Written by John Plestina
One half of the Michigan couple, accused of attempting to obtain narcotics by deception in Culbertson, withdrew not guilty pleas he entered in July and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs under a plea agreement.
Jesse Allan Gottschalk, 22, of Algonac, Mich., and North Dakota, also signed a waiver of extradition. Gottschalk has been free on bond since August.
He admitted allegations against him in court
Judge David Cybulski found Gottschalk guilty and ordered a pre-sentencing report.
Gottschalk and Shelby Rider, 22, also of Algonac, Mich., and North Dakota, are alleged to have attempted to obtain drugs from Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson by making false claims.
Both entered not guilty pleas to felony possession of dangerous drugs, attempting to fraudulently obtain dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia in 15th District Court Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Rider is also free on bond. She had not withdrew her not guilty pleas as of Monday, Sept. 29.
Written by Herald-News
Several people appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Michael James Conant, 34, of McCabe, charged with partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief and felony assault on a peace officer, withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor assault charge.
Cybulski found Conant guilty, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and report, and approved a bond reduction.
Wesley Clarence Stearns, 42, of Williston, N.D., withdrew a previously entered not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to issuing bad checks by common scheme, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Stearns admitted to possession of methamphetamine and issuing four bad checks on July 4, 2013.
He has been free on bond.
Scott Darlan Crain, 27, of Froid was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to separate felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A trial date was set for Dec. 11.
Cameran Lee Watson, 19, of Wolf Point was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to separate felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A Dec. 11 trial was scheduled.
Written by John Plestina
The North Dakota man who was seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash on U.S. Hwy 2, one mile east of the Wolf Point Alco Store, Tuesday, Sept. 23, has been charged for drunk driving and other violations.
The Montana Highway Patrol identified the driver as Hjalmer Spotted Bear, 29, of Mandaree, N.D.
He was alone in the 2007 Pontiac G6 when it left the roadway on the north side of U.S. Hwy 2 and rolled multiple times ejecting Spotted Bear, about 60 feet from the car that had partially broken apart. The engine was on the ground near the driver side door.
MHP Sgt. Jeff Kent said Spotted Bear was issued citations for DUI, driving without a driver’s license, driving with no insurance and not wearing a seatbelt.
Kent said the vehicle, which had 41 county license plates that had been issued in McCone County, belonged to someone other than Spotted Bear and had recently been sold, but the car remained registered to the previous owner. Kent said the vehicle was not reported stolen.
Written by John Plestina
Three people from Minot, N.D., facing related charges, appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a car carrying Malinda K. Bibb, Brandon J. Bigham and Jamie D. Vert on U.S. Hwy. 2, near the North Dakota state line, Sept. 20, 2013. Vert was driving, according to the charging documents.
Methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons [no firearms] were found in the vehicle, according to charging documents.
All three were subsequently arraigned on felony charges.
Bibb, 31, pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and was released on $20,000 bond, Wednesday, May 28.
Bibb was scheduled with an original trial date of Aug. 14. Fifteenth District Judge David Cybulski declared a mistrial because not enough potential jurors showed up for jury selection. A new jury trial is scheduled for Thursday Oct. 16.
Bibb faces new charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, carrying dangerous drugs on a train, both felonies, and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from her arrest by Wolf Point Police Department officers onboard the Amtrak Empire Builder train, Monday, Sept. 8, on a warrant for alleged bail condition violations. According to charging documents, she was attempting to travel to Washington. She appeared before Cybulski, Wednesday, Sept. 24, to answer a petition to revoke bail.
“I’m not inclined to squash the warrant,” Cybulski told Bibb.
He denied a defense request to reduce bond and kept it at $50,000.
Bigham, 30, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs, felony criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Police in North Dakota arrested him recently while out on bail. Cybulski added $20,000 to $10,000 bond Bigham previously posted for a total of $30,000 during a recent court appearance.
Bigham withdrew his previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony possession of dangerous drugs intent to distribute. The county attorney has agreed to recommendation that other charges be dismissed. The recommendation in the plea agreement is for eight years confinement to the Montana Department of Corrections with four years suspended.
Bigham entered his plea behind closed doors in Judge David Cybulski’s chambers with his attorney and Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen present.
Vert, 36, entered a change of plea under a plea agreement. She withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. The original charges contained in the charging documents were felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs and required motor vehicle insurance.
Written by John Plestina
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Hilario Velasquez to a 10-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections with five years suspended and a $30,000 fine on drug charges in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Velasquez, 34, of Williston, N.D., and Riverside, Calif., is eligible for the DOC-operated Treasure State Correctional Training Center, a 90- to 120- day military-style boot camp program located near Deer Lodge, and a 90- to 120-day aftercare program in a secure facility in Great Falls.
“The problem is you have a criminal history as a drug dealer in California and North Dakota while you were on probation,” Cybulski said.
He said he reserves the right to suspend part of the fine if the probation officer makes that recommendation. Cybulski also warned Velasquez that he could put him in prison for the full 10 years if there is any drug use after the five years have been served.
Probation and Parole Officer Trevor Newman completed the pre-sentencing investigation and report that recommended the sentencing Cybulski imposed.
Newman said the boot camp fail rate in 2012 was 38 percent.
He said Velasquez has a past substance abuse and criminal history in California that includes distributing marijuana.
Velasquez owes more than $7,000 to the state of California.
A jury convicted Velasquez, Friday, Aug. 1, of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute [methamphetamine], a felony, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Velasquez was arrested with Adam Lucatero Alonzo, 31, of Williston, N.D., and San Bernardino, Calif., and a Poplar woman who was not charged. Alonzo withdrew a not guilty plea and pleaded guilty in August to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, after signing a plea agreement.
Judge David Cybulski accepted the plea and found Alonzo guilty.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office reported that shortly after midnight, Sept. 25, 2013, a deputy observed a black Saturn Ion traveling as much as 15 mph under the posted speed limit and weaving on U.S. Hwy. 2 eastbound, between Bainville and Cul-
bertson. The car crossed the center line three times and then stopped. The driver, later identified as Alonzo, was unable to provide a driver’s license or any identification, vehicle registration or insurance card, and told a deputy his name was Adam Lucatero. Lucatero is reported to be his middle name.
The deputy stated in a written report that there was an odor of marijuana in the car.
The deputy reported that both men were uncooperative, resulting in the officer removing his duty weapon from his holster. The deputy also had to threaten Velasquez with pepper spray.
The deputy wrote in his report that Velazquez told him he is on felony probation in California and was not supposed to leave that state.
Alonzo has an extraditable parole warrant out of North Dakota for another drug case.
The car was impounded. Judge David Cybulski granted a search warrant for the car, where authorities found a substantial amount of syringes [several used], other drug paraphernalia, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, digital scale, 10 cell phones and $991 in cash.