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Beltrami County District Court

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

Frank Eugene Mustache, 23, pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor carrying a shotgun in a public place and gross misdemeanor fourth-degree damage to property-intentional. The charge of gross misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by a means other than a motor vehicle is scheduled to be dismissed at sentencing. The original charge was felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. His next court date will be Jan. 19.

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At 12:05 a.m. April 1, a Bemidji Police officer responded to the area of 26th Street Northwest and Park Avenue Northwest regarding a call about an altercation involving weapons taking place in a car. The officer located the vehicle parked on the 2500 block of Park Avenue; the female driver was identified and the officer saw three men running in different directions away from the vehicle. The officer saw a man running toward him with a shotgun. The man was ordered to drop the weapon and did so immediately, after which he was arrested. A Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy arrived to assist the officer, the complaint stated.

The woman said she and three men, including Mustache, had driven to the 2500 block of Park Avenue to confront a man and a woman about property damage at her grandmother's home. Two people got into a fight and broke windows at the home, she said.

Four men and two women were taken to Beltrami County Jail. The woman said she drove a vehicle with Mustache in the front seat and the other men in the back, with Mustache holding a shotgun. She drove to Park Avenue, where the men exited the vehicle, with Mustache still carrying the shotgun. She said she was unsure of what happened next. Mustache and the others declined to speak without an attorney present.

The man who was found running in the parking lot with the shotgun said he was at the apartment on the 2500 block of Park Avenue when he looked outside to see three men and a woman standing around his friend's vehicle. He said they were hitting the car with what appeared to be clubs, and he and his sister went outside to confront them. He said the man, called Frank by his friends, turned around with a shotgun in his hands, and the man, subsequently identified as Mustache, chambered a round into the shotgun and pointed it at his face. The man said he was walking backward when Mustache struck him with the butt of the shotgun. Everyone saw the officer and scattered. The man began to chase Mustache, who tried to turn around and strike him again with the gun, but ended up dropping the gun. The man picked it up and returned to the parking lot.

Tony Lee Iverson, 42, of Bagley, pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to an amended charge of felony obstructing an investigation. The original charge was for felony third-degree burglary. His next court date will be Jan. 19.

At 5:35 p.m. Aug. 1, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to a local gas station in response to a burglary. The burglary had occurred the previous night, but employees had just discovered it. Security videos showed two individuals enter the locked gas station at 11:16 p.m. July 30. One of the burglars, a female with a pony tail, was familiar with the security system at the store as she went immediately to the touch pad for the alarm and entered a numeric code to disable it. The woman was later identified as a former employee of the store. The store manager was unable to identify the man, because he had a hood over his head. The two individuals took large quantities of Minnesota Lottery scratch tickets and cigarettes, as well as other items from the store. The woman was located and arrested. She confessed to her role in the burglary. She named her accomplice as Iverson. Iverson has a previous history of felony theft and drug offenses for which he has been committed to prison. Iverson was located and arrested on Aug. 11. He denied any involvement in the burglary and denied having cashed in a lottery ticket. He said he was 110 percent sure that he would never appear on a video cashing a lottery ticket. It was learned by the deputies that one or more of the tickets had been cashed at a convenience store in Mahnomen. The man who had cashed them was photographed by surveillance cashing the tickets and was subsequently identified as Iverson.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:

Jay Marlin Landes, 63, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent to felony taxes - sales without permit after permit was revoked; felony taxes - failure to file return, report or document and felony taxes - failure to pay or collect. His next court date will be Feb. 9.

According to the criminal complaint, from 1981-2008 Landes operated a glass repair business in Beltrami County. For most of that time, Landes' sole proprietorship was conducted under the name of Jay's Auto Glass Clinic. For several years, Landes maintained a place of business at 2300 Bemidji Ave. N. He subsequently opened a separate shop at 2120 Anne Street Northwest. At all times, Landes, doing business as Jay's Auto Glass, offered for sale, among other things, goods and services for the repair or replacement of damaged or broken automobile windows and windshields. Under Minnesota's revenue laws, the sale of such goods was subject to taxation at the point of sale. That sales tax is calculated as fixed percentage of the retailer's charges to the customer. It is collected by the seller, pursuant to a sales tax permit, which must be acquired from the Department of Revenue and maintained by the seller as a condition of engaging in the business of selling taxable goods and services. The permit requires the holder to file returns monthly reporting the amounts of sales tax collection and simultaneously to remit the tax to the designated agencies or officials of Minnesota. In the past decade, Landes employed other individuals to work in his business. As an employer, he was required by Minnesota's revenue laws to withhold and remit to the state a portion of each employee's monetary compensation as a credit against the employee's income tax obligations. Landes advertised his business and solicited customers through a variety of ways throughout 2008-2009. As recently as Dec. 12, 2008, Landes maintained a Web site advertising his business and his services and soliciting customers. He paid for classified advertisements in three telephone directories. During the same period that he operated Jay's, Landes repeatedly and intentionally violated Minnesota revenue laws. He did not report or remit sales taxes. He did not remit sums required to be withheld by him from his employee's earnings. He never filed a state income tax return in relation to his own earnings. From statements he has made or mailed to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Landes appears to be adhering of the so-called "Sovereign Citizen Movement," an offshoot of the Posse Comitatus movement. Self-styled "Sovereign Citizens" deny the authority of the federal and state governments to levy most, if not all, taxes. At the same time, these individuals do not hesitate to avail themselves of the tax-financed or subsidized services provided by those governments, e.g. roads, public protection and mail. Landes for his part has used the tax subsidized U.S. Mail to transmit tax protests to the Minnesota Commission of Revenue. Between 1996-2006, Landes persistently was delinquent in filing sales tax returns and remitting sales tax. Between 2002-2007, Landes was contacted by telephone, letter or in person by DOR agents at least 50 times attempting to bring him into compliance with the sales tax law. Finally, on May 16, 2007, Landes was informed of the state's intent to revoke his sales tax permit for failing to file sales tax returns or remit sales tax collected since Oct. 2005. Between May and August 2007, Landes had discussions or written communications regarding the impending revocation with DOR officials on at least seven separate occasions. On Sept. 21, 2007, Lande's sales tax permit was revoked. Landes requested a review of that revocation. The review found no irregularity in the revocation. Moreover, the tax payer advocate's office thoroughly explained to Landes by a certified letter with a return receipt requested the requirements for reinstating the sales tax permit. The same letter advised Landes that it was a felony for him to engage in the business in making retail sales in Minnesota after the revocation of his permit. Landes signed the form acknowledging receipt of the letter. Notwithstanding the multiple warnings he had received, Landes continued to do business, both selling and installing automobile glass, after the revocation of his sales tax permit. The Minnesota Department of Revenue Criminal Investigation Division accumulated voluminous evidence conclusively establishing that Landes was engaged in the business after the revocation. Evidence included: personal observations by DOR officials of Landes transacting retail business at his business subsequent to Sept. 2007; personal interviews conducted by DOR investigators with individuals customers who had purchased goods and services from Landes since the revocation; records of substantial sales to the clinic from auto glass wholesalers after revocation; records secured from insurers of their third-party payments to Jay's for auto glass repairs; admissions by Landes himself. Subpoenaed bank records suggested that Landes had conducted tens of thousands of dollars of retail business subsequent to the revocation. On July 31, 2008, DOR interviewed Landes. Landes admitted withholding sums from his individual employee's compensation and characterizing the sums withheld as taxes. Landes had even supplied his employees with W-2 forms for the preparation of their individual tax returns. Each W-2 indicated that Landes had withheld funds; however, Landes had neither filed withholding tax returns with the state, nor remitted to the State of Minnesota, any monies which he withheld. When asked why he didn't file returns, he responded that if he filed, he would be acknowledging that there was a requirement to pay. He did not remit withholding taxes in relation to his employees during all of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008.

Justin Duvul Smith, 34, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to felony first-degree DWI within 10 years of three or more qualified prior DWIs and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety. His next court date will be Feb. 1.

On March 30, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy received a report of a drunk driver leaving a bar on U.S. Highway 71 N. A description of the vehicle and a license plate number was given. The deputy located the vehicle and saw it travel over the fog line on two occasions on state Highway 89. The vehicle was also weaving in its lane. The deputy initiated at traffic stop and identified the driver as Smith, who displayed the odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .214. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .21. At the jail, he admitted to consuming five mug tap beers at the bar. His license was cancelled as inimical to public safety. His records showed that he had four prior DWI incidents related to the loss of his license.

Jesse James Kilde, 31, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Nov. 9 and was sentenced Dec. 21 for two counts of gross misdemeanor furnishing liquor to a minor.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, which was stayed for two years; two years of supervised probation; pay a fine of $1,083; complete a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment within 30 days; follow all instructions of probation; follow recommendations of evaluation; not have any contact with victims unless with written consent of parents; complete cognitive skills training and remain law-abiding.

At 6 p.m. July 18, a Bemidji Police officer responded to a call regarding a child endangerment complaint. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the mother of two children ages 12 and 15. She informed the officer that the children were staying at Kilde's residence for several days. When she picked them up the children confided that Kilde had provided them alcohol on the night of July 17. A witness stated that Kilde poured several drinks of vodka and provided them to the children and his own child. When they were picked up by their mother on July 18, they reported the incident.

Kyle George Kritz, 19, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Dec. 21, for gross misdemeanor furnishing liquor to a minor and misdemeanor liquor - persons under 21 - misrepresented age.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 355 days were stayed. He must serve 10 days in jail with work release; placed on probation to the courts for one year; pay a fine of $883; remain law-abiding; not have any alcohol violations and submit to random testing.

At 9:10 p.m. Oct. 30, Bemidji Police officers observed a man get into the passenger seat of a car parked in the lot of a store located across the street from a liquor store. The officer observed the passenger and the driver of the vehicle pass an identification card back and forth. The driver of the vehicle then got out of the vehicle and went into the liquor store. After a few minutes, the driver returned with a case of beer and a bottle of liquor. The driver gave the bottle of liquor to the male passenger, who then got out of the vehicle and got into a different vehicle. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver of the vehicle as Kritz. He presented a drivers license that indicated he was under 21. He admitted that he had used a different identification to get into the liquor store and produced the ID, which was from Illinois and stated that he was over 21. Kritz admitted that it was a false ID that he had bought it from unidentified parties. He said he used the ID to purchase beer and rum and had given the liquor to the male passenger. He said he knew the male passenger was 19 or 20.

Jason Wayne Swan, 34, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty Dec. 7 and was sentenced Dec. 21 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety. A misdemeanor charge of a fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle was dismissed.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 306 days were stayed for three years. He must serve 18 days in jail with credit for 41 days served; placed on probation to the courts for three years; pay a fine of $1,358; complete chemical dependency evaluation/treatment; follow recommendations of evaluation; not have any alcohol violations; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing; remain law abiding; not have any driver's license violations and not drive without insurance. For count two, he was placed on probation to the courts for two years.

At 2:40 a.m. Oct. 25, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle with a white light shining near the license plate. The vehicle also did not make a full and complete stop at the intersection of Mission Road and Roosevelt Road. The deputy saw the vehicle cross the center line on two occasions and drive over the yellow center dotted line. The deputy initiated a traffic stop. The driver continued onto Dorado Lane and approximately 100 feet in, stopped in the middle of the road, exited the vehicle and fled the scene. The deputy pursued on foot and drew his taser and ordered the driver to the ground. The driver complied and said he fled because he had outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was identified as Swan, who displayed the odor of alcohol, slurred speech and had difficulty walking. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where he gave a urine sample. His driving privileges were cancelled as inimical to public safety. He has three prior DWI convictions.

Mark Jared Armstrong, 42, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Dec. 21 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail of which 335 days were stayed for three years. He must serve 28 days in jail on work release or Sentenced To Service; with credit for two days served; placed on probation to the courts for three years and pay a fine of $1,108.

At 9:53 p.m. Dec. 3, a concerned citizen reported a possible intoxicated driver traveling southbound on Bemidji Avenue. A Bemidji Police officer saw the vehicle near Sixth Street and Bemidji Avenue. The vehicle crossed the fog line and drifted into the traffic lane. Also, the vehicle almost collided with a vehicle the driver was following too closely. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Armstrong, whose eyes were dilated and watery and had slurred speech. He admitted to consuming four alcoholic beverages. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a .213. He was arrested and transported to the emergency room for a blood sample. His license was revoked in Nov. 2002 and reinstated one year later.

Jeremy John Saxon, 30, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Dec. 21 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for three years. He must serve 30 days in jail on work release or Sentenced To Service; placed on probation to the courts for three years; pay a fine of $1,108; complete a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment; follow recommendations of evaluation; not have any alcohol violations; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing and remain law abiding.

At 2:30 a.m. Aug. 25, a Bemidji Police officer saw a vehicle pulling a boat and trailer with non-functioning taillights. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Saxon, who displayed the odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where he provided a urine specimen for testing. He was released from custody upon displaying signs of sobriety. On Oct. 5, the urine sample results revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .11 grams per 67 milliliters of urine. His license was revoked for impaired driving in 2006.

Donald David Pepworth, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Dec. 21 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for three years. He must serve 30 days on work release or Sentenced To Service; placed on probation to the courts for three years; pay a fine of $1,108; complete a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment or file proof of the assessment that was completed in October; follow recommendations of evaluation; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; submit to random testing and remain law-abiding.

At 11 p.m. June 12, a Bemidji Police officer saw a vehicle fail to yield right of way at an intersection. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Pepworh, who displayed the odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery and glassy eyes. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He consented to a urinalysis and was released upon attaining sobriety. On July 8, the urine sample results revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .19 grams. His license was revoked for DWI in 2006. In addition, he has prior conditions preventing him from using or possessing alcohol.

Darilyn Jean Jones, 29, of Redby, pleaded innocent Dec. 21 to gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI - refusal to submit to test. Her next court date will be Feb. 9.

According to the criminal complaint, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, dispatch was advised that the Red Lake Police were in pursuit of a vehicle heading south on Beltrami County Road 15. The vehicle was reportedly traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The vehicle turned west on County Road 22 and then north on state Highway 89. The Red Lake officers were able to stop the vehicle in Beltrami County. A deputy proceeded to the location. The driver was identified as Jones, who displayed the odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and was highly emotional. She was arrested for an outstanding warrant and intoxication. She registered a .246 at the Beltrami County Jail and failed field sobriety tests. She refused to submit to a second test while at the jail. In a statement, she said she started in Red Lake, and that she had been drinking alcohol. She said she consumed almost a liter of vodka in Red Lake and admitted to being drunk. When asked why she was stopped she said "I don't know probably because I was endangering someone's life." When asked why she didn't stop right away, she said because she didn't want to go to jail. She admitted to driving over the speed limit. She was provided with a urine specimen cup and was asked for a specimen. She urinated in the cup and then dropped it into the toilet. She was provided with a second cup and she again dropped it in the toilet. Her actions were deemed refusal to submit. Her license was revoked, she has one prior DWI.

Derick Jay Borntrager, 23, of Cass Lake, pleaded innocent Dec. 21 to gross misdemeanor third-degree damage to property. His next court date will be Feb. 9.

According to the criminal complaint, at 10 p.m. June 16, a Blackduck Police officer contacted a man in regard to property damage that occurred in the parking lot of the American Legion. The man explained that he and a friend were sitting in his vehicle when they were confronted by Borntrager. He began accusing the man of breaking some windows out of his vehicle several weeks earlier. The man attempted to leave the parking lot to avoid further confrontation. Borntrager swung his closed fist and shattered the passenger side window of the truck, the man continued to drive away and Borntrager broke the driver's side window out. Officers proceeded to Borntrager's residence. They found him in the bedroom. He said he had been irate and punched out the man's windows. Damages were estimated at approximately $581.38.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge John Melbye:

Michael Jon Willis, 58, pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to an amended charge of misdemeanor harassment - violation of restraining order. The original charge was felony terrorist threats - reckless disregard. His next court date will be Jan. 25.

On March 26, the District Court of Beltrami County, issued a Harassment Restraining Order against Willis. The court found that Willis called the petitioners and said he had taken pictures of them, made phone calls to the petitioners after being asked not to call and continued to call until the number was blocked. Willis made threatening comments to the petitioners while they were walking past his residence.

Sara Lynn Bravo, 32, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Dec. 15 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI - refusal to submit.

She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 319 days were stayed for three years; she must serve 46 days in jail; placed on probation to the courts for three years; pay a fine of $858; not use alcohol or controlled substances; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing; remain law-abiding and complete a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment.

At 1:21 p.m. Sept. 12, a Bemidji Police officer responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the 800 block of Irvine Avenue Northwest. While the officer was en route, the suspect got into a vehicle and left the scene. The officer saw the vehicle make a right turn onto Ninth Street without signaling. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Bravo. Bravo reported that she had just come from that residence and there was no domestic disturbance happening there when she left. She displayed the odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, poor balance and slurred speech. She said she drank last night. She registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .293 and refused to complete field sobriety tests. She told the officer she had drunk too much. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail were she refused to test. Her license was revoked and she has two prior DWI convictions.

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