Archive for March, 2017

Tensions build between immigration enforcement, local law enforcement

Friday, March 31st, 2017
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Lewis County Jail Corrections Sgt. Ron Anderson shows how any ICE detainers the jail receives are placed loose in an inmate’s folder, so a phone call can be made when people are to be released.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Federal immigration authorities issued their first list last week to highlight jails that don’t cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification of release of aliens who are potentially removable from the country.

It’s possible it won’t be long before the Lewis County Jail lands on the list.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza says this isn’t a “sanctuary county” but, his jail doesn’t and won’t hold inmates for immigration officers to come and pick up based on a detainer.

When it’s time to be released, whether because they’ve posted bail or their sentence is served, inmates get set free.

“We will not keep you, unless you have a warrant,” said Snaza, a Republican who was elected to his position in 2014 with 77 percent of the vote in a two-way race.

The jail used to routinely honor the detainers, until a federal court case in 2014 in Oregon after which they changed their policies. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the court decision concluded the ICE detainer is not a warrant, it’s more like a letter.

“We don’t have the authority to hold anyone just on a detainer,” Meyer said.

Meyer didn’t know how many jurisdictions in Washington have taken the same position, but said he didn’t think the county’s interpretation was out of the norm.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

The report issued March 20 is required by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 25, according to DHS.

The agency stated it plans to publish a report weekly to inform the public of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdictions which choose not to cooperate, potentially endangering Americans.

Neither the press release or companion report acknowledge the legal position that Lewis and other counties have taken.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan stated. “Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners.”

The Lewis County Jail in Chehalis – the county seat – houses arrestees from sheriff’s deputies, from the Washington State Patrol and police from all the cities and towns within the county. It also holds those who are sentenced locally to less than one year.

On any given day, it’s population is roughly 200 inmates, give or take about 20.

Despite the sheriff’s stance, the jail isn’t entirely uncooperative.

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Corrections Officer Dave Rodkey, booking

Deputies enforce state laws and county codes, and don’t ask people about their citizenship or immigration status, according to Snaza.

However, when anyone is booked into the jail, one question is asked of all of them.

Where were you born?

If the answer is anything but inside the United States, corrections officers will notify ICE.

Jail staff don’t attempt to figure out anyone’s citizenship or immigration status, they leave that up to the immigration authorities.

Lewis County Jail Corrections Sgt. Ron Anderson said they fax information on foreign born individuals probably three or four times each month to the ICE field office in Seattle. And about once a month, ICE will fax back a detainer on someone.

The piece of paper goes into the inmate’s file and when it’s time for that person to get out, a corrections officer will phone ICE and let them know what time the individual is going to be released.

Anderson said maybe only once so far this year, an immigration officer has actually shown up and taken someone into their custody.

“It’s a lot different than it used to be,” he said.

Anderson, who has worked at the facility for 30 years, recalls the process before the 2014 change.

“If the agency said they couldn’t get down here till the next day, we would hold the person,” he said.

ICE used to come down and conduct sweeps, Anderson said.

DHS’s first report – called the Declined Detainer Outcome Report – contains a section which names the 10 “non-cooperative” jurisdictions which had the highest number of detainers issued to them during the seven-day period that began Jan. 28.

Two Pacific Northwest entities appear; Snohomish County with 12 detainers issued and Washington County in Oregon with seven.

Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett issued a press release the same day, taking issue with the feds suggesting some choose not to cooperate.

“(It) does not accurately describe the difficulties or potential legal ramifications associated with honoring ICE detainer requests,” Garrett stated.

Sheriff Garrett went on to recount how in April 2014, a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon found Clackamas County violated Maria Miranda-Olivares’ constitutional rights, by holding her on an ICE detainer, ultimately costing taxpayers more than $100,000.

The ruling that detainer requests are unconstitutional led every county in Oregon to immediately stop honoring them, according to Garrett.

Like Sheriff Snaza and Prosecutor Meyer, Garrett said his county will honor any warrant or court order to detain a person.

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Lewis County Jail

Another section of the March 20 report includes a table presenting information about 206 declined detainers around the country during the seven-day period, naming the facility, the county and state, along with the country of citizenship and examples of criminal activity – charges or convictions – associated with each case.

ICE sends detainers if it possesses probable cause to believe that the alien is removable from the United States. The report notes however, the agency does not document in a systematically reportable manner, the immigration status of each target.

Another table in the report shows more than 100 jurisdictions throughout the country, of which ICE has become aware, which have policies that limit cooperation with ICE. The majority of them indicate they will not hold individuals solely on an ICE detainer, with several suggesting with various phrasing they will honor a warrant or court order.

Lewis County Undersheriff Wes Rethwill put it this way:

“We do have open lines of communications with all agencies,” he said. “But the whole detainer thing is a civil piece in the federal system, and we don’t act on civil stuff.”

Earlier this month, after news headlines abounded about presidential executive orders dealing with immigration and immigration bans, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office command team sent a memo to employees to affirm they were making no changes in how they operate.

“We will not go after people because of their status,” Snaza said. “That’s not our job.”

Prosecutor Meyer says the sheriff’s office is only authorized to enforce state law – and county ordinances – but not federal law.

Sheriff Snaza related that their primary mission is to keep the community and it’s people safe.

“In order to best accomplish this, we must build confidence so victims and witnesses to crimes come forward to report such criminal activity and/or seek assistance, as needed, without fear of becoming vulnerable to immigration repercussions,” his memo stated.

The memo reiterates that the sheriff’s office serves all people within Lewis County regardless of their immigrations status as well as noting that all people they come in contact with are entitled to the rights and protections of the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

The command team memo asks employees to be mindful of how their actions, statements and questions they can answer impact the public’s level of fear and trust in law enforcement.

These are tense times, Snaza said.

“When I hear of kids at school afraid of losing their mom or dad, that concerns me,” Snaza said.

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Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza

He said he was discouraged when he heard some ICE agents were hanging around courthouses to find people.

Snaza said he wishes everyone could work together to help “these folks” to ease their concerns and fears.

“I’m not going to go into a home and rip a family apart,” Snaza said. “It’s not my job and there’s no way I’ll do that.”

It’s a conversation that’s been had even around his own dinner table, Snaza said.

His father-in-law, a Marine who went to Vietnam, worked here for some 30 years on a green card before he decided to take steps to become a U.S. citizen, he said.

“Most people in the U.S. illegally want to make a better life for themselves,” Snaza said. “It’s a small percent that do the crime.”

ICE issued a press release yesterday announcing 84 foreign nationals were arrested during a recent three-day operation conducted in Washington, Alaska and Oregon.

They targeted at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives.

Sixty of them have criminal histories including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses and domestic violence but the most common was driving under the influence, according to ICE.

Seven of them were women. They came from 12 countries, with the largest number (64) from Mexico.

The enforcement actions took place in 20 communities, and King County accounted for the largest number of arrestees at 19.

Among them, two people were picked up in Thurston County, three in Cowlitz County and one in Mason County.

Rose M. Richeson, public affairs officer for ICE for the Pacific Northwest, said she didn’t have a label for someone who arrived to this country with a visa and never left when they were supposed to.

“They’re not considered a priority, I don’t have a term for those people,” she said.

However, if they are picked up, they are dealt with on a case by case basis, she said.

Prosecutor Meyer today said the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is working with ICE to see if there are ways local jurisdictions could honor a new form of detainer.

“I worry it may have a chilling effect on victims reporting crimes,” Meyer said. “Our laws have to mean something.”

Sheriff Snaza shared a memo he received today from the Washington State Sheriff’s Association taking exception to ICE’s label of some as uncooperative.

Every sheriff in the state complies with the federal court decision that precludes them from holding inmates on ICE detainer requests, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson, president of the WSSA wrote.

“Sheriffs need to uphold what is legal and what is right and not bend to political pressure or convenience,” Nelson stated. “The public expects us to enforce the law while obeying the law.”

Nelson’s letter notes that after the 2014 court decision within the Ninth Federal Circuit, sheriffs reached out to ICE in order to find a workable solution.

“ICE’s position has been less than cooperative,” Nelson wrote. “Their current approach has the potential to undermine long standing relationships between federal and local agencies.”

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Lewis County Jail, Southwest Chehalis Avenue

Centralia murder case waiting for state crime lab results

Friday, March 31st, 2017
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Janet L. Anderson is shown her seat in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lawyers checked in with a judge yesterday to gauge progress towards the trial for a Centralia woman accused of fatally shooting her husband.

Janet L. Anderson, now 40, is charged with second-degree murder for the December death of 41-year-old Ty Anderson.

Her trial is scheduled for the week of May 8, but neither attorney expects it to take place that soon.

Centralia defense attorney Shane O’Rourke said a significant amount of discovery – materials prosecutors intend to use at trial – has been exchanged, but they are still awaiting the results of DNA testing from the state crime lab.

O’Rourke told the judge he will be asking to postpone the trial date, but doesn’t want to do it yet because he wants to make sure the crime lab keeps the case as a high priority.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said there are lots and lots of items to be tested.

Outside the courtroom, O’Rourke said among the blood to be tested, is his client’s.

“She sustained some injury as well, and was bleeding,” he said. “From our position, she was hurt during an altercation.”

Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler agreed the parties should return to court in two weeks, and on that date they could address a new trial date.

Anderson remains held on $1 million bail.

She was arrested Dec. 17, after she turned herself in to police and told them she and her husband had been arguing at their home off of West Oakview Avenue and he grabbed his gun and pointed it at her. Her husband’s body was found in their bedroom with a bullet hole in the back of his neck and another in his lower back.
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For background, read “Centralia wife’s murder trial postponed” from Thursday January 19, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 31st, 2017
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•••

CAR PROWL

• A 22-year-old Chehalis resident reported to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office about 6 a.m. on Wednesday that someone got inside his parked vehicle during the night and stole his gun. Missing is a Walther PPQ 9 mm handgun, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened at the 3500 block of Jackson Highway between midnight and 5 a.m. that day, Chief Dusty Breen said. The loss is $700.

CAR FIRE

• Firefighters were called just after 5 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of Coulson Road east of Napavine where a car caught fire on private property. It was fully involved in flames when the crew arrived, but they extinguished it before it could spread to a nearby outbuilding, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, resisting arrest, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, vehicle collision, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, vehicles parked in handicap spaces without placard, pair of individuals on the front steps of library passing a beer back and forth  … and more among 130 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Rollover crash claims life on SR 508

Friday, March 31st, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One person is dead after a single-vehicle accident along state Route 508 south of Chehalis last night.

Firefighters called about 9:10 p.m. to the scene near Tauscher Road about three miles east of Interstate 5 found the driver was deceased.

The 1999 Ford F250 pickup had been heading eastbound when the driver lost control and rolled off the north side of the roadway, coming to rest on its passenger side in a pasture, according to responders.

The passenger, 45-year-old Stephanie R. Richards, of Onalaska, was conscious but injured and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol and Lewis County Fire District 5.

The driver is identified as a 53-year-old Onalaska man, but his name has not been released.

Both had been wearing their seat belts, but the truck was totaled, according to the state patrol.

District 5 Firefighter Brad Bozarth said some bystanders were taking care of a dog which had been traveling with the couple.

Prosecutors: Meth-making discovered during domestic violence call in Centralia

Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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Justin G. Bonifield is led out of the courtroom following his bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – He said the firearm accidentally discharged, but his girlfriend said that during an argument Justin G. Bonifield hit her in the face, struck her in the back of the head with a beer bottle causing her to see stars and threatened to kill her as she tried to get out of their Centralia house.

The 40-year-old woman told deputies she slid beneath the garage door after pushing the automatic door opener, and began to run toward a neighbor’s house for help when she heard a gunshot, so she dropped to the ground and crawled the rest of the way, according to court documents.

Bonifield, 47, wasn’t arrested until the following day, but by then, law enforcement was already in the process of uncovering a fully functional meth lab at the Joppish Road home, according to authorities.

The Centralia man was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court facing six felony charges.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said the defendant has two prior felonies and asked that his bail be set at $200,000.

Temporary defense attorney Kevin Nelson noted his client has only had one warrant in the past and has a job as a fabricator in Olympia. Nelson requested $25,000 bail.

Judge Joely O’Rourke agreed with the prosecutor’s request.

The incidents took place on Monday night, and were investigated after the victim got her neighbor to call 911. She had a bloody lip, large lumps on the back of her head and a concussion, according to authorities. Bonifield had fled in a Ford Mustang.

The girlfriend told deputies Bonifield manufactures methamphetamines in one of the outbuildings on the property, something she’d watched him do on prior occasions, according to Halstead.

Deputies obtained a search warrant and located what was described as a lab, with chemicals known to be associated with the red phosphorous method of meth making, according to charging documents. They collected beakers, tubing, flasks, a condenser and crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the documents.

They also found an empty Corona beer bottle on the floor of the home and a gun, the documents relate. Deputies found a trailer on the property that had been reported stolen within the county late last year as well, according to Halstead.

Charging documents make no mention of any bullet being retrieved.

The suspect was found in Thurston County on Tuesday and taken into custody.

“Bonifield admitted to having the firearm and acknowledged he was not to possess any firearm,” Halstead wrote in charging documents. “He also stated the firearm was accidentally discharged.”

He is charged with second-degree assault, felony harassment and manufacture of methamphetamine – an offense Halstead said he hasn’t seen in his nearly seven years in the prosecutor’s office.

Bonifield is also charged with second-degree possession of stolen property, second-degree unlawful possession firearm and possession of meth.

His prior convictions were from 1995 in Pierce County, for attempting to elude and a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

His arraignment was scheduled for today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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•••

FRAUD

• A Toledo resident contacted police yesterday to report it appears her debit card was used recently at the Wal-Mart in Chehalis, with a charge of $195. She told police it’s been happening at Wal-Marts up and down the Interstate 5 corridor and she still has her debit card, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 3:35 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Southeast Adams Avenue to take a report of items stolen from a mailbox. The first time it was a package and the second time it was an envelope, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports it responded about 10 p.m. yesterday for a “suspicious circumstances” call at the 100 block of Joppish Road outside Centralia where they contacted a 39-year-old woman who turned out to have two felony warrants for probation violations out of Idaho. She was arrested and suspected methamphetamine was found on her person, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Heather R. Peterson, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey said.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, failure to transfer title, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances, barking neighbor dog, people hanging out near a bus stop … and more among 131 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Pe Ell residence sustains major fire damage while occupants away

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
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Smoke alarm melts, but keeps operating through Pe Ell fire. / Courtesy photo by Derrick Paul

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Pe Ell couple is without a home after a fire that appears to have been related to an electrical issue.

Fire investigator Derrick Paul said he won’t know the cause for sure until after the insurance company runs some tests.

The occupants pulled into the driveway at the 300 block of West Fourth Avenue late Monday night after two days at the beach, and noticed the fire, Paul said.

Crews from Lewis County Fire District 11 arrived and extinguished the flames beneath the double wide mobile home and then entered and put out fire in the living room, according to Paul.

It had apparently been burning for quite a long time, but because the house was closed up, didn’t have a lot of oxygen, Paul said. The interior temperature was about 700 degrees and there was major heat damage inside, he said.

“The light fixtures throughout the house were melted,” he said.

However, Paul said, there was one working smoke detector and despite having partially melted, it was still beeping and flashing when he go there.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
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WANTED CENTRALIA MAN FOUND IN YELM

• A Centralia man wanted for allegedly assaulting his live-in girlfriend – by hitting her over the head with a beer bottle and firing a shot towards her as she exited their home – was captured yesterday in the Yelm area after an investigation led to his vehicle parked outside a residence there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Justin G. Bonifield, 47, surrendered to law enforcement about 12:15 p.m., Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. The 40-year-old woman was found to have suffered a concussion from the Monday night events at the 100 block of Joppish Road, according to the sheriff’s office. Bonifield was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, Breen said. There is an ongoing investigation now of possible meth-making at the Joppish Road home, according to Breen. Bonifield is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court at 4 p.m. today.

THEFT OF POWER EQUIPMENT

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 200 block of Short Road outside Morton where someone had stolen a generator and an air compressor sometime since March 10. The loss is about $750, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Locks had been cut on a cable blocking the driveway, on a shed and also on a cable securing the generator, according to the sheriff’s office.

AUTO THEFT

• A white 1995 Honda Accord vanished from where it was parked on the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street in Chehalis yesterday between 4 p.m. and 5:50 p.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just before 3 p.m. yesterday after a victim parked at the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue observed a male open the canopy of his vehicle, remove a Stihl chainsaw, put it into his white Ford Ranger and drive away.

SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION

• Centralia police responded about 4:15 p.m. yesterday for a report of a sexual assault associated with a location at the 200 block of Railroad Avenue. An investigation is underway, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CONTAINER FIRE

• Rural Chehalis firefighters were called about 12:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Bishop Road for a fire burning inside a 30-foot cargo trailer at a pallet yard. They observed heavy smoke and were able to extinguish the flames within six minutes of their arrival, but stayed on scene almost an hour to make sure the fire was out, Lewis County Fire District 6. Fire Chief Tim Kinder said the metal container had been converted into a wood drying kiln. The exact cause was to be determined by a fire investigator, according to Firefighter DJ Hammer.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police responded about 10:20 p.m. yesterday to a wreck at the 2600 block of North Pearl Street. A vehicle collided with a pole, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, third-degree theft, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, no contact order violation; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, vehicle collision, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 136 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Firefighters Jeff Ames and Matt Foley extinguish fire inside shipping container. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 2:49 p.m.

CENTRALIA WOMAN FLEES GUNSHOT INSIDE OWN HOME

• A 47-year-old Centralia man is being sought after an incident last night at the 100 block of Joppish Road in which a woman fled to a neighbor’s for help, saying her live-in boyfriend had hit her over the head with a beer bottle and, she believed, fired a shot towards her as she left the home. The 40-year-old victim suffered a concussion, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said the sheriff’s office has probable cause for an arrest for first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm on Justin G. Bonifield. He was gone when deputies arrived following the approximately 7:50 p.m. 911 call, Breen said. Deputies found that possibly a controlled substance was being manufactured at the Centralia area home, but had no details this morning.

OTHER ASSAULT

• Chehalis police were called just after 2 p.m. on Friday regarding an alleged custodial assault occurring the day before at Green Hill School. They are still waiting for reports, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just before 3 p.m. yesterday about a Chevrolet Blazer possibly stolen from where it had been parked on Northeast Median Street.

• A 1992 Oldsmobile was stolen from the area of Yew Street and Centralia College Boulevard, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department just after 11 a.m. yesterday.

• A bicycle with a 48 cc motor motor was reported stolen from the 100 block of West Third Street in Centralia just after 8 a.m. yesterday. It is a Husky Beach Cruiser, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 9:15 p.m. on Sunday to take a report of the theft of a Silver 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck from the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue. It has a license plate reading B77300X, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A burgundy 1995 Honda Civic was reported stolen about 6:15 p.m. on Sunday from the 1300 block of Lum Road in Centralia. It has a license plate reading AUM 2303, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 38-year-old Rochester resident was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle after he and another person were contacted about 1:20 a.m. on Sunday with a vehicle broken down on the side of the road near Gold Street and Ham Hill Road in Centralia. Officer suspected that Bradley A. Sprouse had arrived in a vehicle stolen in Olympia to help an acquaintance with car trouble, according to the Centralia Police Department. The acquaintance had an outstanding warrant and both were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Prosecutors yesterday declined to file the felony charge against Sprouse.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called at 2:45 p.m. yesterday about the theft of a musical instrument from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.

• Chehalis police were called at about 12:40 p.m. yesterday to a business on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue on a report a customer had passed fake $100 bills. The incident is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday regarding the theft of medication from the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Centralia police were called on Friday afternoon about the theft of power tools from a maintenance room at the 1300 block of Alexander Street.

• Centralia police were called about 3:45 p.m. on Friday about an overnight vehicle prowl at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue. Several “items” were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to the 200 block of 16th Street just before 11 a.m. on Friday about an overnight incident in which fuel was siphoned from a parked vehicle.

• Chehalis police were called to the 400 block of Northwest Front Street just after 3 p.m. yesterday about gas being siphoned from a parked vehicle.

DRUGS

• Dylan T. Kolvig, 26 of Centralia, was arrested on an outstanding Centralia Municipal Court failure to appear warrant as well as possession of methamphetamine after contact with police at Yew and Pear streets in Centralia at about 10:20 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer was called about 2:40 a.m. on Saturday to Providence Centralia Hospital regarding a patient allegedly in possession of a baggie of suspected methamphetamine. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called to the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue just before 9 a.m. yesterday to take a report that tires had been slashed on at least one vehicle.

• Centralia police reported on Sunday they were investigating a report of a known person breaking out the taillight of the victim’s vehicle with a bat at the 1100 block of Centralia College Boulevard reported to them on Saturday afternoon.

• Police were called just before 10:30 p.m. on Saturday to the 200 block of East Chestnut Street in Centralia where they were told an individual broke the windshield of the victim’s vehicle during a dispute.

AND FROM MORTON

• Officers responded to the 400 block of Second Street in Morton to a gas drive off about 8:20 a.m. on Friday. The vehicle’s driver was later stopped on U.S. Highway 12 and was escorted back to the gas station and paid the remaining balance, according to the Morton Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 39-year-old Toledo woman was cited for hit and run after an approximately 9 p.m. Saturday report of a car striking a Ford Bronco on the side of the road near the 300 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. Amy J. Threlfall was arrested and booked on an outstanding warrant, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The following evening, she was arrested at the Lewis County Jail for possession of heroin, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Dayton Z. Taylor, 18 of Winlock, and Austin R. Paladin, 20, of Rainier, were both cited for racing and reckless driving after contact with an officer around 3 p.m. on Friday at the 800 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, third-degree theft, fourth-degree assault, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, third-degree domestic malicious mischief; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, hit and run, vehicle collision, third-degree theft, possible sexual assault, suspicious circumstances, numerous as-yet unverified reports … and more among 492 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 96-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Orting man dies following U.S. Highway 12 motorcycle accident

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 56-year-old motorcyclist died after a wreck last night on U.S. Highway 12 about two miles east of Mossyrock.

Darrell S. Holmquist, of Orting, was traveling westbound near milepost 89 when he failed to negotiate a sweeping corner, left the roadway and was ejected, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers were called to the scene just after 9 p.m.

Holmquist was airlifted to Peacehealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver where he passed away, according to the state patrol.

He had been wearing a helmet, but it was described by the investigating trooper as non-USDOT compliant.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 24th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 5:44 p.m.

A CLUE

• Centralia police yesterday decided yesterday to send a summons to a 23-year-old Seattle resident to come to court for a third-degree theft after identifying their suspect through the Washington state ID card in the clothing he allegedly removed and left behind when shoplifting at a store on the 100 block of West High Street.

DRUGS

• A 24-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver after drug detectives searched his bedroom and found approximately one gram of meth along with two digital scales and numerous baggies, according to court documents. Members of JNET were assisting with the apprehension of wanted individuals with the state Department of Corrections and found Arturo A. Ramirez at his home on Seward Avenue in Centralia, according to the documents. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today in Lewis County Superior Court. Ramirez’s bail was set at $10,000.

• A 38-year-old woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday after a trooper contacted two people in a semi truck parked at the end of the southbound Interstate 5 onramp at milepost 74. The trooper smelling a strong odor of marijuana searched the sleeper area and found two glass pipes, the insides of which were coated with white powder, according to court documents. The girlfriend of the truck driver reportedly said they belonged to her and she was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the documents. Bail was set this afternoon with a $10,000 signature bond for Elaina A. Caldera, of Baldwin Park, California.

CHARGES FILED FOR GREEN HILL ATTEMPTED ESCAPE

• The Green Hill School student-inmate who allegedly took off running from his group and tried to throw a homemade rope over the fence the end of last month was brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court charged with first-degree attempted escape and custodial assault. Eric F. Hungary Jr., who turned 18 last week, is serving time at the state juvenile detention facility for second-degree murder, according to court documents. Chehalis police called to investigate on Feb. 28 were told a group had been walking from the central kitchen back to their living unit and Hungary stayed toward the back, before he took off. Staff caught up with him and he allegedly extended both arms upward with clenched fists, got into a fighting stance and started swinging at a staff member, according to the documents. Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller told a judge this afternoon her client has at least two years left to serve at Green Hill. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was given a court appointed lawyer.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, obstructing, driving with a suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, suspicious circumstances … and more among 126 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Centralia fast food burglar faces more charges

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
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Cole T. Moon returns to his seat to wait to be taken back down to the Lewis County Jail after bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Just as he was finishing up serving jail time for his role in a burglary to the McDonald’s restaurant in Centralia, Cole T. Moon found himself charged with new felonies related to past alleged activities.

Moon, 24, recently pleaded guilty to the McDonald’s incident and was given just 45 days in jail because he was a first time offender.

The break-in was just one in a series of nine which took place during 2015 in cities between Portland and Lacey with similar methods – the thieves cut holes in the roofs of fast food restaurants and then cut holes in their safes and stole money, according to authorities. Three took place in Centralia.

An acquaintance of Moon’s pleaded guilty on Wednesday to five of the crimes and is facing a potential sentence of more than 12 years in prison.

As part of his plea agreement, 26-year-old Alexis Cardenas was required to provide a truthful statement about his activities and the names of all who helped him.

The new information, presented in charging documents, alleges there was an attempted burglary at the Centralia McDonald’s a few weeks before the known break-in on May 28, 2015. But they brought the wrong cutting tool and abandoned the venture, according to authorities.

Moon also is now implicated in the incident at Arby’s on April 14, 2015 as well as others in other counties, according to charging documents.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead charged Moon yesterday with one count of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted second-degree burglary, one count of first-degree malicious mischief and a count of attempted first-degree malicious mischief.

Moon had just completed serving his time the day before in the Lewis County Jail.

Temporary defense attorney Kevin Nelson said his client had a solid place to live and a job lined up as bail was discussed.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke agreed with Halstead’s request for bail of $100,000 for Moon.

Moon’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
•••

For background, read “Fast food roof top burglar convicted after plea deal” from Wednesday March 22, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
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•••

Updated at 12:07 p.m.

AUTO THEFT

• A purple 1997 Honda Accord was reported stolen from the 200 block of North Oak Street in Centralia just after 1 p.m. yesterday. It has a license plate reading AND 0829, according to police.

• Centralia police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of North Saxon Street about the theft of a gray 1990 Toyota Camry. It has a license plate reading ANS 2489, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop about 8:10 a.m. yesterday along the 600 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis led to the arrest of a 32-year-old motorist for possession of methamphetamine. Ryan M. McMahon, of Centralia, was found to be driving with a suspended license and a search incident to his arrest turned up paraphernalia which tested positive for meth, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A 33-year-old driver was arrested following a traffic stop when a small bag of a crystal substance turned up which field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Isaiah M. Owen, of Bellingham, was pulled over by a trooper on northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 58 on Tuesday and found to be driving with a suspended license, according to court documents. The baggie was found tucked into a tear on the driver’s seat of his vehicle, according to Lewis County prosecutors. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, charged yesterday with possession of meth and then allowed release on a $10,000 signature bond.

• A 30-year-old woman was arrested for possession of heroin when she was contacted in the area of Boistfort Avenue in Chehalis, based on items found inside her purse which she had left in an acquaintance’s car parked at the Lewis County Law and Justice Center on Monday. Desiree M. Webley, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Tuesday, charged yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court and then ordered held with$10,000 bail, according to court documents. A 28-year-old Oakville man with her when she was contacted was arrested with possession of methamphetamine based on items discovered in his pockets when he was detained on an outstanding warrant. John M. McCrory too was booked into jail, charged yesterday and ordered held on $10,000 bail, according to the documents.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 39-year-old Winlock man yesterday was ordered held on $50,000 bail following an approximately 8 p.m. call on Monday to the 100 block of state Route 505 where a woman said her ex-boyfriend came into her house and into her bedroom and jumped on to her back while she was laying down. Daniel J. Beckwith allegedly slammed open a door open, breaking it; threw the woman’s phone across the room breaking it and then left, according to court documents.  Beckwith was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail on Tuesday and then charged yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree burglary as well as violation of a no contact order.

FAKE BILL

• Police were called about 12:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia regarding the receipt of a counterfeit $50 bill.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 25-year-old Rochester woman was arrested for driving under the influence after a single-vehicle wreck just after 3 o’clock this morning along the 2600 block of Airport Road in Centralia. The 1997 Ford Explorer was totaled and it appeared to have hit a concrete barrier before going into the ditch, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Danika G.L.R. Pickernell was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, driving with no license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, protection order violation; complaint of the odor of marijuana coming from a growing operation on Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis … and more among 161 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Fast food roof top burglar convicted after plea deal

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
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Alexis Cardenas pleads guilty this morning in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Alexis Cardenas cast his eyes downward as he offered guilty pleas today to a string of fast food restaurant break-ins that could bring him more than 12 years in prison.

The former Centralia College student was arrested in February in connection with incidents in the late spring of 2015 in which thousands of dollars were stolen during nighttime burglaries in Centralia, two of which the intruders entered by cutting holes in the roofs of the buildings.

The victim establishments include Arby’s, Wendy’s, McDonalds and local prosecutors combined the case with a February burglary of a Taco Bell in Thurston County and a break-in at a Franklin County Arby’s.

Three other individuals have been charged as well.

Cardenas, 26, was accompanied in Lewis County Superior Court this morning by defense attorney David Arcuri.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of second-degree burglary, five counts of first-degree malicious mischief and one count of attempted delivery of cocaine.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said he and Arcuri plan to recommend a sentence of 148 months in prison. Arcuri alluded to “other things” his client has agreed to do before his sentencing.

Cardenas’s now 20-year-old girlfriend Morelia V. Ayala Garcia, 19, also of Centralia, is charged for her alleged role in the McDonalds case where she used to work as a manager.

Also charged in the burglaries were Joaquin Armenta and Cole T. Moon. Moon pleaded guilty to the McDonald’s incident and was given just 45 days in jail because he was a first time offender, according to Halstead.

Cardenas is expected back in court on April 20 to schedule his sentencing hearing.
•••

For background, read “Two arrested in Centralia rooftop burglary cases” from Friday February 10, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called just before 6:30 a.m. today to the 200 block of South Silver Street about the theft of a champagne-colored 1995 Toyota Camry, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUG SEARCH

• Centralia police impounded a car and got a search warrant for suspected drugs after two people were found sleeping in the vehicle yesterday morning at the 1100 block of Belmont Avenue. Officers could see suspected drug paraphernalia in the car, according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspected drugs are being sent for analysis and charges are pending, according to police.

FRAUD

• An individual called Chehalis police yesterday about someone else possibly getting into one of his accounts.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called at 8:20 a.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 500 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Change was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, third-degree theft, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, trespassing, suicidal person, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances, suspected driving under the influence … and more among 156 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Rochester home catches fire

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Six fire departments converged on a house fire in Rochester yesterday on the 8500 block of James Road Southwest.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Chief Robert Scott said the single-story wood frame home was occupied at the time, but nobody was injured.

“The fire began in the basement area and extended into the overhead attic space,” Scott said.

Crews called at 10:46 a.m. were still on the scene after lunch.

“It has a metal roof and that’s part of the problem, that’s holding in the heat,” Scott said.

An adult male and his son live there, according to Scott.

Bail set at $250,000 for home invasion suspect

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
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Franklin G. Cole Jr. appears before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 32-year-old man with 21 felony convictions in his past is being held in the Lewis County Jail in connection with a Chehalis home invasion robbery from a year ago.

Franklin G. Cole Jr. was brought before a judge yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller said Cole has lived in Thurston County his entire life, but court documents show a Tacoma address for his residence.

According to court documents, a defendant charged last year in the case agreed in January to identify the other two involved in the incident in exchange for consideration from the state.

Charges were filed last month and arrest warrants issued for Cole and for Joshua A. Little. Little has already posted bail in his case.

According to charging documents, it was just after 11:30 at night on March 26, 2016 when police were called to the victim’s home on Southwest 10th Street just off Market Boulevard.

The 40-year-old woman was living in a shed behind a residence and packing to move out when three males kicked in her door and came inside. They were dressed in black masks and wearing gloves, she told police. She said at least one of them was holding a handgun.

The victim said they took her Playstation 4, 20-inch monitor, a DVR, laptop computer and one of them threw a four-foot long fluorescent light fixture at her. She told police she thought she recognized the voice of one of them as someone who had traded watches with her boyfriend, and his watch turned out to be fake.

Jesse L. Harkcom, 34 at the time, was arrested and charged last June.

Cole’s bail is set at $250,000. His arraignment is Thursday.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis home invasion suspect facing third strike case” from Friday June 10, 2016, here

Sheriff’s Office: Deputy had to arrest woman who asked for help

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says they would not have arrested the woman who told a deputy she wanted to get clean and get into rehab if she had not reached into her purse and handed over a small baggie of heroin.

Forty-year-old Elizabeth A. Fiedler was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged the next day with possession of a controlled substance following a 911 call to her home in Onalaska on Feb. 28.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen initially reported Fiedler called Lewis County dispatch and asked for help, bringing law enforcement to her residence that night. However, a copy of the police incident report indicates it was her boyfriend who called 911.

Fiedler was passed out on the bed with a needle in her arm and he said he called because he did not know what to do, according to the report and charging documents.

The responding deputy wrote she was extremely upset and crying, and said she had relapsed and shot up with heroin. She told him she really wanted his help to get treatment, he wrote.

A second deputy noted in his report that Fiedler told them she knew she had a problem and repeatedly said she needed to go to rehab and needed help.

As she was reaching in to her purse, Deputy Andrew Scrivner told her she did not have to give him anything, according to the report.

Fielder stated, “I know, but its the right thing to do,” Scrivner wrote.

They had no choice at that point but to arrest her, according to Breen.

“Really, for law enforcement if someone presents us with, if they are in possession of an illegal substance, we don’t have another avenue,” Breen said.

The deputies also took in to evidence a silver spoon with brown resin in it they had seen laying on the bed next to her purse, according to the report. A possible charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was referred to prosecutors, according to Breen.

The second deputy wrote that Fiedler was cooperative and compliant during the entire contact.

While the arresting deputy told Fiedler they’d do the best they could to get her into a treatment program so she could continue on have a successful career, and “we’re here for ya,” Breen said the sheriff’s office doesn’t have authority to get someone into drug treatment.

“We don’t have a lot of avenues where we can go with that,” Breen said.

Breen said the only time they can take a person into custody other than a law violation, would be if they were gravely disabled or in danger to themselves, in which case they could be taken to the hospital to talk with a mental health professional.

“Obviously the best thing to do would not be to produce the controlled substance,” he said.

When Fiedler went before a judge the following day, she was allowed release on a $5,000 signature bond. The prosecutor noted to the judge she has no criminal history and was cooperative.

She pleaded not guilty on March 9. Her trial is scheduled for the week of May 22.

Breen said the erroneous information he initially provided to the news media was based on a synopsis of the incident from the deputy that did not contain the same information as the actual incident report.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Onalaskan asks law for help with drug issue” from Wednesday March 1, 2017, here