Archive | April, 2013

Elko District Court April 29, 2013 Judge Nancy Porter

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Howard Copelan








April 29, 2013

   CR-FP-12-1149 Fonseca, Karimarie (DA/Stephenson) Arraignment (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Sale)

   CR-FP-12-1149 Sartin, Brittany Nicole (DA/Shurtz) Arraignment (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Sale)

   CR-FP-12-1293 Smith, Bradley M. (DA/Hill) Arraignment (Possession of a Controlled Substance)


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CR-FP-12-655 McCoy, Tina Rae (DA/Hill) Arraignment (To Knowingly Use and/or be Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FO-12-1555 Guerrero, Nicole Marie (DA/Loreman) Arraignment (Attempted Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card Illegally Possessed)

   CR-FO-12-1555 Guerrero, Rosendo (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Attempted Fraudulent  Use of a Credit Card Illegally Possessed)


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CR-FP-12-257 Hegge, Bo Dwight (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Battery by a Prisoner Who  is in Lawful Custody or Confinement)

   CR-FP-12-647 Miller, Michael Raymond (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Sale of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-1671 Bridge, Beau Nicholas (DA/Foster) Arraignment (Possession of More Than One Ounce of Marijuana)

   CR-FP-12-1587 Remen, Nadine Marie (DA/Foster) Arraignment (Conspiracy toCommit Possession of a Controlled Substance)

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No Locals On West Wendover Police Chief Short List

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Howard Copelan

Screen shot 2013-04-26 at 11.03.33 AM

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The new West Wendover Police Chief will be a stranger.

According to confidential sources close to the selection process neither of the two local applicants for the job, Elko Sheriff’s Deputy T.K. Haslam or acting WWPD Chief Sandra Gunter are among the three finalist for the job that could be filled by next month.

Editors note: in the print and online first edition of this story the Advocate erroneously reported that WWPD Sergeant David Wiskerchen had also applied for the position. That information was incorrect and the Advocate apologizes for the error.

“There are pluses and minuses either way,” said an observer to the selection committee. “Someone local knows the town and the people but on the other hand might be too ingrained to see the problems or the solutions. An outsider would bring a fresh perspective but on the other hand they would have a learning curve to over come.”


The outright dismissal of all three local candidates before the final selection could be a strong indication that at least the majority of the selection committee believed that a new approach to community policing is necessary.

West Wendover Mayor Emily Carter headed the committee along with retired Wendover, Utah Justice of the Peace LaMar Melville, local business owner and casino executive John Hansen, West Wendover City Councilman Izzy Gutierrez, former city councilman Allen Rowley Jr. and NHP trooper Cezar Arranda.

From a pool of dozens ten finalist were selected for interviews before the full committee each member then ranked the applicants privately and submitted his or her list to the pool. The three highest ranking made the shortlist. The job will be offered to the highest profiled candidate and then if terms cannot be agreed upon to the second or perhaps the third name on the shortlist.

As soon as the position opened with the retirement of Robert Supp last November the city was flooded by dozens of prospective new chiefs.

The attention the job brought was a marked contrast from the time before the position  opened in 2004. Then the response was minimal at best and the job went to Supp then a deputy of the Elko County Sheriff’s Department who had been serving as acting WWPD Chief.

The reason for the turn around is perhaps due to an especially weak economy particularly in the public sector and a looming public pension crisis in some cities.

rplace30Before the Great Recession of 2007-2010 being a police officer if not a path to immense wealth did mean financial security. But as city after city went bankrupt or slashed budgets the thin blue line got a lot thinner and cities like West Wendover with a relatively healthy tax base became more attractive despite its isolation.

While most applicants for the job came from California or other western states it also drew letters of interest from as far afield as the mid west and the south east.

Whoever is finally picked will come to a department that has not seen a major change in administration in almost a decade and with two of its most senior officers contenders for the position the new chief will hold.

“Yes I am disappointed,” Gunter said. “But I love this department and this city. I will be happy to give the new chief my total support.”

In addition to winning over his new department, the new chief will have to build bridges in the community.

amb30Supp, his predecessor, came into conflict with just about everyone.  He crossed the casinos by setting up tourist jay walking stings and by proposing all alcohol servers including bartenders and cocktail waitresses and waiters undergo police back ground checks.

He alienated the Hispanic community by having his officers actively participate in raid by Immigration that came with an assault helicopter. The action virtually shut down Wendover and led to the arrest of just ten suspects. Two of whom were released the same day after they could prove they were not illegal aliens.

The animosity that raid created may explain why when a serial petty criminal Trucker Morales slipped his bonds and escaped police custody after his arrest a year later he became a something of folk hero allegedly aided in his 30 days on the lam by the community.

wrecfixedadThe new chief’s biggest challenge might however be with the business community. Supp and his officers often tangled with many of them most prominently the owner of the local strip club and the owner of the adult book/video/ lingerie store.

Supp’s fight were not however just contained to the sin businesses he went head to head against the Wendover Ambulance company and then complained to the city council about the ‘unfair’ coverage he was receiving from the High Desert Advocate he also went after then Mayor Donnie Anderson by e-mailing a news release the Friday before Labor Day that Anderson was under investigation for an unspecified crime and only after the holiday concluded clarified that the Mayor was involved in a shouting match with the local high school football coach.


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Missing Tattooed Teen Back Home

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Howard Copelan

Laura Ortiz and Juan, the man believed she ran away with.

Laura Ortiz and Juan, the man believed she ran away with.

A Wendover teenage girl whose disappearance started a bi-state man hunt in Nevada and Utah is back home safe and sound.

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Laura Ortiz a 17 year old Wendover girl was reported missing by her frantic family Friday afternoon after reportedly telling friends she was leaving home to meet a man she became acquainted with online.

WWPD sent media alerts to Salt Lake, Reno and Las Vegas and the story received coverage on the evening local news on at least six televisions station in those cities and also across the internet.

media30adShe was described as 5’5, 150 pounds, brown eyes and brown hair with red highlights. She also has a number of prominent tattoos including one that spells “Brenda” on her left leg and one that spells “Juan” on her right leg. She also has a tattoo of stars with the letters “MP” on her right thumb and a tattoo on her right arm that spells the phrase “Don’t cry over a guy.”

The West Wendover Police Department also gave several possible destinations of where Ortiz and “Jesus” could have gone including Reno, Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona, and Mexico.

About 24 hours after her disappearance Ortiz called her family from Reno. Telling them she saw the story on a local news broadcast she added that she was fine.


By Sunday Ortiz was back home.

Police released no information as to the costs of the search.

The happy ending was profoundly different from the last missing teenaged girl report two years ago, Micaela “Mickie” Costanzo. Costanzo was reported missing in the afternoon of March 3, 2011. However unlike Ortiz police did not issue a formal alert until that Friday morning when Costanzo had already been murdered by Kody Patten and Toni Fratto.

Her killers later recounted that the young girl had been alive for up to three hours from her kidnapping to her murder.



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Ely Facebook Page Ignites Municipal Election

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Howard Copelan


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A facebook page is heating up the political discord in Ely just months before the municipal elections.

Begun just a week ago, White Pine & Ely Politics now has close to 200 subscribers and is expected to double its size within the month.

As one would expect most of the posting pertain to the upcoming municipal election where it seems controversial city Clerk Jim Alworth is becoming a major issue.

Most recently coming off a confrontation with City Councilman Marty Westland, Alworth that almost came to blows earlier this year.

rplace30Judging by the posts Alworth could become a liability for those politicians who support him.

“The Ely City Council meeting on Feb. 14th has again given Ely’s prospective business’s and residents another reason to leave here and not to live here,” wrote poster Jim Northness

“Mr. Alworth claims to be a victim.

Councilman Westland, if I was called in front of the Ethics commission by City Clerk Alworth, I would subpoena all the City Supervisors The City Attorney, Mayor, City officials, and Employees past and present and get a deposition from each one of them . A person under oath is more likely to tell the truth. Every one of them has either been a target or has witnessed Mr. Alworth’s anger and intimidation. If you would like a list I will get one for you. I have recently been made aware he apologized to a volunteer fireman for one of his tirades brought on because this individual misspelled some words.

taylor30Mr. Mayor I have discussed his anger management with you and I was assured this was a thing of the past. I see that did not happen. If you want to do the Cities business, you and the Council must get this under control. The City Attorney, Mayor and councilmen should be cognizant, that not all of the fire stirring is caused by City Hall, it is time you all grow up and do what you were elected or hired to do.

If anyone of authority tries to guideline who the City does business with, then this person is overstepping his authority. Isn’t there a reason for rules and regulations on Companies bidding for Government contracts? If the dollar amount for what you need done is less than is required for a bid, be fair all of these local businesses, one is as important to you as the other or does favoritism exist in the City? Are all conflicts of interest disclosed to the public? Are either City employees or elected Officials guilty of this? I am confident I could point out a few instances that should be investigated.



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Ely ex-Felon Brothers Busted For Rifle

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Howard Copelan

Geovany and Joel Solis

Geovany and Joel Solis

A pair of Ely ex-felon brothers on in jail each on a $10,000 bail for owning a 30-30 rifle they claim they received in payment for a job.

Geovany and Joel Solis aged 29 and 33 respectively were arrested Tuesday in their home at 380 Fay Avenue in Ely.

According to White Pine County sheriff’s Captain Scott Henroid deputies along with the Eastern Nevada Narcotics TASK Force served a search warrant on men and discovered a 30-30 caliber rifle at the residence along with ammunition for the firearm.

Both men, Henroid said, are ex-felons and it is illegal for either one to possess a firearm.

According to Henroid both men told officers that the rifle was given to them as payment for a mechanic job.

If true the payment could be poison. Not only do the two face a return to prison but Joel Solis, an illegal alien, is under a deportation order back to Mexico.




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Where is the shame?

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

And once again we are hearing the plaintive cries that Islam is a religion of peace and that the mass murder of innocents be a few deranged bad apples should not spoil the bunch.

Once again non-Muslim mass murderers such as Adam Lanza, Timothy McVeigh and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are being trotted out as proof that we in the west are just as bad as them in the Middle East.

To a certain point the apologists for Islamic terrorism are right. There are enough loonies of all religions and colors to fill several bins. But that point stops on a wall, thousands of walls actually from Morocco to Gaza to Riyadh to Grozni and all points in between the Middle East and Central Asia where the smiling portraits of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev martyrs to the cause are springing up.

And that is the difference.

While the West is by no means free of evil men who commit evil deeds we do not laud their ‘achievements’ much less name our children after them.

70 years after World War II the names of Adolph and Benito still are hard to find in the birth announcements, yet Osama is one of the most popular name for a baby boy in the West Bank and has been in dozen years after 9/11.

And that is a big difference. We cannot blame a people for the atrocities committed by a few but we can blame a culture for celebrating them.

No we are not calling for pogroms against Muslims.

Americans are too decent a people for that.

What would be nice is that instead of gleefully posting of the “great victory “ in Boston, Muslims take a look at the eight old bomb victim and feel a sense of shame.

We aren’t holding our breath.

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Elko District Court April 22, 2013 Judge Nancy Porter

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Howard Copelan






April 22, 2013

   CR-FP-12-647 Koch, Michelle Hosig (DA/Kilpatrick) Sentencing (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance)

   CR-FO-12-1287 Anderson, Cameron Denny (DA/Hill) Sentencing (Conspiracy to Commit Embezzlement)

   CR-FO-12-1537 Perrone, Denise Marie (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Attempted Burglary)


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CR-GO-12-1395 Frazier, Dillon Trevor (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Conspiracy to Commit Trespass)

   CR-FP-12-15 Worthington, Chris Michael (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Driving Under the Influence With Two or More Prior Convictions)

   CR-FP-12-1323 Read, Jearemy J. (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Conspiracy to Commit Possession of a More Than One Ounce of Marijuana)


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CR-FP-12-1611 Morris, Kellen William (DA/Kump) Arraignment (Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FO-12-1279 Penny, Braden Robert (DA/Foster) Sentencing (Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle)

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Elko District Court April 15, 2013 Judge Nancy Porter

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Howard Copelan








April 15, 2013

   CR-FP-12-75 Kiechler, Anthony Clarence (DA/Gallagher) Sentencing (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-1311 Valena, Shay Leeann (DA/Shurtz) Sentencing (Conspiracy to Commit Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-587 Lynch, Jeffery Angelo (DA/Lee) Sentencing (Attempted Battery Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm)


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CR-FO-12-1021 Luna, Santiago (DA/Lockie) Sentencing (Conspiracy to Commit Possession of False Identification)

   CR-FO-12-723 Trujillo, Nathan (DA/Lockie) Sentencing (Grand Larceny)

   CR-FP-12-1149 Nixon, William D. (DA/Macfarlan) Arraignment (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Sale)


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CR-FP-12-571 Harris, Bryon Leigh (DA/Macfarlan) Sentencing (Transportation of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-653 Hess, James A. (DA/Macfarlan) Sentencing (Aiming a Firearm at a Human Being)


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CR-FP-12-1367 Dick, Amee Lenae (DA/Kilpatrick) Arraignment (Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-1397 Oldfield, Christie Lee (DA/Kilpatrick) Sentencing (Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-789 Brown, Tacuma Hakim (DA/Dunn) Status Hearing (Driving Under the Influence with Two or More Prior Convections)



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Judge Nancy Porter Swears In New Citizens

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Howard Copelan


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Police Over Reach In DUI/Loaded Weapons Arrest?

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Howard Copelan

Jay C. Kelsey mug shot

Jay C. Kelsey mug shot

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A Wendover man’s outing with his son to a local shooting range turned into an 18 hour ordeal and again raises criticism of an over zealous police force.

According to local police reports Jay C. Kelsey was arrested Sunday for DUI on Wendover Boulevard. Kelsey also had a loaded rifle in his vehicle when officers pulled him over, said West Wendover Police Sgt. David Wiskerchen.

According to Nevada law it is felony in to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle. It’s also illegal to possess a firearm when you are under the influence of alcohol. Kelsey was booked on both additional charges.

His bail at the Elko County Jail was set at $6,878.

nbt30While not contesting the DUI charge Kelsey’s family has called the incident an over reach by local police.

“He just went out target shooting with his son,” said the accused man’s sister Kelly. “Yes he had a few beers and could have been over the legal limit. But nothing my brother did warranted the treatment he received.”

According to Ms. Kelsey her brother was handcuffed for five hours and then at 1 am was transported to the Elko County Jail for booking.

“His wrists are still bruised from the shackling,” she added. “There was no reason for that.”

Kelsey also disputes the loaded weapons charge insisting that while there may have been bullets in the weapons’ magazines there were no bullets in their chambers.

Again according to Nevada law a firearm is not considered loaded unless there is a bullet in the chamber ready for firing. An assault rifle with a full 30 magazine clip is not considered a loaded weapon unless there is a round in the chamber.

Jay Kelsey, Wendover Ambulance owner Lauara Snyder

Jay Kelsey, Wendover Ambulance owner Lauara Snyder

“They are trying to make my bother out to be some kind of terrorist,” Kelsey said. “When all he did was have a few beers while target shooting with his son. Yes it was wrong to drink and drive but come on let’s show a little common sense.”

According to the Wendover business woman the search of the vehicle was also conducted without benefit of warrant.

“The guns were secured safely under the seat,” she added. “There was simply no way they were visible during the stop.”

That distinction is important. In federal and state rulings police do not have a right to search a vehicle without a warrant or the permission of the driver unless suspicious material can be viewed in plain sight by law enforcement.

“I know he didn’t give permission for a search,” she added. “And the only way they could have found them was to lift up the seat.”

ellisoncentra30If the weapons were found as a result of an illegal search whether or not the were ‘loaded’ would be rendered irrelevant.

This is not the first time the local police department was accused of being over zealous in enforcing the law. Under recently retired Chief Ron Supp those accusation bubble over into the press following the handcuffing of Wendover ambulance owner Lauara Snyder while she was on an emergency call to a Wendover, Utah motel in 2010.

While detained she was never formally arrested and charges were later dropped.

That same year the department was also taken to task for setting up a jay walking sting, ticketing tourists for $200 for not crossing the street in designated cross walks.

The uproar surrounding Snyder’s detainment did cause Supp to publicly complain to the city council that he and his department was being treated unfairly in the media.

“We are not thugs!” he told the council.

Supp departed last November and a search is currently on for his replacement. A new Chief of Police could be name by next month.

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