Beltrami County District Court
In Beltrami County District Court before Judge John Melbye:
Giashamena Atkinson, 30, of Cass Lake, pleaded innocent April 27 to felony fifth-degree possession of drugs. His next court date will be July 28.
According to the criminal complaint at 1:15 a.m. Feb. 16, a Bemidji Police officer observed a male and female walking across the parking lot of a bar onto Second Street. The male appeared to be holding a bottle of beer. The officer passed the individuals walking and observed the male throw the bottle behind a parked vehicle. The officer questioned the man about the bottle. He admitted it was a beer bottle and that he was sorry for littering. While looking for the bottle, the officer observed a clear plastic baggie sticking out of the male individuals' pocket. The baggie appeared to contain a large quantity of marijuana. The officer asked what was in the bag. The male responded "weed." The male turned the weed over to the officer, the officer estimated the bag to contain approximately 42 grams, a felony amount. The male was identified as Atkinson. He was arrested and transported to the Cass County Jail. The bag weighed a total of 70 grams and tested positive for THC. Atkinson has a prior conviction for burglary and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.
Melvina Rose Johnson, 21, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent April 27 for gross misdemeanor child endangerment, permit present sale/possession of a controlled substance. Her next court date will be July 28.
According to the criminal complaint, at 11 a.m. Feb. 2, Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force Agents received a call from a confidential reliable informant (CRI) in reference to purchasing marijuana from a male individual. Agents met with the CRI who informed them that he had made arrangements to purchase approximately one-half an ounce of marijuana from the male party at his residence on the 1400 block of Irvine Avenue. Agents provided the CRI with $120 from the Paul Bunyan Federal Drug Task Force Fund. Agents then allowed the CRI to go to the man's residence at approximately 12:30 p.m. The CRI bought approximately half an ounce of marijuana for $120 and asked to come back later for another half an ounce. At 3 p.m., the agents provided the CRI $60 in federal buy money and followed the CRI to the residence. He received a quarter of an ounce and paid $60. During both transactions the male individuals' 1-year-old child was present in the room when the drug sale took place.
On March 1, the complaint states, agents met with a CRI who reported that he received a call from a male individual offering to sell hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms, a quarter of an ounce for $80. The CRI was provided with money from the federal buy fund, and he met with another male at the same residence. Johnson was present during the sale of the drugs as well as her 1-year-old child, according to the complaint.
On March 22, agents obtained a search warrant for the residence from Judge Paul Benshoof. At 2:35 p.m., the agents executed the search warrant and found five people in the residence including Johnson and her child, according to the complaint. Agents seized approximately 47 grams of marijuana broken up into six separate baggies, pre-packaged for sale. Agents also seized four baggies containing hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms totaling 10 grams. Agents further seized drug paraphernalia as well as measuring scales. Agents arrested Johnson and two male individuals. The child was placed on a 72-hour hold. In a statement, Johnson informed agents that she resides at the residence on the 1400 block of Irvine Ave. N.W. with her domestic partner. She also stated that she is the mother of the 1-year-old child and identified one of the men as the father of the child. Johnson said that she was aware that one of the male individuals was using the premises to sell marijuana and mushrooms at a time when she and her child resided in the home and that she knew that the sale of drugs took place while the baby was present in the home. The male informed agents that the marijuana and mushrooms seized were his and that he was using the home to conduct drug sales.
Nicolai Thomas Tourville, 19, of Elk River, Minn., pleaded guilty April 27 to an amended charge of felony fifth-degree possession of marijuana. The original charge was felony fifth-degree possession of marijuana with intent to sell. His next court date will be June 8.
At 7:30 p.m. April 3, 2008, a Bemidji Police officer was dispatched to Maple Hall on the Bemidji State University Campus. Campus security reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from the dorm room. Officers knocked on the door, which was answered by a male student, who stated that the room belonged to him. Tourville was also present in the room and was visiting. Officers informed both male parties that it was clear that someone was in possession of marijuana in the room. After some hesitation, Tourville opened the duffel bag that was lying on the floor and handed officers a plastic bag containing a large amount of marijuana. The gallon sized bag contained smaller packages of marijuana labeled for sale. The smaller bags were each labeled dime. There were also a number of "1/8" ounce bags. Because the marijuana was packaged for sale, Tourville was arrested and transported to the jail. Tourville stated that the marijuana was, in fact, his and that he had purchased it in Anoka County approximately four weeks prior to his arrest. He had intended to sell the marijuana at the college he attended in Fargo. He sold some of the marijuana in Fargo and brought it with him to Bemidji. Tourville stated that he had separated the marijuana into smaller amounts for easier resale. He stated that he had three 1-ounce bags, six 1/4-ounce bags and four 1/8-ounce bags left. The marijuana seized weighed 125 grams.
Melanie Anne Sumner, 39, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Feb. 10 for felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. The felony charge of child endangerment was dismissed April 27. She was sentenced to 15 days in jail and four years of supervised probation.
She must serve 15 days in jail, pay a fine of $1,080, not use non-prescription drugs, submit to random testing, not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance, submit a DNA sample and follow all instructions of probation.
On Jan. 2, 2008, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle cross the fog line and swerve onto the shoulder of the road. The deputy initiated a traffic stop. The driver refused to pull over, the deputy activated the siren and the vehicle continued north on state Highway 89 onto the Red Lake Reservation. The vehicle stopped approximately one and half miles into the reservation. The deputy ordered the driver out of the vehicle. He observed multiple small children getting out of the vehicle. The children began yelling, screaming and running around the deputy, who was continuing to give directives to the female driver. While the deputy was attempting to verbally control the driver, the children were attempting to distract the deputy. At one point, one of the children attempted to grab the deputy's firearm. The deputy ordered the child to get away from his firearm and further ordered the adult driver to place him in the car for the safety of everyone. At this point, the female was ordered out of the vehicle and directed to the back of the vehicle so that a pat-down search could be performed. The driver was uncooperative and screaming at the deputy. The driver was handcuffed and placed in the squad car. The deputy checked on the welfare of the three children and found them all to be inside the vehicle. The children identified the driver as Sumner. The children stated that they observed the red lights behind the car and that their mother had not stopped and was trying to "run to the rez." Sumner was turned over to Red Lake Police officers. Sumner stated that she did observe the red lights behind her and that she intentionally refused to pull over because she knew that she had a revoked driver's license and did not want to be cited.
Abinogee Equazance Bosto, 35, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 days are stayed for four years, and placed on probation to the court for four years.
She must serve 17 days in jail with credit for 13 days served, pay a fine of $958, work release granted, complete a chemical dependency evaluation and treatment and follow all recommendations of evaluation, not use or possess alcohol or drugs, not enter any bars or liquor stores, submit to random testing, not drink and drive, not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance, remain law-abiding and not have any same or similar offenses.
At 10:56 a.m. Feb. 13, a Bemidji Police officer was dispatched to a report of an intoxicated female at a local liquor store. The female drove off in a green car, southbound on Irvine Avenue. A Parking Enforcement officer and a Minnesota Conservation officer located the vehicle behind a church on Beltrami Avenue and Ninth Street. The driver was identified as Bosto, and the officer detected the odor of alcohol and slurred speech. The officer asked her to participate in field sobriety tests. She stated she had to go to the bathroom. The officer told her she would have to wait; Bosto proceeded to urinate on herself. She refused to cooperate with a preliminary breath test and was subsequently arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. A preliminary breath test registered .23 at the jail. During an inventory search of the vehicle, the officer found two bottles of rum. One bottle had been opened and was half empty. Her driver's license is currently suspended.
Travis Donald Roberts, 25, of Redby, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for felony first-degree DWI. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison and received a stay of seven years. Conditional release after confinement has been set at five years and seven years of supervised probation.
He must serve 180 days in jail with work release, pay a fine of $1,280, complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow all recommendations, not use alcohol or controlled substances, not enter bars or liquor stores, submit to random testing, not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance, supply a DNA sample, follow all instructions of probation.
A Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy was on routine patrol on Irvine Avenue Northwest in Nebish Township when he observed a southbound vehicle that did not have a front license plate. The deputy turned around and followed the car as it pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store. The driver got out of the vehicle and started walking to the liquor store. The deputy spoke with Roberts and observed odor alcohol and altered speech. The deputy asked Roberts to complete field sobriety tests, but he refused. Roberts was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. Implied consent was invoked, after which Roberts refused to provide a breath sample. In a statement, he indicated that he had consumed four beers between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. He denied he was under the influence. He has three prior convictions for DWI.
Bradley Joel Fuller, 50, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty April 6 and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 336 days are stayed for three years, and three years of supervised probation.
He must serve 44 days in jail, pay a fine of $1,205, complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow all recommendations, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, not enter any bars or liquor stores, submit to random testing, not drink and drive, not have any driver's license violations and not drive without insurance.
At 7:35 p.m. Dec. 1, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call regarding a one-vehicle accident on the Scenic Highway approximately 10 miles south of Blackduck. The deputy observed a truck stuck in a ditch near the intersection of the Scenic highway and Birch Bark Lane Northeast in Beltrami County. A witness to the accident informed the deputy that the driver of the vehicle was seated in the passenger side of the vehicle. The witness also indicated that the driver had said that he had fallen asleep and "run off the roadway." The driver had a bloody nose and a purple towel wrapped around his left hand, which was drenched with blood. An ambulance was called to assist the driver. The deputy observed a large amount of blood in the front passenger side of the vehicle. The driver was identified as Fuller, and the deputy detected the odor of alcohol. The deputy saw a 12-pack of beer on the front of the passenger's side area. Fuller exited the vehicle. The deputy observed Fuller stumble. He also had difficulty in keeping his balance. Fuller informed the deputy that he was messed up and was drunk. He registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .10. An ambulance arrived and transported Fuller to North County Regional Hospital where a blood sample was taken for analysis. The analysis showed a blood alcohol concentration of .22. His license is currently revoked for driving with an alcohol concentration of .27 in Cass County.
Michael James Hawk, 50, of Oklee, Minn., pleaded guilty April 20 and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 days are stayed for four years, and placed on probation to the court for four years.
He must serve 13 days in jail with credit for 17 days served, pay a fine of $1,208, complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow all recommendations, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, not enter bars or liquor stores, not drink and drive, submit to random testing, remain law abiding, not driver without insurance and not have any driver's license violations.
At 2:50 p.m. April 11, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a vehicle stuck on a trail at the Lake Bemidji State Park. The caller reported the occupants of the vehicle had been drinking. Additionally, deputies learned that the registered owner of the vehicle, Hawk, was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Mahnomen County. The deputies arrived at the scene and located the vehicle. They observed two males standing outside of the vehicle and a female passenger sitting inside the vehicle. The vehicle had broken through a barricade and become lodged in the mud. One of the male individuals was identified as Hawk. Hawk indicated that he was driving the vehicle at the time that it crashed. The other male corroborated his story. The deputy detected the odor of alcohol and slurred and mumbled speech. Hawk admitted to drinking a six-pack of beer earlier in the evening. He registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .174. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. His breath alcohol concentration registered .16 at the jail. His driving privileges are currently revoked, and he has two prior DWI convictions.
Richard Garon Elliott, 35, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 days are stayed for three years, and placed on probation to the courts for three years.
He must serve 30 days in jail, pay a fine of $958, Sentence To Serve granted, complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow all recommendations, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, not enter any bar or liquor stores, not drink and drive, not have any driving violations, not drive without insurance and remain law-abiding.
At 11 p.m. March 27, Bemidji Police officers responded to a call on the 2800 block of Pine Ridge Avenue Northwest for an assault. The suspect was identified, and a description of his clothing and vehicle were provided. An officer observed a vehicle matching the description and initiated a traffic stop. The driver was wearing a yellow coat, as described, and was identified as Elliott. A male passenger was also present in the vehicle. The other male reported that a female at the residence freaked out on him and threw beer cans at him. The officer detected the odor of alcohol, watery, bloodshot eyes and slurring speech. Elliott originally denied he had been drinking and then admitted to consuming two large beers. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .16. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where his blood alcohol concentration registered .20. Elliott has two prior DWI convictions.
Clyde Gene Perkins Jr., 26, of Ponemah, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 days are 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 $818, not have any same or similar offenses and remain law abiding.
At 2:15 a.m. April 3, 2005, a Beltrami County Sheriff's Deputy stopped a vehicle on County Road 36 near the intersection of County Road 35 and County Road 38 in Beltrami County. The passenger of the vehicle identified himself with a false name and was subsequently identified as Perkins. No explanation was given as to why he used a false name.
Wayne Doran Loch, 47, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 day are stayed for four years, and four years of supervised probation.
He served 30 days in jail, must pay a fine of $1,083, of which $1,000 is stayed, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, not enter bars or liquor stores and submit to random testing, remain law abiding and complete a DWI program.
At 12:20 p.m. March 1, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Sumac Road Northeast in response to an intoxicated snowmobile driver. The caller found the snowmobile and the driver in the ditch on Sumac, tipped on its side. The caller reported that the snowmobile driver had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol and was wearing a red-and-gray helmet and operating an older model Arctic Cat. The deputy observed the snowmobile lying on its right side in the driveway of a residence in the 7000 block of Bittern Road Northeast. A man was found lying south of the vehicle. The driver was later identified as Loch. When asked, Loch told the deputy that his snowmobile had tipped over. Loch had bloodshot, watery eyes, muffled speech and smelled of alcohol. He required assistance to stand and swayed back and forth, while talking to the deputy. The deputy asked him about the swaying and Loch responded by stating, "I'm not the soberest son of a gun." When asked how much he had to drink, Loch stated that he was tearing around his driveway. Loch denied operating his vehicle on Sumac Road. Field sobriety tests were not performed because of icy conditions. His preliminary blood alcohol concentration was .244. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. Loch became verbally abusive while en route to the jail. He registered a blood alcohol concentration of .26 at the jail. His license is cancelled as inimical to public safety. He has 11 prior DWI convictions.
Colleen Marie Lussier, 28, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 27 for gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name. She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 341 days are stayed for two years, and placed on probation to the courts for two years.
She must serve 23 days in jail with work release and credit for seven days served, pay a fine of $830 and remain law abiding.
At 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29, 2006, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call regarding stolen items from a local store. The deputy was informed that the suspect vehicle was traveling east on Ridgeway Avenue. The deputy activated the emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop. The deputy observed in the vehicle a black leather jacket with a fur hood, which matched the description of the one stolen. The driver gave a false name to the deputy and was later identified as Lussier. The deputy issued a citation for driving after revocation and having no insurance. In December 2006, a call was received at the Beltrami County Attorney's Office in which a female, identifying herself as Lussier stated that she had used her sister's name and that she was stopped on Nov. 29. In February 2007, a statement was taken from Lussier, in which she admitted to using a false name. She said she used her sister's name because she was scared of the stop.
Leslie Charles Headbird Sr., 40, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty April 2 to gross misdemeanor domestic assault. His next court date will be May 26.
At 6:05 p.m. April 18, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 19000 block of Williams Road Southeast in response to a domestic disturbance. At the scene, the deputies learned that the suspect had fled the area in a motor vehicle and was possibly traveling on Mission Road Southeast in the Williams Road area. Deputies located the suspect's abandoned vehicle near the intersection of East Windigo and Mission Road. Several nearby citizens told the deputies that the suspect was likely at the residence behind the old Bug School on Finch Lane Southeast. The deputies went to the residence and located the suspect, who was identified as Headbird. Headbird was extremely intoxicated. He initially denied have any contact with his girlfriend. He subsequently stated he was assaulted by his girlfriend and that he struck her in the face in order to get away from her. The female told the officers that Headbird had become angry with her and had bit her on the foot so hard that she had begun to bleed. She kicked Headbird in the face in self defense in order to get away from him. At that point, Headbird punched her in the face and mouth five times. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail.
Shawn Richard Rantala, 34, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent April 27 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. His next court date will be May 5.
According to the criminal complaint, at 1:30 a.m. March 26, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies observed a vehicle turn from eastbound state Highway 197 north onto U.S. Highway 71 against a red light. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Rantala. Rantala was advised of the reason for the stop, but he responded with a blank stare on his face and then appeared to be puzzled. He moved very lethargically when searching for his proof of insurance and license. He had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech. Rantala failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .19. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered an breath alcohol concentration of .20. An inventory search was completed on the vehicle, and deputies seized several empty alcohol containers and a dugout containing a small amount of marijuana. Rantala admitted o consuming "at least" a six-pack of beer that evening and that he had begun drinking alcohol at 6:45 p.m. and stopped at midnight.
Dewayne Allen French, 27, of Ponemah, pleaded innocent April 27 to felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI. His next court date will be May 5.
According to the criminal complaint, at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy was on routine patrol when he encountered a vehicle driving at dusk with its parking lights on. The deputy further observed the vehicle swerve and cross the fog line. The deputy activated the emergency lights and the vehicle continued to drive on Pioneer Road Southeast. The vehicle accelerated rapidly and continued north. The deputy then activated the siren and continued pursuit. The vehicle accelerated to speeds of more than 100 mph. The deputy conducted a pursuit intervention technique and successfully maneuvered the car in to a ditch on Pioneer Road. The driver was able to back out of the ditch and back into the road. The pursuit continued, another maneuver was tried which put the vehicle in the ditch, but the driver was able to get out of it again. The vehicle pulled into a driveway and stopped. The deputy ordered the male driver, identified as French, to exit the vehicle. The male indicated he couldn't get out because the car was damaged. The deputy assisted the female passenger out of the vehicle and into his squad car. The deputy went back and began to extricate French from the vehicle. French became belligerent and began to scream at the deputy. French smelled of alcohol. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered a breath alcohol concentration of .16. His driving privileges were revoked at the time of the incident.
In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:
Iching Goh, 27, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent April 27 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. His next court date will be June 2.
According to the criminal complaint, at 1:03 a.m. Oct. 26, Bemidji Police officers observed a vehicle without operational taillights driving north on Minnesota Avenue Northwest. The front headlights did not appear to be working well. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver by a Malaysian driver's license, as Goh. When advised of the reason for the stop, Goh apologized and turned his lights on. Goh related to the officer that he was traveling from a local bar to drop friends off who lived on Minnesota Avenue. The officer detected the odor of alcohol and glassy eyes. Goh admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .119. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .13. His driving privileges are currently revoked, due to a prior DWI conviction.
Earl Robert Headbird, 55, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty April 28 to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor disorderly conduct, caregiver against a vulnerable adult. A misdemeanor charge of domestic assaults was dismissed. He was sentenced to nine months in jail and must pay a fine of $133. He had originally been charged with fifth-degree domestic assault.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 7, Leech Lake Tribal Police officers responded to a call on the 2100 block of Finch Lane Southeast in Beltrami County on a report of a request for removal. Upon arrival, the officers met and spoke with Headbird and two other individuals. Three other male individuals were also in the residence. All of the family members were yelling and arguing. The officers removed everyone from the residence with the exception of Headbird and his elderly mother, who was in a wheelchair. Headbird had been consuming alcohol and was belligerent and uncooperative throughout the process. While questioning the female about the reason for the call, Headbird spoke up and said "If you tell..." At this time, the woman became visibly distraught. She refused to provide an official statement but was able to report to the officer that Headbird had threatened to punch her in the head. She further reported that she was scared and wanted Headbird removed from her residence. Another male, reported that Headbird had locked her in a room during a prior argument. In light of the information, Headbird was arrested. He was uncooperative during the arrest and informed the officer that they were not big enough to take him in. In a Beltrami County District County hearing on Feb. 9, Headbird reported to the court that he is his mother's caretaker. Specifically, Headbird reported that she is in a wheelchair and he is responsible for her care. He has a prior misdemeanor assault charge against his mother in 2004.
Nicole Rene Kingbird, 34, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced April 20 for gross misdemeanor theft. She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 365 days are stayed for two years, and two years of supervised probation.
She must pay a fine of $987.08, not have any same or similar offenses, remain law-abiding and have no contact with Wal-Mart.
On June 17, 2003, a Bemidji Police officer was called to Wal-Mart for a theft. A Wal-Mart employee observed a female place items in a cart and move through the self-checkout line, without paying. The same female had stolen items amounting to $802.07 the day before. The female stated that on June 14, she and Kingbird were in Wal-Mart. She stated that she gave Kingbird her EBT card to pay for the items but that Kingbird left the store without paying for the items. She stated the items would be located at her residence. A search warrant was executed and items were found in her residence that belonged to Wal-Mart.