MENDOCINO Co., 7/12/19 -- The following article includes some of the most recent press releases issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MSCO).
But first a little explanation: the MCSO puts out a number of press releases, sometimes everyday, sometimes once a week. We are not aware of how they choose which incidents to send a press release about. Clearly, they generally send releases about major crimes and incidents involving a death, also issues of general public safety. We also recognize that the staff of the MCSO is strapped for time and cannot send out a press release for every single incident they respond to.
We strive to be transparent with our readers about our reporting process, which is why we are explaining these facts. Many newspapers take law enforcement press releases and print them under the heading "staff" or quickly rewrite them, giving the impression of reporting. We want to be clear that we are merely passing along these press releases, that we have not done independent reporting on them, vetted them, or verified them, and also note that in the American justice system all people are considered innocent until proven guilty. We are a small organization that is also strapped for time.
However, we do believe that the people should know what their government, including their law enforcement agencies, is saying, and that these releases have news value, so we are here reproducing them.
MEDIA ADVISORY/NEWS RELEASE
DATE: "July 10, 2019"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
213 PC (Robbery in Concert)
209 (b)(1) PC (Kidnapping & Robbery)
236 PC (False Imprisonment)
459/460 (a) PC (Burglary)
12022 PC (a)(1) (Armed in the commission of Felony)
10851 VC (Theft of a vehicle)
17000 block of Low Gap Road in Ukiah, CA
Date of Incident:
Adult Male (25 year-old from Ukiah, CA)
Adult Male (Unknown age and city of residency)
Shane Waier (25 year-old male from Capitola, CA)
Azuriah Paul (24 year-old male from Sebastopol, CA)
Nathan Kurtz (24 year-old male from Petaluma, CA)
Sgt Luis M Espinoza #1228
Synopsis: On 07-09-2019 at about 9:05 pm, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a person reporting they had just been robbed at gunpoint at their residence located in the 17000 block of Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California.
It was also reported, six white male adults, some wearing masks, and clothing identifying them as "security", restrained at least two people at the location during the reported home invasion robbery. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded from multiple areas throughout the county converging on the remote location looking for the involved suspects.
It was reported to Sheriff's Office dispatch that the suspects had stolen one of the victim's vehicles and left the location westbound on Low Gap Road.
While units were responding to the location to ascertain what had occurred (about thirty minutes after the call took place), a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy and Sergeant were traveling westbound on Orr Springs Road.
During this time they were passed by the victim's vehicle and a second vehicle following closely behind in the area of the Orr Hot Springs Resort. The two vehicles took off at a high rate of speed eastbound towards the city of Ukiah.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers and City of Ukiah Police (UPD) Officers had staged near the intersection of Orr Springs Road and North State Street to assist the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. No pursuit was initiated as Sheriff's Office personnel had lost sight of the suspect vehicles.
At about 10:05 PM, the stolen vehicle was observed by staged law enforcement units and a traffic enforcement stop was initiated by CHP and UPD officers at the intersection of North State Street and Orr Springs Road.
The driver of the vehicle fled on foot and ran down hill to Masonite Road and crossed over to the Highway 101 Freeway. The driver was not located during the initial search.
Simultaneous to the traffic enforcement stop of the stolen vehicle; the second vehicle, a 2019 Jeep Compass, identified by Sheriff's Deputies as being related to this incident, was observed turning northbound onto North State Street.
A high-risk stop was initiated by CHP and Sheriff's Office personnel at the intersection of North State Street and Kunzler Ranch road where two suspects were detained. The two suspects were identified as Azuriah Paul and Shane Waier.
Evidence directly related to the robbery was located in the two stopped vehicles.
Sheriff's Deputies at the scene of the reported robbery determined that on 07-09-2019 at around 8:30 PM, the two victims were confronted by armed suspects in the driveway of their residence.
Some of the suspects were wearing masks and at least one suspect was wearing a vest identifying the person as "security".
One victim was struck by a firearm while attempting to verbally calm the situation. The injured victim and the other victim where then restrained by "zipties" and "duct tape" inside and outside the residence.
Both victims were moved by force throughout the property and forced at gun point to open a safe at the location.
The suspects took multiple items from the residence to include currency, cellular telephones, harvested marijuana and one of the victim's vehicle. The incident last approximately 30 minutes and as the suspects were leaving, one victim was able to escape the "zipties" and notified the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office of the incident.
Following the conclusion of the initial investigation, Sheriff's Deputies along with allied agencies continued to search the area of North State Street for the outstanding driver of the stolen vehicle.
On 07-10-2019 at about 2:25 AM, a Sheriff's Deputy was patrolling the area of North State Street and Empire Drive when he observed a white male adult who matched the description of the outstanding involved suspect in the parking lot of the Shell Gas Station (1301 North State Street).
The suspect, later identified as Nathan Kurtz, was contacted and detained. Kurtz was subsequently identified as being a suspect in the robbery and was arrested.
At this time, Azuriah Paul, Shane Waier and Nathan Kurtz have been arrested for the following charges: 213 PC - Robbery in Concert; 209 (b)(1) PC - Kidnapping during commission of Robbery; 12022 (a)(1) PC - Armed in the Commission of a Felony; 236 PC - False Imprisonment; 459/460 (a) PC - First Degree Burglary; and 10851 VC - Theft of Vehicle.
All three suspects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail where they were to be held in lieu of $275,000.00 bail.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the officers from the Ukiah Police Department and California Highway Patrol (Ukiah Office) for their assistance in this investigation.
It is unknown if there were additional vehicles associated with this investigation. Additionally, there is potential for evidence related to this investigation to have been discarded on Orr Springs Road.
Investigators determined the robbery location was not a licensed cannabis operation.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information related to additional suspect(s) and vehicle(s) or with information concerning suspicious items along Orr Springs Road to contact us on our non-emergency dispatch line 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.
Persons wishing to remain anonymous can also contact the WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline at 800-782-7463.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184
DATE: "July 8, 2019"MCSO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
11358 (c) H&S (Marijuana Cultivation)
2200 block of East Side Road in Willits, CA
Date of Incident:
Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians
Sgt. Mike Dygert #1168
On 06-25-2019 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received an illegal trespass marijuana cultivation complaint from officials of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians (SVBPI).
The SVBPI officials reported there were two trespass and non-sanctioned marijuana cultivation sites on SVBPI Tribal lands. The information was provided to the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) for investigation.
A search warrant was obtained for the investigation of the two marijuana cultivation sites. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives from COMMET responded to the two marijuana cultivation sites and served the search warrant on 07-02-2019.
One site consisted of 3 large plastic green houses and the other site had one large plastic green house and 2 outdoor marijuana gardens. In total COMMET eradicated 983 marijuana plants from both cultivation sites.
No suspect(s) were located at either cultivation site during the service of the search warrant.
If anyone has information that can assist in the identification of the outstanding suspect(s) then COMMET urges you to call the Sheriff's Office Tip-line at 707-234-2100 or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-782-7463.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184
DATE: "July 2, 2019"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Incident Number: 2019-19252
Crime/Incident: 254(a)(2) PC [Assault with a deadly weapon-firearm]
11358 H&S [Cultivate Marijuana]
11359 H&S [Possess Marijuana for sale]
Location: 24500 Block of Hulls Valley Road, Covelo CA
Date of Incident: 06/30/2019
Time: 6:37 PM
Victim(s): Hispanic Male, 22 years of age, Covelo CA
Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney
Synopsis: On 6/30/2019 around 6:37 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) received several 911 calls from the Hulls Valley Area, north of the town of Covelo. The callers began to relate that a possible shooting had occurred in the area and one Hispanic male may have been shot. A second caller related the shooting victim was trying to flag down cars in the area. The victim was eventually able to get a ride where he was met by an ambulance from Covelo Fire. Emergency Medical Service personnel confirmed the victim had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and transported him to a safe landing zone where he was transferred to an air ambulance and flown directly to a trauma center, where he underwent immediate surgery. MCSO later confirmed the victim had suffered significant trauma from multiple bullet wounds to his chest and arm. He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for recovery.
MCSO Patrol Deputies responded to the Hulls Valley area and found where the victim had attempted to flag down a vehicle. They located a blood trail and followed that trail back to a gated driveway nearby. As they were nearing the gate another Hispanic male, Salvador Torres-Rubio (21 years of age out of Santa Rosa, CA), approached carrying two large bags of marijuana. Torres-Rubio was detained and observed to be possibly under the influence of a controlled substance. Torres-Rubio related to the deputies there were other persons in the area who were armed and might shoot at responding officers. Torres-Rubio also indicated there might be a second person on the property who had been shot and was deceased. Deputies then initiated a callout of the Mendocino County Inter-agency SWAT Team while MCSO Detectives completed a search warrant for the residence and property.
Using the SWAT Team the residence and property were searched but no other persons were found on the property. The property was approximately 30 acres and covered with heavy brush and timber. Sheriff's Deputies did locate numerous greenhouses used to cultivate marijuana. Deputies waited until daylight and initiated a more detailed search of the property for another shooting victim but did not locate any injured or deceased persons. Deputies did not see any clear indicators that a second person had been shot. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Marijuana Unit
responded to the location and determined the growing operation was not permitted at the State or County level. Deputies eradicated 1286 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. The plants ranged from 3 feet to 5 feet in height.
The case is currently under investigation. Salvador Torres-Rubio was arrested on an arrest warrant issued by the Superior Court in the County of Sonoma. The warrant listed charges of 243.4(e)(1) PC [Sexual Battery] and 1203.2 PC [Violation of Probation]. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a "no bail" status pursuant to the warrant.
The extent of Torres-Rubio's involvement in either the growing operation or the shooting is still under investigation.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is requesting anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Sheriff's Detective Unit, via WeTip (800)782-7463 or the MCSO Communications Center at (707)463-4086.
Approved by: Lieutenant Shannon Barney
DATE: "July 2, 2019"MCSO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
451(c) PC [Arson]
1203.2 PC [Violation of Probation]
23300 block of Henderson Road in Covelo, CA
Date of Incident:
Carla Brumley [56 year-old from Covelo]
Laurie Roseann Hayes [48 year-old from Covelo]
Sergeant Joseph DeMarco
On 07-01-2019 at about 6:35 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 23300 block of Henderson Rd in Covelo, for a reported fire that was suspected to be arson.
Deputies responded to the location and contacted personnel from Cal-Fire and Covelo Fire. Deputies were advised that there was possibly a person(s) that witnessed how the fire started.
Deputies contacted the witness who identified Laurie Hayes of Covelo as lighting an object on fire. Hayes was seen throwing the object over a wooden fence. The witness told deputies that within seconds of the object being thrown over the fence large flames could be seen coming from the yard.
Covelo Fire personnel told deputies that approximately 1 acre of tall dry grass burned along with 4 abandon vehicles, one (1) uninhabited travel trailer and a 50 foot area of wood fence line. There were structures on the property which were uninhabited and not damaged.
A deputy located Hayes walking in the area of Crawford Rd and Henderson Rd, very close to the scene of the fire, at which time Hayes was detained. MCSOdispatch advised Hayes was on summary probation out of Mendocino County.
Following a detailed investigation, with assistance from a Cal Fire Prevention Officer, Hayes was placed under arrest without incident for 451(c) PC Arson, and 1203.2 PC Violation of Probation.
Hayes was then transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Covelo Fire, Cal Fire Covelo, and the Cal Fire Prevention unit for their assistance with this investigation.
Approved by: Lt. Kirk R. Mason