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Beltrami County District Court

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:

Craig Vincent Sayers, 39, of Red Lake, was found guilty by a jury Sept. 3, for felony fifth-degree drug possession. His next court date will be Sept. 28.

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At 6 p.m. May 2, 2008, a Minnesota State Trooper was on routine patrol when he observed a vehicle with excessive tint on its windows and no license plate in the front. The trooper initiated a stop and identified the driver as Sayers. The window tint measured 13 percent, which exceeds the limit. Sayers was asked to step out of the vehicle and when he did so he dropped a napkin on the seat which contained a pill. Sayers was placed in the squad car and the trooper went back to find the pill. The pill was not in the car, a front seat passenger noted that he never saw a pill. The vehicle was searched and marijuana cigarettes, rolling papers and 10 grams of marijuana were found as well as white debris in a drink cup. Sayers began to fidget in the back seat of the squad car and was removed from the vehicle. A tablet of Hydrocodone was found on the seat.

Kyle Ole Davis, 20, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 8, to two counts of felony receiving stolen property. His next court date will be Sept. 22.

Accorinding to the criminal complaint, on July 17, a woman reported that her son had been stealing items from her home. She believed her son was assisted by two other men, one of them being Davis. The men had stolen seven long guns, an antique wedding ring, a decorative knife, a Tasco rifle scope, lanterns, antique belt buckles and a compound bow. She located pawn tickets with the three men's names on them. Davis had pawned a .20 gauge Mossberg shot gun; a .22 caliber pump action rifle and a .12 gauge pump action Winchester. Bemidji Police Officers met with her son, who admitted to stealing the items and identified Davis as one of the suspects. He stated that they stole the items and sold them for money to buy gas, cigarettes and other stuff. Davis was arrested.

David Alan Stai, 44, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Sept. 8, to an amended charge of felony fifth-degree possession of methamphetamines. The original charge was felony fifth-degree possession of drugs. His next court date will be Sept. 28.

At 3:15 p.m. July 21, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle with a male driver who appeared to be passed out parked near the 11000 block of Tomine Road. The deputy identified the driver as Stai, who admitted to drinking in violation of his conditions of probation. He displayed bloodshot, watery eyes and his legs were shaking uncontrollably. He was searched and a glass pipe, hypodermic needle and a small container containing meth residue were seized. He admitted to using the pipe to smoke meth. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He has two prior convictions for fifth-degree possession of meth.

Johnathan Matthew Fairbanks, 22, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 8 to gross misdemeanor dangerous weapons possession. His next court date will be Nov. 17.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 4, Bemidji Police officers responded to a call regarding a fight at the carnival downtown. The officer identified Fairbanks, who admitted to being involved in a fight with a group of people. He had a baton, "sap gloves" (weighted gloves to increase striking force) and a taser on his person. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail.

Mickey Earl May, 23, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 8, for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI - refusal to submit.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 355 days were stayed for three years; placed on probation to the courts for three years; he must serve 10 days in jail; pay a fine of $886; restitution reserved; Community Work Service granted; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; complete a chemical assessment/treatment and follow all recommendations; submit to random testing and remain law abiding.

At 10:24 p.m. March 7, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle that was swerving over the fog line, driving on the shoulder and weaving over the center line. The driver was identified as May, who displayed the odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes and was slow to react. He did not answer the deputy when asked if he had been drinking. The female passenger stated that she had asked May to drive because she had drunk too much and couldn't drive. May failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .14. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where he refused to submit to a breath test because he "wasn't drunk." During a search of the vehicle two marijuana stems were found on the floor and the seat. There were also two open containers of beer in the front seat and five unopened containers.

Lee Alan Oppegard, 34, of Minnesota State Correction Facility in St. Cloud, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 8, for gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name.

He was sentenced to one year in jail to be served in prison, concurrently with a separate case. He must pay a fine of $80.

Two off-duty conservations officers observed two men harvesting wild rice before the allotted time of 9 a.m., when they put in they also saw two other men in a canoe with a large amount of wild rice. All of the men identified themselves; however, one of the men who was subsequently identified as Oppegard, gave a false name. He was identified by one of the other men in the boat as Oppegard.

Corey Duane Lauderbaugh, 23, of Laporte, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept 4, for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. A second count of gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI was dismissed at sentencing.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for three years; placed on probation to the courts for three years, to be served consecutively with a separate case. He must serve 27 days in jail and was given credit for three days served; pay a fine of $1,108; granted Community Work Service/Sentence To Service; complete a chemical dependency assessment and treatment; not use alcohol; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing and remain law-abiding.

At 10:52 p.m., May 6, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle traveling 79 mph in a 65 mph zone. He initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Lauderbaugh, who admitted to having had a drink at the bar. He changed his story and admitted to having three drinks. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. In a search of the vehicle, a 24- pack of beer and a bottle of rum were found open in the cab of the truck. He has one prior DWI conviction.

Todd Michael Johns, 23, of Red Lake, pleaded innocent to felony domestic assault and felony violating a no contact order. His next court date will be Nov. 17.

According to the criminal complaint, during the morning hours on July 31, Bemidji Police officers responded to a call regarding a domestic dispute between Johns and a woman. The officers arrived at the scene and heard a woman screaming and sobbing and a man yelling. The officers used a key provided by the property manager to enter the apartment where they found Johns straddling the female on the couch. He did not respond to requests to get off the woman and the police had to physically remove him. Three children were found sleeping in an adjoining bedroom. According to the woman, Johns had been drinking and became angry with her. He grabbed her and pulled her hair while she was in the bathroom. He used his fist to break the mirror and then fell into the bathtub. He grabbed her and brought her to the living room. He pulled her shirt off and punched her and continued to threaten her while he straddled her. He has prior convictions for domestic assault and violation of no contact orders.

Darcy Raymond Lee Green, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent to felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. His next court date will be Nov. 17.

According to the criminal complaint, at 2:10 a.m. May 14, a Bemidji Police officer observed a vehicle driving with its high beams on. The officer flashed its headlights but the driver of the other vehicle did not respond. The officer initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle continued to drive onto 15th Street. The officer activated the siren and the car continued through a red light at the intersection of 26th St. N.W. The vehicle attempted to turn but crashed into a tree. The driver jumped out and ran around the residence and was unable to be found. The vehicle was registered to a woman, and when contacted, she said she had loaned the car to Green and that he had returned it that morning. She said she hadn't seen him and then recanted and said he was in the closet. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail.

Brian Leslie Heinrichsen, 57, Hoonah, Alaska, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 8, for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 355 days were stayed for three years; placed on probation to the courts for three years. He must serve seven days in jail and was given credit for three days served; pay a fine of $858; granted Community Work Service or Sentence To Service; complete a chemical dependency assessment within 30-days; submit to random testing; not drink and drive and remain law-abiding.

At 7:15 p.m. Sept. 8, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call on the 19000 block of Scenic Highway on a complaint about property damage. A vehicle had driven around the homeowner's yard damaging property and an antique bike. The homeowner provided the police with a description of the vehicle and the driver. The deputy left the scene and proceeded down the Scenic Highway. He observed the vehicle in question driving over the fog line and the center line. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Heinrichsen, who displayed odor alcohol. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested and transported to the jail where he registered a breath alcohol concentration of .21.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge John Melbye:

Kyle Wayne Martin, 21, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Aug. 4 and was sentenced Aug. 11, for felony domestic assault; gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by means other than a vehicle. The gross misdemeanor charge of false fire alarms was dismissed.

He was sentenced on Count 1 to 15 months in prison, stayed for five years. For Count 2, he was sentenced to one year in jail, stayed for two years, and for Count 3, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail. All counts are to be served consecutively with two separate cases. He must pay a fine of $2,278; complete a chemical dependency assessment; follow all recommendations; not use alcohol or controlled substances; not enter any bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing and searches and submit a DNA sample; complete a cognitive skills assessment; have no contact with victim except for counseling; take medications in prescribed dosage and frequency; follow through with mental health care and follow recommendations; not use or possess firearms or dangerous weapons; follow all conditions of probation and complete treatment.

On the evening of April 17 and during the early morning hours of April 18, Martin assaulted a woman by pushing her to the ground. When the woman called the police, but Martin fled the scene before officers arrived. After the officers left, Martin returned to the residence, pulled a fire alarm and fully discharged a fire extinguisher into the first floor hallway. Officers responded and again Martin fled the scene. Officers set up surveillance near the residence and saw Martin carrying a bottle of liquor, which he threw at the glass entry door. A foot pursuit continued before Martin turned and confronted the officer. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He is prohibited from consuming alcohol as a condition of probation for prior convictions of gross misdemeanor assault of a peace officer, fifth-degree domestic assault and third degree assault.

Giashamena Atkinson, 30, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty July 28, and was sentenced Aug. 31, for felony fifth-degree drug possession.

He was sentenced to 13 months in prison, stayed for five years and five years of supervised probation. He must serve 27 days in jail with credit for three days served; Sentence To Service granted; pay a fine of $1,083; granted furlough to attend treatment and a court hearing; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; not be around anyone who is using alcohol or drugs; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit a DNA sample; complete a cognitive skills assessment; remain law-abiding; complete a diagnostic assessment and follow counselors recommendations; follow all conditions of probation and complete treatment.

At 1:15 a.m. Feb. 16, a Bemidji Police officer saw a man and woman walking across the parking lot of a bar onto Second Street Northwest. While looking for the bottle disposed of by Atkinson, the officer observed a clear plastic baggie sticking out of the man's pocket. The baggie appeared to contain a large quantity of marijuana. Atkinson was arrested and transported to the Cass County Jail. The bag weighed 70 grams and tested positive for THC. Atkinson has a prior conviction for burglary and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

Troy Lawrence Friend, 22, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty July 28, and was sentenced Aug. 31, for felony simple robbery and misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by means other than a vehicle. The charges of felony third-degree assault and gross misdemeanor interfering with an emergency telephone call were dismissed.

He was sentenced on Count 1 to 28 months in prison, stayed for 10 years and 10 years of supervised probation and 180 days in jail. For the misdemeanor charge, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail to be served concurrently with the first count; he must serve 37 days in jail with credit for 143 served; pay a fine of $1,111; pay restitution of $1,884.49; complete a chemical dependency assessment/treatment and follow recommendations; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing and submit a DNA sample; follow all conditions of probation; have no contact with victims and complete a diagnostic assessment and follow all recommendations.

On April 10, Friend entered an apartment without permission and pushed a woman to the floor on two separate occasions. The second time, the woman suffered a broken left leg. Another woman attempted to call 911 on her cell phone, but Friend grabbed the cell phone from her by force. He also took her wallet which contained cash and credit cards and then fled the scene. Officers responded to the scene and saw Friend hiding behind a dumpster. When confronted, he took off running. Friend has a prior felony conviction for third-degree burglary and a warrant for his arrest had been issued for failing to appear on felony charges of burglary and theft.

Trista Corine French, 30, Laporte, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Aug. 31, for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI and petty misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.

She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 346 days were stayed for four years and four years supervised probation. She was given credit for 19 days served; must pay a fine of $3,283 of which $3,000 was stayed; complete DWI program; follow all instructions of probation; no use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing and remain law-abiding.

At 9:50 p.m. July 12, Bemidji Police officers were dispatched to a local bar to assist with a woman who was wearing only a t-shirt. The officer arrived at the scene and observed the woman get into her car and back it up. He went to the driver's door and identified the woman as French, who displayed the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot, watery eyes and was unsteady. She was wearing nothing other than a T-shirt and glasses. She failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .187. Her license was cancelled as inimical to public safety. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where she registered a blood alcohol content of .17. She has three prior DWI convictions within the past 10 years.

Joshuah James Tody, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Aug. 17 and was sentenced Aug. 31, for felony fifth-degree drug possession and misdemeanor fourth-degree damage to property.

He was sentenced to 17 months in prison with credit for 51 days served. The sentence will be served concurrently with a separate case and he must pay a fine of $133.

At 11 a.m. July 14, a woman went to the Beltrami County Law Enforcement Center to report that her cell phone had been stolen. A Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy contacted her, and she said Tody had been involved in a fight with another man that led to both individuals falling against a wall and smashing through the drywall. She also said Tody had taken her cell phone. The property manager at the residence reported the damages and noted that Tody was back at the residence "causing issues." The deputy went to the residence and found Tody leaving. Tody began to argue with the property manager and the deputy asked Tody to stand by his squad car. The deputy noticed he was acting nervous and was having a hard time standing still. When asked what happened, Tody said he had gotten into a verbal argument with the other man. He admitted that he went through the wall and that he pushed the other man into the wall. Another deputy arrived on the scene and observed Tody's behavior and asked him he was on methamphetamine, and Tody replied that he was. Tody was arrested and searched. Deputies found a syringe filled with liquid in his front pocket. The liquid in the syringe field-tested positive for meth.

Joseph Lee Redeagle Sr., 47, of Redby, pleaded guilty Aug. 20, and was sentenced Aug. 31, for gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for two years and placed on probation to the courts for two years. He must serve 30 days in jail; pay a fine of $3,111 of which $2,300 was stayed; not drive without license or insurance; not have any same or similar offenses.

At 2:48 p.m. Nov. 4, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed Redeagle driving a vehicle. Redeagle's license was cancelled as inimical to public safety, and he also had an active outstanding warrant. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and arrest Redeagle.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

Timothy Alden Yerbich, 32, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Aug. 24 to felony first-degree drugs - sale of 10 or more grams of methamphetamine. His next court date will be Oct. 6.

On or about March 25, 2007, and April 1, 2007, agents of the Paul Bunyan Task Force and Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force arranged a controlled buy of methamphetamine between a Confidential Informant (CI). The CI made contact with Yerbich at approximately 7 p.m. March 25, 2007, at his residence on the 5700 bock of Bemidji Avenue North. The CI was fitted with a listening device and provided with $1,000 in U.S. currency from the federal buy fund. Agents further conducted surveillance near Yerbich's residence in order to monitor progress of the CI. At approximately 7:33 p.m. the CI met with Yerbich in his residence. Yerbich handed the CI two "8 balls" which contained approximately seven grams of methamphetamine. On or about April 1, 2007, agents again met with the CI for purposes of arranging a second controlled buy of methamphetamine from Yerbich. Again, agents provided the CI with $800 from the Paul Bunyan Task Force buy fund. The CI was fitted with a recording device so that the purchase of methamphetamine could be recorded. At approximately 5:20 p.m. the CI was driven to Yerbich's residence. Again, the CI met with Yerbich. The CI paid Yerich $200 for the outstanding debt from the previous purchase and agreed to purchase two more "8 balls" from Yerbich. Yerbich gave the CI two "8 balls," containing approximately seven grams of methamphetamine. The CI left with the methamphetamine and again met with the agents. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension forensics found that the methamphetamine weighed 13.9 grams.

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