CS Masthead

Second California Man Sentenced In Eastern Roosevelt County Drug Case

The second California man who was charged in an eastern Roosevelt County drug case was sentenced to prison in 15th District Court Wednesday, Nov. 12.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Adam Lucatero Alonzo, 31, of Williston, N.D. and San Bernadino, Calif., to 10 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with five years suspended, a $30,000 fine with credit for 220 days served in the Roosevelt County Jail at $50 per day.
Alonzo withdrew a not guilty plea and pleaded guilty in 15th District Court to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, Wednesday, Aug. 26, after signing a plea agreement.
Before Cybulski imposed sentence, probation officer Trevor Newman testified that he was recommending that the sentence follow the plea agreement with a 10-year sentence to the Montana State Prison with five years suspended. The DOC sentence rather than the Montana State Prison allows for Alonzo to be sent to a state boot camp, substance abuse programs or mental health facilities.
At the time he pleaded guilty, Alonzo testified that he had methamphetamine, syringes, small plastic bags, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, digital scale, 10 cell phones and $991 in cash and paraphernalia in his possession.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Alonzo and Hilario Velasquez, 34, of Williston, N.D., and Riverside, Calif., Sept. 25, 2013, following a traffic stop on U.S. Hwy. 2 eastbound, between Bainville and Culbertson. Alonzo was driving.
A jury convicted Velasquez, of two drug charges in 15th District Court, Friday, Aug. 1.
Cybulski sentenced Velasquez to 10-years commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections with five years suspended and a $30,000 fine, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Velasquez has been admitted to the DOC-operated Treasure State Correctional Training Center, a 90-120 -day military style boot camp program located near Deer Lodge, and is eligible for a 90-120-day aftercare program in a secure facility in Great Falls.
Both programs might be available to Alonzo.

Oregon Man Charged With DUI After Bainville Crash

An Oregon man was charged with DUI and other violations following a single vehicle rollover crash near Bainville, Tuesday, Nov. 11.
The Montana Highway Patrol reported that a 2004 Ford F150 pickup was turning too quickly for the existing road conditions from U.S. Hwy. 2 onto Roosevelt County Road 1009 northwest of Bainville, slid off the road and turned over on its side in a ditch at 10:15 p.m.
The MHP identified the driver as Christopher Savoy, 39, of Oregon City, Ore. Savoy currently resides in Bainville, according to the MHP.
MHP trooper Steve Nard said Savoy went to his employer’s business, borrowed a backhoe without permission and tried unsuccessfully to right the pickup and get it out of the ditch. Nard said the employer was not willing to file charges for unauthorized use of equipment.
Nard said Savoy was charged with DUI, failure to register a vehicle and no insurance.

Sepanski Sentencing Continued In Attempt To Retrieve Stolen Jewelry

A Wolf Point couple made emotional pleas in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Nov. 12, for a man facing sentencing for stealing from their home to return a wedding ring and other irreplaceable jewelry.
First Cynthia Berglee and then her husband Milton Berglee appealed during testimonies for Jeremy Thomas Sepanski to reveal the locations of their heirlooms.
Judge David Cybulski continued the sentencing hearing until Wednesday, Dec. 10, in an attempt to get the Berglee’s jewelry returned to them.
Sepanski, 30, of Plentywood testified that he was 95 percent sure he could get the jewelry back.
Milton Berglee testified that Sepanski had been a friend of his son and that he and his wife had treated him like family.
“Even my worst enemies don’t steal my wedding ring on me. Even my enemies aren’t that bad,” Berglee said. “We want our stuff back.”
Sepanski testified that he takes full responsibility for his actions. He asked Cybulski to issue a suspended sentence so he could resume his life. Sepanski said he wants to return to working in the oilfields, and if he is allowed to, he could make larger restitution payments.
He owes for restitution to at least two banks for forged, stolen checks he is alleged to have cashed.
Sepanski has another case against him in Plentywood.
“There is a pending matter in Sheridan County, where I believe the stuff is,” defense attorney J.B. Wheatcroft of Miles City said.
Cybulski continued the sentencing hearing until Wednesday, Dec. 10, while law enforcement in Sheridan County attempt to retrieve the stolen jewelry.
“These folks really want their stuff back,” Cybulski said.
He told Sepanski that if the jewelry is recovered, it could be a good thing for him.
Sepanski withdrew not guilty pleas he had entered earlier this year and pleaded guilty to forgery, burglary and forgery by common scheme during a hearing in August.
Sepanski is accused of illegally entering the Berg-lee’s house in Wolf Point when no one was home Jan. 20, stealing checks and jewelry, and attempting to cash the checks in a store in Froid.

Brockton Woman Charged With DUI After Abandoning Wrecked Van

A Brockton woman, who the Montana Highway Patrol said was drunk and abandoned a van she had rolled, has been charged with DUI and several other violations.
The Chevrolet van was left wrecked sometime early Sunday, Nov. 16. It is believed to have been there for some time before a MHP trooper drove past.
“I was on patrol and saw it sitting there,” MHP trooper Derek Werner said. “It was an unreported crash. No one was there.”
Werner said the van had been southbound on Montana Secondary Hwy. 344, crossed U.S. Hwy. 2 and went off the east side of the roadway where Hwy. 344 turns into BIA Route 1, just south of Brockton. He said the van struck a telephone pole and phone service box, and rolled one complete rotation.
The owner of the van, a Brockton man, was identified by the license plate number and contacted. The owner told Werner that his daughter had been driving his van.
Werner said the man’s daughter was still under the influence of alcohol when he contacted her.
The MHP identified the driver as Samantha Boyd, 25. She was cited for DUI and four additional charges for driving with no driver’s license, no insurance, failure to report an accident and refusal to take a sobriety test.

Second Person Accused In Culbertson Drugs By Deception Case Pleads Guilty

The second person accused in the drugs by deception case that occurred at Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson in June has pleaded guilty.
Shelby Rider, 22, Algonac, Mich. and currently living in North Dakota, withdrew a previously entered not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs in 15th District Court Wednesday, Nov. 12.
In exchange for her guilty plea, a plea agreement includes that the Roosevelt County Attorney has agreed to move for dismissal of the other charge against Rider; fraudulently obtaining dangerous drugs, also a felony.
Rider and Jesse Allan Gottschalk, 22, of Algonac, Mich., and North Dakota, have now both admitted in court to allegations that they together attempted to obtain drugs from Roosevelt Medical Center on June 25 by making false claims.
Both entered not guilty pleas to felony possession of dangerous drugs and attempting to fraudulently obtain dangerous drugs Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Gottschalk withdrew his not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty in late September. He has not been sentenced yet.
Each have been free on $20,000 bond since August and both have signed waivers of extradition.
Rider’s plea agreement includes a sentencing recommendation for a five-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections; however, she is eligible for a deferred imposition of sentence.