- Written by John Plestina
The last fugitive from a 40-member East Coast heroin and cocaine ring was caught following a traffic stop near Bainville Sunday, Jan. 25.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Sgt. Patrick O’Connor and Deputy Chelbi Brugh became suspicious after they stopped a car with North Dakota license plates about 2 a.m.
Sheriff Jason Frederick said the North Dakota man driving the car was not wanted but the passenger was a high-profile federal fugitive wanted on drug charges in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Pa. A warrant had been issued for her in October 2014.
She was identified as Misha Marie Canon, 48, of San Bernardino, Calif.
Frederick said Canon was acting suspicious when O’Connor approached the car.
“He [O’Connor] got her out of the car and started interviewing her. She originally lied about her name,” Frederick said.
He said O’Connor obtained permission from the driver to search his car and found a Social Security card with Canon’s name on it.
O’Connor then conducted a search on his cell phone on an Internet search engine that produced a story about Canon that was published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in October 2014.
Canon was arrested and lodged temporarily in the Roosevelt County Jail.
Frederick said the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted him Sunday, Jan. 25, notifying him that she would be immediately transported to Great Falls.
The majority of the 39 other people involved in the case were arrested on drug and gun charges following a two-year federal investigation of activities that included drug shipments from California to Pittsburgh.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The first two weeks of 2015 brought two Bakken Oilfield deaths.
An employee of C&D Oilfield Services was found dead on a catwalk on an oil well tank battery near Dickinson, N.D., Thursday, Jan. 15, one day after another man died near Mandaree, N.D.
The man who died Jan. 15 was gauging the tank setup at a Denbury Resources well site between Dickinson and Manning. He has not been identified.
On Jan. 14, Legendary Field Services owner Wes Herrmann of Watford City, N.D., died of burn injuries and another man was injured when a fire started on a heater-treater unit at a QEP Resources well site near Mandaree.
The North Dakota State Medical Examiner’s office is investigating the cause of the recent death.
Both fatalities are under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Written by John Plestina
A Poplar man on the receiving end of a telemarketing scam spotted it for what it was and called the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Jason Frederick said a telemarketer is claiming to be a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes contractor and told a local man he won $2.5 million. The caveat to becoming a millionaire was that the “winner” must wire a $250 fee via Western Union to collect his winnings.
The caller told the local man he would be wiring the money to Kaibito, Ariz., which is on the Navajo Nation Reservation.
The telemarketer claimed he was calling from Massachusetts, but caller ID showed an 876 area code, which is Jamaica.
The caller also gave a telephone number for verification of his winnings and claimed that was Bank of America. Frederick said the call produced an answering machine with a 2012 date on it and it was not Bank of America.
Publishers Clearing House reports on its website that there has been
an increase in scams with telephone calls originating from the 876 area code in Jamaica. All prizes above $10,000 are awarded in person.
Publishers Clearing House has been actively working with the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, Postal Inspection Service, Federal Trade Commission and local law enforcement to address these scams.
Anyone receiving these calls should contact the RCSO at 653-6216 or Publisher’s Clearing House at 800-266-0303.
- Written by Nancy Mahan
The Culbertson school board met in regular session Tuesday, Jan. 20.
The student council started the meeting off with a request to hire a guest motivational speaker, A’ric Jackson, to speak at the school March 23.
Other schools in the area will be invited to attend the assembly.
Principal Mike Olson and counselor Courtney Hagadone are preparing for the Montana Smarter Balance and ACT Tests for third through eighth graders, and 11th graders. The testing window is mid February with the majority of the testing starting in March.
The resignation of Chris Dunphy was accepted and Desiree Bain was hired to take over his JOM home-school coordinator position.
Superintendent Larry Crowder’s contract was approved for the next three years with no changes to salary or benefits.
Elementary basketball is in full swing with 16 girls and 15 boys participating.
In construction news updates, the bus barn now has overhead doors and they are waiting on the electrician to start. The north gym addition has trim work done and they are still waiting on the flooring. The elevator and fire alarm subcontractors should finish their work soon. The south elementary addition is waiting for the steel to be delivered.
The next regular board meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m., instead of the normal third Tuesday date due to conflicts with the district basketball tournament dates and times.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Judge David Cybulski heard several cases during a four-hour long Law and Motion proceeding in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Jan. 14.
Christopher Steven Baumann, 36, of Medicine Lake withdrew several not guilty pleas he had entered in August 2013 and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, second offense and driving while privilege is suspended, both misdemeanors. Other charges are dismissed under a plea agreement.
Baumann received a minimum sentence and time served for the entire sentence.
Seventeen months prior, Baumann pleaded not guilty to felony criminal endangerment, driving under the influence, third offense, violation in a construction zone, driving while suspended or revoked and unlawful possession of open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.
Baumann admitted in court that he drove under the influence and was without a valid driver’s license at the time of his arrest in July 2013.
A Montana Highway Patrol trooper arrested Baumann after a traffic stop in a construction zone on U.S. Hwy. 2 near mile marker 642. A child was present in the pickup truck Baumann was driving. A North Dakota driver’s license was under suspension.
Kyle Travis Crusch, 50, of Bainville withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment.
He previously pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon, intimidation, felony criminal endangerment and disorderly conduct.
Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers said the incident began with a bar fight July 28, 2014, and that a complainant said Crusch had a shotgun outside a bar.
Crusch testified that the incident started inside a bar and that two men confronted him at his vehicle where he said he felt that he was in danger. He admitted having the shotgun and being under the influence of alcohol.
Melissa Lynn Gould, 34, of Minot, N.D. was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A trial is scheduled for April 16.
Stuart Hamman, 26, of Pensacola, Fla., being held for contempt of court, appeared on a petition to revoke a deferred imposition of sentence from a 2011 conviction for forgery and theft.
Hamman admitted violations in court that included that he used alcohol on two occasions, used methamphetamine on two occasions, did not pay fines or restitution, had telephone and personal contact with a person he was ordered not to have contact with.
Cybulski found him in violation. A disposition is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 28.
Tina Lee Houim, 50, of Tioga, N.D., withdrew previously entered guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence - first offense.
The drug found in her possession was identified in court as methamphetamine.
Cybulski found her guilty and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation report.
Christopher Lee Hovey 25, of Lansing, Mich., charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs appeared for an arraignment, which was continued until Wednesday, Jan. 28, because he said he has never spoken to the public defender assigned to his case.
Hovey is on parole in North Dakota.
Jason Jackson Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., withdrew a previously entered not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
The drug was identified in court as methamphetamine.
A pre-sentencing investigation and report was ordered.
Delynn Ray Richards, 48, of Sidney and Idaho Falls, Idaho, charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia appeared for an arraignment.
Cybulski agreed to release on own recognizance allowing Richards to return to work.
The arraignment is continued until Wednesday, Jan. 28, when pleas will be entered.