unlocked. Many of them are Ford pickup trucks. Those are taken frequently, Valley-wide, because of their popularity and ease to be stolen when it comes to their interlock device of their ignition.”

Generally stolen vehicles are recovered within 24 hours.

“Most of them have been recovered to the north of us on the Gila River Indian community,” Alvarado said. “There have been some that have been burned. Some have been vandalized and some have been stripped. There haven’t been any that have been missing long term.”

Two forcible house break-ins occurred in Maricopa on Feb. 15.

One family had their side door on their garage pried open in Desert Cedars while they were away for a little more than an hour. Burglars rummaged through the home and stole guns and jewelry.

One other house was also burglarized but the owner lives out of town and it was unknown what items may have been taken.

“We had a couple other occasions where we’ve had criminal damage to rear sliding glass doors,” he said. “Some of it’s been crimes of opportunities, and at least one of them is the first forced entry burglary. We don’t know why these residents are being targeted.”

Alvarado said police are seeking surveillance camera video in the area and are urging people to register their cameras in their block watch program.

“We try to get everyone to know their neighbors and if you see something, say something,” Alvarado said.

William T. Wall was wanted on a warrant. When police found him, he was also allegedly in possession of marijuana and told officers he was selling it instead of working.

On Feb. 23, Maricopa Police officers found Wall asleep in a vehicle parked on North Donithan Way shortly before 10 a.m.

After confirming his identity, Wall was identified as a person wanted on two warrants out of Ak-Chin PD and Western Pinal Justice Court and another out of Maricopa County. The warrants were on charges of drug/marijuana possession with the intent to deliver and failure to appear in court.

When the door of the vehicle opened, officers noted the strong smell of marijuana, both burned and unburned. Wall was arrested and searched.

During the search, “a small scale containing green vegetable matter, which based on my training and experience, I identified as marijuana and $280 in U.S. currency,” the officer wrote in a Maricopa Police probable cause statement.

During a search of the vehicle, police allegedly found a glass jar with more of what was suspected to be marijuana.

“I was notified by another MPD officer Wall had recently posted on social media a picture of himself holding a black semiauto pistol. The pistol was not found in the vehicle,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement.

Wall was transported to the Maricopa Police Department and advised of his rights. He allegedly admitted the marijuana was his, according to the officer.

“He additionally admitted he had sold marijuana on [Feb. 22] but would not disclose where. Wall admitted he was not working, just selling marijuana,” the officer.

Two people were accused of first-degree trespassing Feb. 21 on West Cowpath Road.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, a man called police and told them his landlord, Joseph Beatty, had broken into his room and packed up all his belongings.

When officers arrived, the man told police he had received a text message from Beatty stating he had entered his room, packed up his things and moved them into the garage, where he would be allowed to pick them up.

He said he was kicking him out in the text, according to the report.

Beatty allegedly admitted to police he entered the room along with Katherine Blanchette, who is another tenant in the house. Blanchette admitted to police she also helped pack the items and move them into the garage, according to the probable cause statement.

Michael Luz (PCSO photo)

Michael Luz, 37, was arrested by Maricopa Police on Feb. 21 on a federal warrant.

MPD was contacted by the U.S. Marshals Service on Feb. 21 about 3:40 p.m. to arrest Luz, residing on West Neely Drive in The Villages.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, Luz was wanted for two violations of supervised release. The warrant had no bail amounts.

He was placed into custody and taken to the Pinal County Jail.

Two credit card skimmers were discovered on gas pumps at Circle K at John Wayne Parkway & Smith Enke Road on Feb. 5, according to the Weights and Measures Services Division.

Maricopa is not alone as 12 card skimmers were discovered across Arizona in January. Last year, authorities found 148 credit card skimmers across the state, up from 57 in 2017.

Many of the new skimmers utilize Bluetooth technology. If you suspect or want to check for skimmers at the pumps simply go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone and look for devices in the area. There are also anti-skimmer applications available on both the Google Play and the Apple Stores.

From January 2017 through May 2018, officials have found 89 credit card skimmers at 72 locations around Arizona.

Thieves have begun to use Bluetooth technology to capture credit or debit card information. The crime is called bluesnarfing or blue skimming, and the crooks can sit 100 yards away in their vehicle while credit and debit card information is transmitted to their laptop.

Tips from the Attorney General’s Office:

  1. Always use credit cards to pay for gas at the pump. If you have to use an ATM card, run it as credit.
  2. Wiggle the card scanner before you insert your card.  If it is loose, move on (this tip also applies to ATMs).
  3. Some gas stations place security tags/tabs on the pump showing that it is secure. If the tag/tab is broken, move on. Also, look for any pry marks on the gas pump door or if the door is slightly open.
  4. Look at the surrounding credit card readers at other pumps to see if they look the same. Suspects will often use counterfeit stickers to cover the ones they break while installing a skimming device, so check the stickers on one or more adjacent pumps.
  5. Use pumps in well-lit areas that are positioned in a clear view of store employees. The scammers installing the devices usually will place a skimmer into the pumps furthest away from the attendant.
  6. Watch out for large vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and vans that park in front of fuel dispensers for long periods of time. Criminals have been known to use large vehicles to block the view of the pump from site employees while they install a skimming device.
  7. If concerned pay inside or go to a different gas station.
  8. Report your concerns to station employees, law enforcement, and/or file a complaint online.
  9. Routinely monitor the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures website to identify where credit card skimmers have recently been found.
  10. Monitor your credit card and bank statements to look for any unauthorized or fraudulent charges.

 

Maricopa Police arrested Tommy Streets on Feb. 9 on a charge of aggravated domestic violence assault by strangulation.

According to an MPD probable cause statement, Streets was apparently breaking up with his girlfriend for “not coming home the night prior.” He had packed up her belongings and told her she could come get them, according to the report.

The woman reported to police she picked up her belongings but noticed her PlayStation 4 was not there. She asked Streets for the PlayStation and tried to go into the house to get it. She told police he “pushed her out of the doorway and wrapped his arm around her neck from behind,” according to the probable cause statement.

Once free, she left and called police.  Officers noted that the woman had red abrasions on both sides of her neck and the marks appeared new.

Streets told officers he placed her items outside and when she tried to enter his residence, he closed the door to prevent her from entering the house. He said there was no physical altercation between them and that there was no PlayStation in the residence, according to the probable cause statement.

Due to the physical marking on the woman’s neck, Streets was arrested. The officer reported they believed Streets caused injury to the woman, giving them probable cause for the arrest.

 

Kenneth Bazzel was arrested by Maricopa Police Feb. 8 on charges of endangerment, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

According to a police probable cause statement, officers responded to a home on West Zion Road about 4:35 p.m. on Feb. 8 in reference to a criminal damage report.

A woman told officers her son had a physical fight with another juvenile earlier in the day. She said after the fight on West Rainbow Drive, her family returned home and said she saw a “white chubby male with a blue Detroit hat and a Detroit tattoo” throw a rock through the front window of her house. The man was later identified as Bazzel.

She told police that one of his sons also “threw a plant pot through another front window.”

When an MPD officer arrived at the scene they observed Bazzel wearing a Detroit shirt and sporting a Detroit tattoo on his right arm.

“Kenneth (Bazzel) admitted to throwing a rock through two of the front windows,” the officer wrote in the probable cause statement. He told officers that he threw rocks because he believed the family was harassing his daughter.

Bazzel stated he went over to the house “to beat some ***” and threw the rocks at the windows when a woman inside would not come outside, according to the probable cause statement.

Officers charged and released the son who was allegedly throwing rocks while Bazzel was arrested and taken to the Pinal County Jail.

Monday, Dillon Colton Wilson, 26, of Glendale, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Wilson had previously pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Wilson admitted that while caring for the 5-month-old infant victim in the Ak-Chin Indian Community, he forcefully jerked the victim by the left arm, resulting in a complete, mid-shaft break of the upper arm. Wilson is an enrolled member of the Tohono O’Odham Nation.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Ak-Chin Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Christine Ducat Keller, assistant U.S. attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

Shawn Baptisto (PCSO photo)

 

Shawn Baptisto, 33, was arrested by Maricopa Police on Feb. 3 for violation of court order, theft and criminal damage after he entered a home on West Edwards Circle without permission.

According to an MPD probable cause statement, Baptisto entered the property in violation of an existing protection order and he allegedly used an unknown object to break a small padlock on a cabinet on the back patio. Police state in their report that he took “a small electrical sander” out of the cabinet, which was later identified as his property by the victim of the crime.

He also took a “turquoise beach cruiser bike belonging to the victim from the property and left the premise,” according to the probable cause statement.

While en route to the scene, officers located Baptisto with the bike. He was booked into the Pinal County Jail, and the bike was returned to the victim.

A woman was arrested on three counts of weapons misconduct and possession of marijuana during a traffic stop on Jan. 31.

Elisa Morris, 20, allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on Hathaway Avenue about 9:55 p.m., according to the Maricopa Police Department. Officers noted, “Upon contact with the vehicle/occupants, a strong odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from the vehicle.”

There was an unnamed passenger in the car with Morris. Both occupants of the vehicle told officers they did not possess a medical marijuana card and officers removed them from the vehicle, according to the report.

A search was conducted, including by a K9 officer, and a leather backpack was located. The backpack contained 8.7 grams of marijuana and a Jimenez 9mm handgun with the serial numbers defaced, according to the probable cause statement.

Morris told officers she stole the backpack from another woman she called Jessica.

Morris was arrested and charged with possession of a concealed weapon while under 21, possession of a defaced deadly weapon, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony and possession of marijuana.

Jose Mojarro Parra (PCSO photo)

Jose Mojarro Parra, 42, was arrested by Maricopa Police Feb. 2 on charges of second-degree burglary, criminal trespassing, failure to comply with a court order and disorderly conduct.

Police responded to a home on North Powell Drive shortly after 9 p.m. on Feb. 2. A domestic disturbance was in progress according to the caller, who was Parra’s daughter. Upon arrival officers spoke to the victim, who is the girl’s mother. She told police Parra had violated a court protection order and entered her home without her permission, according to an MPD probable cause statement.

She also told police he had taken her purse while she was sitting in her car, as she was attempting to drive away. She said Parra dropped the purse when the daughter “yelled that she was calling police.”

Police did identify that Parra had a protection order against him, barring him from entering the property and it listed the victim and his two daughters who live there as protected people.

Police located Parra leaving the area in a vehicle and he admitted violating the protection order by contacting the victim at her home, according to the probable cause statement. He said he denied taking possession of the purse and said she invited him into the house.

Parra and the victim have been divorced since 2013 and living apart since November 2018.

Parra told police he was a Mexican citizen and a legal permanent resident of the United States though the MPD officer wrote, “his claim has not been verified,” according to the probable cause statement.

Parra was taken to the Pinal County Jail and booked.

Robert Acuna (PCSO photo)

Robert Acuna, 43, was arrested by Maricopa Police Jan. 29 for possession of a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and on a warrant for shoplifting in 2018.

According to a MPD probable cause statement, officers investigated a vehicle parked near Sun Life Family Health Center, 44572 W. Bowlin Road, about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers identified Acuna as a passenger in the vehicle and discovered he was wanted on a Pinal County warrant from for shoplifting. The warrant had a cash bond of $2,500 specified.

While conducting a search officers stated, “Robert was found in possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Acuna was transferred to the Maricopa Police Department and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

 

Jan. 28, Rogelio Carmona Jr. was arrested by Maricopa Police on suspicion of aggravated domestic violence assault and preventing the use of a phone in an emergency.

According to the MPD probable cause statement, Carmona intentionally assaulted his child’s mother and prevented her from calling police for help. The incident occurred at the woman’s home on North Larkspur Drive at about 2:19 a.m.

The report states the woman came home and engaged in a verbal argument with Carmona after she received text messages from him telling her “not to come home or he would throw beer bottles at her vehicle.”

During a verbal argument, the woman “threw Rogelio’s duffle bag containing his personal belongings in the front yard of the residence and told him to leave,” the report states.

The argument continued in the front yard of the home and the woman told Carmona she was going to call the police for help. Carmona allegedly took her cellphone from her hand and pushed her against a vehicle in the driveway.

The report alleges he then began strangling her “by placing both of his hands around her throat and applying pressure.” She told officers she “did not lose consciousness but was unable to breath.”

The probable cause statement reads that she began hitting Carmona with her car keys and he let her go, “then begged her not to call the police, stating he would just leave.” Police reported the woman received a laceration to her right hand and she was unsure how she got it.

The alleged assault was captured on surveillance cameras outside the house. The footage was impounded as evidence.

Carmona was arrested by 2:32 a.m. and booked into the Pinal County Jail. He was also booked into jail on two outstanding warrants from the City of Maricopa. The outstanding warrants had a cash bond of $580.43 and $1,374.38.

 

 

Veronica Cervantez was arrested by Maricopa Police Jan. 26 for domestic violence assault.

According to a MPD probable cause statement, Cervantez was involved in a verbal dispute with her boyfriend about 4:15 p.m. on North Cielo Lane. The dispute was over Cervantez “going out the night before” and him “not knowing what she was up to.”

It eventually turned physical, according to the police report.

“During the argument, property was broken,” the probable cause statement reads. “It is unclear at this point if it was accidental or on purpose due to conflicting statement.”

The boyfriend told police he pushed Cervantez away as she was throwing things at him. During the argument, the man said Cervantez “hit him in the head with the fan in the bedroom,” according to the police report.

The police officer noted in their report the man had a “bump in the back of his head the size of a quarter and a red laceration on the top portion of his forehead.”

Cervantez denied hitting him with the fan and denied he had even pushed her, the report states. She only acknowledged that the two were in a verbal argument.

At 4:40 p.m. officers placed Cervantez under arrest.

“I have probable cause to believe the assault took place from the injuries,” the officer wrote, adding, “and statements made by him.”

Cervantez was booked into the Pinal County Jail.

 

Abdullatif Aldosary was recharged with a 2012 murder. PCSO photo

A man who stands accused of killing a former coworker in Maricopa was recharged with first-degree murder on Jan. 24.

Abdullatif Aldosary, 53, allegedly killed Orlando Requena, of Casa Grande, on Nov. 27, 2012, at a train-offloading area on Cowtown Road. Aldosary and Requena were coworkers at Arizona Grain, though they reportedly had not had contact for six months prior to the murder.

He is being held on a $1 million bond after his Friday arraignment.

Aldosary originally was charged in July 2013 with the first-degree murder of Requena and the Nov. 30, 2012, bombing of a Social Security building in Casa Grande, but those charges were dismissed earlier this month, along with a 2015 charge of attacking a corrections employee with bodily fluids.

In July 2018, state prosecutors moved to have him civilly committed to a mental institution. Aldosary was ordered to be evaluated at an inpatient treatment facility by Pinal County Superior Court Judge Joseph Georgini. An appeal was lodged in September.

In December, a special hearing was scheduled to evaluate Aldosary’s treatment after an appeals court determined that Georgini’s order forcing Aldosary to take medication was not proper. The hearing was cancelled just before the state motioned to drop Aldosary’s charges.

Charges against Aldosary were officially dismissed Jan. 14 without prejudice, giving prosecutors the ability to re-indict him in the future if he proved not to be a danger to himself or others.

Jan. 16, Aldosary was again indicted by a Pinal County grand jury on three charges, the first-degree murder of Requena, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Jesse Montijo and misconduct involving a weapon by a prohibited possessor.

In 2014, Aldosary was found guilty in federal court of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and was sentenced to five years in a federal prison.

He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing March 6 and remains in Pinal County Adult Detention.

Warren Evans (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested Warren K. Evans on Friday on suspicion of possession of a pistol, which was illegal for him to have as he is on probation for a previous DUI charge, was convicted of dangerous drug possession and served time in prison.

Evans was charged with weapons misconduct/prohibited possessor, but during a search of his vehicle during a traffic stop at Smith-Enke and Porter roads around 2 a.m., officers allegedly found methamphetamine, an open container of alcohol and drug paraphernalia.

According to a MPD probable cause statement, “Upon contact with Warren I asked him if he had any weapons and he stated he had a pistol in the vehicle.”

When asked if he was supposed to be in possession of a firearm, he told officers it wasn’t his firearm but his brother’s, according to police documents. The officer made Evans exit the vehicle as he removed the firearm.

“As Warren stepped out of the vehicle he put a black case in the bed of the truck,” the probable cause document states.

“As I retrieved the firearm, I could smell the odor of intoxicating liquor in the vehicle. The odor was coming from a cup in the center console. Warren admitted it was a Hot Toddy, which is a hot whiskey drink,” the probable cause statement reads.

When the officer checked the black case that Evans put into the back, he reportedly found multiple syringes, a spoon, rubber tie-off and a small baggie, which tested positive as methamphetamine.

Boyd Monday (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police responded to domestic disturbance call Thursday and instead arrested Boyd W. Monday Jr. on suspicion of possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers were called to a residence on West Chambers Road about 2:05 p.m. Upon arriving officers were granted access to the home by a roommate. Police noted the strong odor of burnt marijuana and located Monday in the master bedroom with “numerous items of marijuana and methamphetamine related drug paraphernalia and usable quantities of marijuana.  All in plain view in the bedroom,” according to a MPD probable cause statement.

According to police documents, “Monday admitted to having a meth-pipe and marijuana on his person. Police recovered a smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue, a bag containing a usable quantity of marijuana (approx. 2.4 grams) and another bag containing a usable quantity of methamphetamine (approx. 0.7 gram) from Monday’s pockets of his shorts.”

Monday admitted ownership of the items and the drugs, according to police. Both the marijuana and methamphetamine field-tested positive as illicit drugs.

As far as the domestic call that triggered the police response, the statement reads, “The investigation revealed the domestic disturbance involved Monday and his pregnant live-in girlfriend that consisted of mutual arguing, yelling and pushing.”

Monday, a woman was charged with third-degree burglary after she allegedly tried to steal an ATV out of a Maricopa residential garage not once but twice.

During the alleged burglary, Norma Robison took the keys to the ATV and a brown cowboy hat, according to police reports. She also left her wallet behind at the scene of the crime.

The resident of the house on West Blazen Trail reported an unknown woman walked into her open garage and attempted to steal a Honda ATV that was parked inside.

Maricopa Police officers responded to the area and located a woman matching the description riding a bike. Officers found the keys to the ATV in her pocket along with the cowboy hat, which she was wearing. During the investigation a wallet belonging to the suspect was left at the scene of the burglary, according to police reports.

The resident of the home provided police with home surveillance video allegedly showing Robison walking into the garage twice, in an attempt to steal the ATV, and leaving with the cowboy hat, according to a MPD probable cause statement.

Police stated, “she will be charged with burglary in the third degree,” in the probable cause statement but it does not state she was arrested.

 

Sydney Powell was arrested Jan. 13 after she allegedly hit her boyfriend in the face twice while he was driving south on John Wayne Parkway.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, a witness reported a man and a woman fighting inside a Buick two-door coupe and provided police with an Arizona license plate number about 2 p.m. on Sunday.

A vehicle matching the description was seen by an officer in the parking lot of Circle K on John Wayne Parkway. The officer pulled into the parking lot and was assisted by an Ak-Chin Police officer.

The Ak-Chin officer interviewed Powell and told the Maricopa officer Powell struck the man “twice in the face because she was upset that a female was calling him,” the probable cause statement reports.

She told the MPD officer she was sitting in the passenger seat and noticed a female was texting her boyfriend on his cell phone.

Later the MPD officer spoke with the man and he said he “started driving to the barbershop and an unknown female contacted him via telephone,” police reports state.

He said his girlfriend became angry when she observed that another woman was trying to contact him “and started hitting him open and closed handed,” according to the report. He said during the altercation, a soda was spilled in the vehicle and he pulled into Circle K to clean it up.

The officer noted two scratch marks on his face during the interview.

Powell was arrested at the scene and booked into the Pinal County Jail.

Dailien Godley (PCSO photo)

Dailien Godley, 23, was arrested by Maricopa Police Saturday on suspicion of aggravated assault, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of firearm drug offense, theft of a firearm, disorderly conduct with a firearm and possession of marijuana.

At 5:16 p.m. Godley was a passenger in a vehicle which was involved in an aggravated assault complaint.

The victim in the case identified the vehicle to police and said Godley pointed a handgun at him. He told police the driver of the vehicle also had a weapon and threatened to shoot him.

According to the MPD probable cause statement, during a “high-risk traffic stop” of the vehicle Godley was arrested and a handgun was found hidden inside a panel in the vehicle near the front passenger’s seat. After checking the serial numbers on the gun, officers discovered the handgun was stolen from Phoenix.

Marijuana was found in the vehicle next to a scale. The marijuana appeared to be in separate packages for resale, according to police reports.

Godley admitted to purchasing the handgun for $250 and ownership of the marijuana, according to the probable cause statement.

The driver of the vehicle, Juwaan Henry, was also charged with threatening and disorderly conduct.

A woman only identified as Terri by Maricopa Police was arrested and charged Jan. 13 for impaired driving, a blood alcohol level more than .08, extreme blood alcohol levels of more than .150 and aggravated DUI with children younger than 15 in the car.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, about 4:41 p.m. the woman was involved in a crash on Farrell Road, west of Porter Road.

Officers report she was driving east on Farrell with her three children and attempted to pass several cars on the dirt shoulder. She apparently lost control of her vehicle and hit other vehicles. She reportedly failed field sobriety tests. She again failed breath tests at the MPD offices, according to the report.

She was taken to the Pinal County Jail. She was also arrested on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in Casa Grande.

Her last name was not released by police to protect the identities of the children.

Maricopa frefighters gather outside a house fire on Lucera Lane in Glennwilde. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

A Maricopa man was found by firefighters passed out on his patio Jan. 11 after they put out a blaze in his home.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, a man referred to as Shawn L., as his last name has been redacted, was charged with domestic violence child abuse, endangerment, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jan. 11 at about 5:05 p.m. Maricopa firefighters responded to a house fire on Lucera Lane.

The man named Shawn was watching his children, and food was being prepared in the kitchen. Shawn allegedly admitted to “recklessly consuming alcohol and marijuana while watching his two juvenile children.”

The police report stated, “Shawn passed out in a chair on the back patio of the home, while the fried food was being cooked on the stove.”

Eventually a fire ignited, damaging the two-story home. The children escaped.

The report continued, “While the home was burning and while Maricopa Firefighters were fighting the fire inside the home, Shawn was still passed out on a chair on the back patio.”

After putting out the fire, firefighters discovered the man.

“Shawn was found by Maricopa Fire Department personnel and did not respond to verbal attempts to wake him. Shawn had to be shaken by Maricopa Fire personnel to be awoken,” the report stated.

Shawn allegedly admitted, “to using and owning all the marijuana and drug paraphernalia, which was found on a table near where he was sleeping. Shawn said his medical marijuana card had expired.”

 

Jose Valenzuela is accused of the June 2015 murders of Tina and Michael Careccia. PCSO photo

Jose Valenzuela stands accused of two counts of first-degree murder for the June 21, 2015, shooting deaths of Tina and Michael Careccia.

The trial for Valenzuela, 40, is set to begin April 24, but both sides are scheduled to sit down for a Jan. 24 settlement conference in an attempt to work out a plea agreement. It is a death-penalty case. Pinal County Superior Judge Christopher J. O’Neil said Monday, during a status hearing, he had expectations that some orders may need to be entered to allow some witness interviews.

At issue are defense interviews with Valenzuela’s wife and son.

Defense attorney Bobbi Falduto said she believes Gary Husk, special prosecutor in the case, had a stand of “wait and see how it goes” in the settlement conference before allowing defense attorneys to interview the family members. An attorney for the son told O’Neil she thought it was best not to interview the son in the event the settlement conference was successful.

“The state is not aware of any circumstance whereby the minor child or his mother has declined to be interviewed. An order at this point would be a bit premature,” Husk said.

O’Neil suggested Husk go ahead and arrange the interview with the child, but Falduto did not agree, saying the mother and the child are state witnesses.

“However, they are potentially mitigation witnesses – this is a capital trial – for us,” Falduto said. “There are some factual issues that we would have to ask both witnesses. Mr. Husk has asked to be present … however in our interest we have a constitutional duty to do everything we can to avoid a death penalty … We need to conduct an accurate investigation … In order to do that, we have to do it unfettered by not having the state present during this interview.”

She said it does not matter who arranges the interview. She said the mother has refused an interview with her and they have specifically avoided talking to her defendant’s son.

“So that we wouldn’t be involved in any type of a tainting,” she said. “Our side, the defense team, has the constitutional right to do that.”

Husk objected to the idea.

“There is no place in the rules that allow for defense to have independent interviews of the state witness. I think it is very telling that the mother of the child has refused to be interviewed,” Husk said.

Again, O’Neil directed Husk to arrange the interviews for the state with the mother and son. The judge also said the interviews should focus on the factual issues of the case and that both sides be present.

O’Neil said if there is no plea arrangement reached at the Jan. 24 conference, both parties should meet and confer if any follow up interviews are necessary.

If they cannot agree on additional interviews, he asked the attorneys to bring the matter to the attention of the court by filing briefs. O’Neil also ordered that the son’s name be redacted from any court document, transcript or record.

As things were winding down Monday, suddenly Falduto said she had concerns with the number of times attorneys from the prosecution have spoken with the son, a minor child.

“Psychologists indicate that multiple meetings on an issue like this with a minor child could lead to the possibility of a tainting that witness and the facts as they remember them,” Falduto said. “It seems to be some discourse if it is two or three (meetings) or five or six. I would like to have the documentation of when those meetings were, if we can’t find out what happened during those meetings.”

Husk objected immediately saying there are no records and there is no information to share. He said it was just part of the investigation.

“Counsel is now asking the state to produce documents that don’t exist,” Husk said.

Three more times Falduto asked the court to determine if the son is a tainted witness because he talked to members of the state prosecution team on many occasions.

Husk told the court Falduto, “was all over the map on this allegation” and he called it a “fishing expedition.”

O’Neil denied Falduto’s request and reminded attorneys of the Jan. 24 settlement conference and scheduled a status hearing for Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m.