Beltrami County District Court report for March 22
In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:
Gretchen Fay Fjerstad, 35, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Feb. 9 and was sentenced March 17 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. She was sentenced to one year in jail of which 10 months and 29 days are stayed for four years and placed on probation to the court for four years.
She must serve 25 days in jail with work release and credit for five days served and furlough to attend treatment, pay a fine of $833, complete treatment, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, not enter any bars or liquor stores except for work purposes, submit to random testing and not have any same or similar offenses.
At 10 p.m. Jan. 22, Bemidji Police officers responded to a report of an intoxicated driver in the area of Fifth Street Northwest and Bemidji Avenue. Dispatch was notified that the vehicle in question was using both lanes of travel. An officer observed the vehicle driving in the westbound lane on Third Street Northwest. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was identified as Fjerstad. Fjerstad apologized for the driving infraction. The officer detected the odor alcohol, bloodshot, watery and glassy eyes and difficulty with dexterity. When asked how much she had to drink, she stated "only three beers." She is currently on probation for a conviction for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI, refusal to submit. She has a prior conviction for impaired driving. As a condition of her unsupervised probation she was ordered to not drink and drive and submit to random testing. She was asked to perform field sobriety tests and she informed the officer that she would not comply. She was asked to perform a preliminary breath test, which she also refused. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. The officer seized two open bottles of beer from the map pocket behind the front seat. Fjerstad did consent to a breath test at the jail and registered an alcohol concentration of .21.
Anson Peter Beaulieu, 25, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent on March 17 for felon convicted of a crime of violence-firearm violation. His next court date will be May 28.
According to the criminal complaint, at 12:39 p.m. Dec. 28, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call about people hunting from a vehicle. The deputies located the vehicle and found two male occupants in the cab of the vehicle and one male party standing in the bed of the truck. The deputy observed the male in the bed of truck duck behind the cab of the pickup. He appeared to be concealing an object. The man was identified as Beaulieu. The deputy found a rifle barrel protruding from a pile of snow in the truck. Both the men in the cab had firearms as well. Beaulieu was dressed in blaze orange hunting gear. On his person was a camouflaged hunting knife, on which there was deer blood, deer hair and fat. The firearm was identified as a Remington Model 7600 pump action center fire rifle. It was loaded with four shells. The initials "A.B." were scratched into the rifle. He has been adjudicated delinquent for a "crime of violence" as a juvenile and was convicted of felony terroristic threats as an adult.
Keri Jo Zanter, 30, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 and was sentenced March 16 for felony first-degree sale of drugs - 10 grams or more of methamphetamine, within a 90-day period. She was sentenced to 86 months in prison.
She must pay a fine of $130, with restitution reserved and submit a DNA sample.
In September and October 2007, agents of the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force conducted an undercover investigation into meth trafficking by Zanter. An agent made contact with Zanter on several occasions in September and October for purposes of purchasing meth from her. The agent arranged to purchase 46.9 grams of meth for $3,700. For each transaction the agent purchased the meth with federal buy fund money.
Nicholas James Olson, 27, of Lake Bronson, Minn., pleaded guilty Jan. 13 and was sentenced March 16 for felony theft of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to three days in jail and received a stay of adjudication for five years.
He must serve three days in jail, pay a fine of $500 with restitution reserved, remain law-abiding and have no contact with the victim. He is able to serve his sentence in another county at no expense to Beltrami County.
On April 14, a male contacted the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and reported that while he was away from his home, someone had removed 25-30 vehicles belonging to him from the area on the 14000 block of Danish Lane Northwest. He said he had previously lived there and that Olson owned the residence. The male said he had proof of insurance for all the vehicles and provided investigators with 30 titles for vehicles he owned. He said he believed Olson had removed the vehicles. A local car recycling operation was called and the owner said Olson and another male brought multiple vehicles into the center. He said Olson said a tenant owed him rent; therefore he was taking the vehicles in lieu of rent. He gave receipts to the investigator for 13 vehicles.
The investigators went to the property to meet with Olson, who said the male tenant owed him $3,300 in unpaid rent and he and a friend were trying to clean up the property. The investigator asked Olson if he had legally served an eviction notice due to non-payment of rent or legal documents pertaining to the removal of the vehicles from the property. Olson said he had not done so and went on to state that he had informed the tenant that he needed to get his stuff off his property in October. Olson said he and another male removed the vehicles from the property, and that they took the vehicles to the recycling center and received about $150 per vehicle. Later, in a separate statement, he said he was not given permission to remove the vehicles. Olson told the investigator that the vehicles were crushed at the recycling center.
On April 22, the investigator obtained receipts for 18 vehicles that Olson had brought in between March 3, 2008, and April 13. He received $4,500 for the vehicles.
Kristy Rae Lutgen, 24, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 358 days are stayed for one year and placed on probation to the court for three years.
She must serve seven days in jail with credit for three days served, pay a fine of $958, complete chemical dependency evaluation and treatment, not drink and drive and submit to random testing.
On Jan. 25, a Bemidji Police officer observed a vehicle drive through an intersection on 10th Street Northwest. The vehicle did not yield to the squad car, which had the right-of-way. The officer initiated a traffic stop, and the driver was identified as Lutgen. The officer observed the odor alcohol, watery, glazed eyes and extreme confusion. When asked if she had been consuming alcohol, she said "yes;" when asked how much, she said "a lot." She failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .185. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where she registered a breath alcohol concentration of .20.
Michael Charles Biberg, 25, of Tenstrike, pleaded innocent Jan. 13 to felony domestic assault by strangulation, misdemeanor domestic assault, intentional inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm and domestic assault, commits act with intent to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death.
He was convicted of the lesser charge of misdemeanor domestic assault, act with intent to cause fear March 16. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail of which 90 days are stayed for two years and placed on probation to the court for two years.
He must serve 90 days in jail, pay a fine of $383, granted community service and sentence to serve to pay the fine, not have any same or similar offenses, complete counseling, not use alcohol or controlled substances and follow all requirements of Chips Case and maintain contact with a support system.
At 1:40 p.m. Oct. 9, a Blackduck Police officer responded to Blackduck High School to meet with a female about a domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer walked into the office and immediately noticed bruising on the female's neck. The officer obtained a taped statement from the female, stating that Biberg had grabbed her by the throat and began choking her in a fit of rage. Biberg admitted that he and the female had been in an argument, but denied choking her. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail.
Kenneth James Harrison, 24, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process -interfering with a peace officer. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 10 months and 29 days are stayed for two years and two years of supervised probation.
He must serve 13 days in jail with credit for 17 days served, pay a fine of $583, community service and sentence to serve granted, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, not enter bars or liquor stores and remain law abiding and have no contact with victims.
On March 2, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 400 Block of Archery Road Northwest in reference to a weapons offense. Harrison, also known as Sid Harrison, had pointed a gun at the residence and threatened the residents. Harrison left the scene in a brown vehicle. A deputy observed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Harrison continually failed to follow the commands being given by the sergeant. Harrison continued to shout at the officers and hide his hands in front of his person. The deputy further observed Harrison place his hands in front of his person with his back turned towards the officers. He then quickly extended his hands behind his head with both middle fingers extended towards the officers. He eventually complied with the officers' requests. A deputy attempted to place handcuffs on Harrison, but Harrison resisted physically. Another deputy was called in to help with Harrison. Harrison resisted and attempted to kick the deputies numerous times. Harrison was searched, incident to his arrest. He threatened to spit on the deputy. After he was searched, the deputy escorted him to the rear of the squad car. Harrison continued to fight with the deputy. He continued to shout after being placed in the car.
Amber Kay Napieralski, 19, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor theft. She was granted a stay of adjudication for two years and placed on probation to the court for two years.
She must pay a fine of $250 and have no same or similar offenses.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 5, a Bemidji Police officer responded to a call from Target regarding thefts by an employee. The loss prevention officer for Target informed the officer that he had been conducting an investigation of theft of cash from cash registers. The loss prevention officer observed via surveillance footage Napieralski take cash from registers and conceal it on her person on three separate occasions throughout the day. The loss prevention officer interviewed Napieralski, and she admitted to taking cash from the registers over several dates. Her thefts began in early November as a result of "hard times." Napieralski had taken a total of $1,000 in cash. She surrendered to the officer $300 in cash, which she had taken from a cash register earlier that day.
Genne Roger Philp, 71, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI-refusal to submit. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which eight months and 30 days are stayed for four years and placed on probation to the court for four years.
He must serve two months and 25 days in jail with credit given for four days served, pay a fine of $1,083, with sentence to serve granted, attend Alcoholics Anonymous, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, not enter any bars or liquor stores, not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance and remain law-abiding.
At 11:53 p.m. Feb. 13, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call regarding a vehicle in the ditch on Roosevelt Road Southeast. The deputies found the vehicle to be unoccupied, a check on the vehicle showed that it was registered to Philp. The deputies went to Philp's residence and observed a vehicle in the driveway. Philp was exiting the vehicle and walking swiftly towards the residence. The deputies inquired if he was all right, and he said he was not injured. In further conversation, Philp stated that he had been driving the vehicle when it went into the ditch, and that he had not consumed any alcohol since that time. The deputy observed slurred speech, the odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes and poor balance. Philp said that he had consumed vodka. He registered a breath alcohol concentration of .159 in the field, but gave a poor sample. The driver of the truck stated that he had observed Philp's vehicle in the ditch. He had spoken to Philp, who had asked him for a ride, which he agreed to. He stated that he could smell odor alcohol, and that Philp had stated that he had been drinking earlier that evening. Philp was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample. When asked why he wouldn't participate he said "just for the heck of hit, if for nothing else." He has prior DWI convictions and a refusal to submit conviction.
Richard James Smith, 18, of Redby, pleaded guilty March 16 to felony fleeing a peace officer, gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI-refusal to submit and misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name/birthday/identification card. His next court date will be April 13.
At 10:40 a.m. March 1, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper observed a vehicle traveling south on state Highway 89 faster than the speed limit. Radar equipment detected the vehicle driving at 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. The trooper activated emergency lights and caught up to the vehicle. The vehicle did not slow down. The trooper observed four occupants in the vehicle. The vehicle came to a stop and the trooper spoke to the female driver. The trooper asked about the movement in the vehicle and asked the occupants if they were trying to hook their seatbelts. The occupants indicated that that was indeed the case. The trooper detected the odor of alcohol from the driver and the interior of the car. While the trooper was conducting field sobriety tests on the female, he heard the engine rev and the car slip into gear. He looked up to find the vehicle being driven away by a male passenger, previously in the left rear seat, now driving the vehicle. The trooper placed the female in the back seat of his car and proceeded to catch up to the vehicle. He observed the vehicle turn east on U.S. Highway 2 toward Bemidji. The trooper observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, near the intersection of Wildrose Lane and Eckles Road Northwest and began to pursuit it. The trooper was unable to travel at a high rate of speed because of the female occupant in the rear of his vehicle. He kept it sight as long as he could. The trooper called for help, and the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office responded. The trooper placed the female under arrest and transported her to the Beltrami County Jail for driving under the influence. While the female was being booked, the sheriff's deputies arrived with the male driver of the vehicle. The sergeant indicated that he found the vehicle in the ditch just north of Eckles and Jackpine roads. He said that the male was giving different names and that he was under the influence. The male gave another false name and false birth date during booking. He was subsequently identified as Smith. He refused to submit to preliminary breath tests. He has outstanding warrants for theft and escape from custody and his license is currently revoked.
Axl Thomas Seelye, 19, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name and misdemeanor liquor consumption by persons under 21. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 10 months and 26 days are stayed for two years and two years of supervised probation.
He was given credit for 33 days served, ordered to pay a fine of $411, must follow all instructions of probation, remain law abiding, complete chemical dependency evaluations/treatment and submit to random testing.
At 12:44 a.m. Feb. 21, Bemidji Police officers responded to a loud party complaint on the 2900 block of Ridgeway Avenue Northwest. Officers had responded to the residence earlier in the evening on a similar complaint and had issued a verbal warning to the tenant. Officers could hear scuffling inside the apartment and were told by a male "Leave us alone. I have a shotgun, and I'll use it." Officers called for backup from the Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies and the Minnesota State Patrol troopers. Law enforcement gained access to the residence with a master key. Upon entering the home, officers found 11 individuals. Several had been consuming alcohol. One of the individuals identified himself with a false name and birth date, and was subsequently identified as Seelye by photo identification. When confronted with the name discrepancy, Seelye stated his correct name and said that he had given a false name because he was on probation. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. A preliminary breath alcohol concentration registered .140.
Darrell James Pierre, 39, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 to amended charges of gross misdemeanor fourth-degree damage to property - intentional damage - and gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process - lawful execution of legal process. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, of which 60 days are stayed for one year and one year of supervised probation.
He must serve 30 days in jail, pay a fine of $695, complete an alcohol assessment, follow all recommendations of evaluation, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, remain law abiding and have no contact with the victim.
At 9:20 p.m. Feb 24, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 200 block of Spirit Avenue in Wilton to investigate a report of a male and female, who stole a bottle of vodka from the liquor store. The couple fled to a nearby apartment. Deputies gained entrance to the apartment and spoke with a female, who denied having any knowledge or involvement with the theft. The deputies spoke with a male identified as Pierre, who was subsequently identified as an accomplice in the theft. Pierre also had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. Pierre became upset and began kicking the passenger side back seat squad window. The deputy pulled over to the side of the road, where Pierre successfully kicked out the window and exited the vehicle through the broken window. Two deputies were able to disable Pierre by deploying their Tasers. He continually kicked and attempted to strike the deputies and threatened to kill one of the deputies. He was placed in another vehicle and transported successfully to the jail. Damage to the window was approximately $500.
Victor Wade Johnson, 35, of Shevlin, pleaded guilty Feb. 17 and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular homicide or operation - operate vehicle with negligence under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 10 months and 17 days are stayed for five years and five years of supervised probation.
He must serve 14 days in jail with credit for 31 days served, pay a fine of $4,258 including $3,050 in restitution, restitution reserved, follow all instructions of probation, complete chemical dependency evaluation/treatment, not have any alcohol violations, not enter bars or liquor stores, submit to random testing and remain law abiding.
At 10:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were advised of a one-vehicle accident with injuries located approximately two miles west of Centerline Road on Fredenburg Road Southwest in Beltrami County. As deputies were en route, they were told that the occupants had been picked up by a private party and transported to the North Country Regional Hospital. One deputy continued to the scene, while two others went to the hospital. The deputy on the scene saw a truck with damage to the front passenger side door and windshield resting adjacent to a large tree. The vehicle was registered to Johnson. The deputies at the hospital spoke with two individuals who had driven the occupants of the vehicle to the hospital. The witnesses said a female had been seated in the passenger seat and a male, later identified as Johnson, had been walking around the vehicle. The witnesses said the female passenger complained of injuries to her left ankle. The witnesses said Johnson asked for a ride and began placing his property in the bed of their truck. They said he took an open 12-pack of beer from his vehicle, as well as clothing and other pieces of property, and placed them in their truck. Johnson then helped his passenger out of the vehicle and into the other car. They further stated that both victims smelled strongly of alcohol, and Johnson had slurred speech and poor balance. The deputies went to talk to the driver and the passenger. Johnson said the accident occurred when he lost control of his truck. Johnson said the vehicle slid off the road and struck a tree. The deputy observed the odor of alcohol and slurred speech. Johnson said he had consumed eight or nine beers. He agreed to a blood test, which was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis. The female corroborated the story. He has four prior DUI convictions.
Katie Lynn Westrum, 22, of Laporte, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 10 months and nine days are stayed for three years and placed on probation to the court for three years.
She must serve 30 days on Sentence to Serve, pay a fine of $958, complete treatment and aftercare, not use alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, not enter any bars or liquor stores and must not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance.
At 1 a.m. Oct. 18, Bemidji Police officers responded to a call on the 2600 Block of Delton Avenue Northwest for a domestic assault. Westrum had assaulted a male individual and then left the scene. Westrum was believed to be intoxicated.. A police officer observed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Officers detected the odor of alcohol and bloodshot and unfocused eyes. Westrum told the officer she didn't have identification because her wallet was missing. When asked, she said she had consumed alcoholic beverages, but only had one drink. She failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .184. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where she agreed to a blood test to confirm alcohol concentration. The sample registered .18. She has a prior DWI conviction.
Jacob Peter Kovar, 29, of Hines, pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 16 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 11 months and 21 days are stayed for three years and placed on probation to the court for three years.
He must serve eight days in jail with credit for two days served, pay a fine of $958, complete a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment, not drink and drive, submit to random testing and not have any same or similar offenses.
At 8:15 p.m. Dec. 2, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a one-vehicle rollover accident. A Blackduck Police officer discovered the driver of the vehicle walking on Stoner Memorial Drive. The driver was identified as Kovar. Kovar appeared to have been injured in the accident and was not adequately dressed for the cold night. The deputy spoke with Kovar, and he said the accident had occurred when he swerved to miss a deer. Kovar admitted to consuming alcohol and said he had last consumed alcohol about two hours prior to speaking with the deputy. He registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .22. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He adamantly refused repeated offers to be taken to a hospital for evaluation of his apparent injuries. Kovar registered a breath alcohol concentration of .26 at the jail. He has no prior convictions.
Tyler James Skogen, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation, inimical to public safety. His next court date will be April 7.
According to the criminal complaint, at 4 a.m. Jan. 13, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies responded to call regarding a vehicle in a ditch approximately eight miles north of Kelliher on state Highway 72. The vehicle was occupied by an individual, subsequently identified as Skogen. Skogen said he was traveling north and drifted toward the right shoulder, over corrected and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle was stuck in the ditch. He was arrested for driving after cancellation, inimical to public safety.
In a separate incident, Skogen pleaded innocent March 16 to felony first-degree sale of drugs, 10 or more grams of methamphetamine within a 90-day period. His next court date will be April 7.
According to the criminal complaint, in September, October and November, agents of the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force conducted an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking by Skogen. Agents through the use of a confidential informant (CI), made contact with Skogen on several occasions for the purposes of purchasing meth. The CI contacted Skogen on his cell phone and in person and would arrange to buy quantities of meth. The CI purchased 4.1 grams for $300 on Sept. 25; 2.8 grams for $425 on Oct. 1; 1.6 grams for $250 on Oct. 15; 7 grams for $850 on Oct. 19 and 2 grams for $400 on Nov. 12. The total weight of meth purchased was 19.5 grams. Skogen has prior convictions for theft.
Alisha Rae Mason, 22, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor emergency telephone calls, interfering with a 911 call. Her next court date will be April 7.
According to the criminal complaint, at 9:48 p.m. Jan. 31, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call regarding a domestic assault on the 6000 block of Dove Court Northwest in Eckles Township. Dispatch advised that the 911 call was disconnected, and they were unable to get the caller back on the line. The officer met with a male outside of the home. The male said Mason had arrived home at 7 p.m., intoxicated. He said he had to go to work at 9 p.m., and when he woke Mason up, she became angry and began to argue with him. The male called another party, who came over to pick the children up, because she was drunk. Mason became upset and began to yell at the male. He called 911 and while he was speaking to the dispatcher she unplugged the cordless phone cradle. The male attempted to leave and Mason hit him in the face in the lower right jaw area. Law enforcement gained entry to the house and found Mason very intoxicated. She was slurring her speech and did not understand why law enforcement was there. She was arrested and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .19.
Randi Renee Burris, 25, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. Her next court date will be June 2.
According to the criminal complaint, at 11:40 p.m. March 6, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle travel through a stop sign at the intersection of Lake Avenue and First Street Northeast. The vehicle then came to a sudden stop in the center of the intersection and continued easton First Street. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Burris. The officer detected the odor of alcohol. Burris admitted to consuming alcohol at a local bar. She failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .20. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where she registered a .18 blood alcohol concentration. She has a prior DWI conviction.
Starla Marie Deane, 29, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor theft by check. Her next court date will be April 7.
According to the criminal complaint, Deane issued a check to Dondelinger Chevrolet-Buick. The check was returned from the bank with payment having been refused because of a closed account. The check was written for $745.59 and drawn on an account that was closed because of non-sufficient funds and a continued negative balance of $547.88.
Timothy Wayne Wells, 29, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor check forgery. His next court date will be April 7.
According to the criminal complaint, a female reported to a Beltrami County Sheriff's investigator that someone had stolen a book of checks from her purse. She said the theft occurred sometime after she returned home Jan. 2, and she discovered that they were missing the next day. She said during this time, Wells and another male were the only others in the home. Four checks had been forged with her name, check number 2080 for $200; Check 2082 for $200; Check 2084 for $200 and check 2085 for $96. The investigator spoke to Wells' friend, who said he had been involved in the forgery of the checks. He said he filled out check number 2080 and signed the woman's name on the check. He said Wells then cashed the check at a store in Wilton. He admitted to forging three of the four checks.
Richard James Wittner, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 16 to gross misdemeanor check forgery falsely endorse and gross misdemeanor financial transaction card fraud, use without consent. His next court date will be May 5.
According to the criminal complaint at 6:30 p.m. July 25, a Beltrami Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to the 600 block of Wagon Wheel Drive Southeast in reference to a forgery and theft report. A female reported that she believed Wittner had taken $100 from her person. She said she was asleep in her bedroom when the money was taken. She said on June 23 Wittner came to the residence and stole a check from her checkbook. He wrote the check to himself for $150, forged her signature and cashed the check. At 11:25 a.m. Sept. 9, a deputy met with the same female regarding ATM transactions that took place for $82 and $101. She said she thought the transactions took place on Sept. 6, and she suspected Wittner as the thief. She said the person who used her card returned the card to her purse.
In Beltrami County District Court before Shari Schluchter:
Leonard James Fisherman, 27, currently housed in Stillwater Prison, pleaded guilty March 10 to felony soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct, prohibited act. His next court date will be April 13.
On Feb. 2, a Bemidji Police detective received a report from a Green Bay, Wis., Police detective. The detective had been contacted by a Brown County Department of Human Services agent, who was working with a 14-year-old girl. The girl had given birth to a baby and had informed authorities that the father of her child was an adult male named Leonard Fisherman. In an interview with the female, the detective learned that the girl had maintained a relationship with Fisherman from the spring of 2004 to the spring of 2005. She indicated that she became pregnant, as a result of having intercourse with Fisherman on May 7, 2005. She recalled the date because her mother was in jail and the intercourse took place on the day before Mother's Day 2005. Fisherman had come to her house on 14th Street Northwest in Bemidji for a party. She said she and Fisherman had consumed alcohol and had sex. She said that it was the last time she and Fisherman had intercourse. She told Fisherman her age and he was aware of it throughout their relationship. The detectives secured a search warrant for DNA samples from Fisherman. Fisherman was then an inmate in the Beltrami County Jail. Fisherman's DNA sample, as well as samples taken from the female and her child, were submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Laboratory on Feb. 7, 2006. On July 20, 2006, a certificate of analysis of the DNA samples was received from the lab. The analysis indicated that there was a 99.99997 percent likelihood that Fisherman was the father of the female's baby.
Nickey Lee Taylor, 39, of Emily, Minn., amended his plea to guilty March 19 for felony second-degree dugs sale of three grams or more of cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin within a 90-day period. A charge of third-degree sale of narcotics will be dismissed. His next day in court will be April 13.
On March 1, 2006, Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force agents arranged a controlled buy of cocaine between a confidential informant (CI) and Taylor. The CI purchased more than three grams of cocaine for $300 of Federal Buy Money. The crack was weighed at 3.2 grams and tested positive for cocaine base.
In a separate case, Taylor amended his plea to guilty March 19 for felony fifth-degree drug possession. His next day in court will be April 13. At 9 p.m. Dec. 1, 2006, Bemidji Police officers arrested Taylor on an outstanding warrant. The officers seized approximately .5 grams of crack cocaine located on a seat next to him.
In a separate case, he amended his plead to guilty March 19 for felony first-degree sale of drugs - 10 or more grams cocaine/heroine/meth within a 90-day period. His next court date will be April 13.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1, 2006, agents of the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force arranged controlled buys of cocaine between a confidential reliable informant (CRI) and Taylor. All of the controlled buys took place in Bemidji. On Oct. 19, the CRI purchased seven grams of cocaine for $400; on Oct. 25, the CRI purchased approximately seven grams of crack cocaine for $400; on Nov. 1, the CRI purchased four grams of cocaine for $400; and on Nov. 8, the CRI purchased six grams of crack cocaine for $400. The total weight for the crack cocaine purchase was measured at 21.6 grams. Taylor has two prior fifth-degree drug possession of cocaine convictions and prior convictions for first-degree possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree possession of a felony amount of marijuana.