June was a busy month for local police

Staff ReportJuly 2, 2014 

The Chowchilla Police Department made 29 misdemeanor arrests and 37 felony arrests during the month of June. Officer investigations lead to several search warrants being executed and numerous arrests being made.

The month started off with an injury traffic collision on June 2, in the 100 block of North Fifth Street. During the investigation officers tracked down the driver and arrested 50-year-old Josefina Martinez of Chowchilla for felony hit and run and driving while under the influence. She was one of seven drivers arrested on DUI charges in June.

On June 4, 25-year-old Michael Heffington and 27-year-old Angel Hernandez of Chowchilla were both arrested on South Seventh Street on charges of being in possession of a controlled substance.

On June 7, 50-year-old Robert Dalton of Chowchilla was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance in the Greenhills community. An investigation of June 10 lead to the arrest of Sara Bounds on charges of burglary and theft of an EBT card.

On June 12, Sgt. Hunter and Officer Denny along with Sgt. Burns, Officers Alberton, Divine, Berlier and Burnett executed a search warrant for narcotics in the 400 block of Lake Avenue. As a result of the search, 28-year-old Saryna Heffington of Chowchilla and 21-year old Raymond Norman of Chowchilla were both arrested on charges of being in possession of a controlled substance. In addition to those charges, Norman was also found to have a felony warrant and that was added to his booking sheet.

On June 16, 36-year-old Gonzalo Corchado of Chowchilla, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance in the 800 block of Humboldt Avenue. On June 21, 19-year-old Jacob Byrd of Chowchilla was arrested in the 200 block of Alameda Avenue on charges of being in possession of stolen property. On June 22, 24-year-old Jovonnie Trujillo of Chowchilla was arrested in connection to a vehicle burglary. On June 26, 30-year-old Kristen Gentry of Chowchilla, was arrested on charges of burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card.

On June 24, 33-year-old Barry Davis Jr. of Chowchilla was arrested on charges of second degree burglary, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest; 29-year-old Roel Soliz Jr. of Chowchilla also was arrested on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and being in possession of a controlled substance. They were both caught after reportedly being seen inside of a residence when the homeowner returned. The two fled from the residence and attempted to hide while dropping a trail of stolen property. They were each caught by the officers after a short foot pursuit through the residential area.

On June 27, 34-year-old Cindi Gilliam of Chowchilla was arrested on charges of being in possession of stolen property and tampering with a vehicle. With her was 43-year-old Robert Roman of Merced who was arrested on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and tampering with a vehicle. They were found together in a vehicle after they reportedly attempted to get away from a patrol sergeant who was conducting patrol checks in the 200 block of Orange Avenue. On June 27, three transients, 21-year-old Christopher Watts, 21-year-old James Colson and 43-year-old Troy Clay, were arrested on charges of burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime while inside a local grocery store.

On June 29, three adults, 24-year-old Gene Morris of Fresno, 20-year-old Melissa Bottorff of Fresno and 48-year-old Brent Abisalih of Fresno, were arrested when officers were conducting a vehicle check on South Chowchilla Boulevard. During the check officers discovered hundreds of feet of pulled copper wire inside of the car as well as some methamphetamine. As a result of the investigation, the three subjects were arrested fon charges of possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime. Other charges such as possession of a controlled substance, felony vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia were added to some of them as well. Sgt. Ramirez, Officers Berlier and Inzunza were responsible for this investigation. The copper wire was believed to have been removed from Cal Trans signs and lighting along Highway 99 and Highway 152.

After the copper theft investigation, it was the next shift of officers who were advised of a wanted female in Chowchilla who had appeared on “Crime Stoppers.” She was reported to be inside of a residence in the 100 block of Mariposa Avenue. When the officers checked the residence, they discovered 18-year-old Savanna Pastusak of Fresno who was wanted for robbery. After she was taken into custody, she was also charged with resisting arrest, battery upon a peace officer and arson.

All of the above suspects arrested were booked into the Madera County Jail on felony charges. These arrests did not include the others who were arrested for misdemeanors in June.

Sgt. Palmer commended the diligence displayed by the officers. He said, “Our citizens often see their officers conducting traffic stops and enforcing other laws but rarely do they see the other aspects of what these men and women do here. All of these arrests are a result of good police work and investigations.” He added that anyone who sees a crime being committed has a duty to each other to report the crimes and assist law enforcement in keeping the city of Chowchilla a safe place to live.

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