Free Snowmobile Safety Course
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
WENATCHEE, WA – The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, is offering a free Snowmobile Safety Certification Class to young snowmobilers in December.
The free class is designed for youth ages 12 to 16 but is open to new riders of all ages. The class is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9th at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, 14400 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Leavenworth, WA. Lunch will be provided for the participants by the Lake Wenatchee Rec. Club.
The key to safe snowmobiling lies in the operator’s knowledge, capabilities, limitations and understanding of the machine. It is recommended that snowmobilers be aware of weather and trail conditions and the safety of other winter sports enthusiasts, while respecting wildlife and the environment. The snowmobile safety course training includes:
- Basic snowmobile maintenance.
- Survival skills and dealing with emergencies, including avalanche awareness.
- The proper clothing and equipment for winter weather.
- Hand signals while riding and other basic skills.
- Properly preparing for a ride.
- Riding skills test
Two arrested on heroin possession/distribution charges
- Written by Sgt. Chris Foreman
The Columbia River Drug Task Force reports on October 19th, 2017 the Columbia River Drug Task Force completed an investigation that led to the arrest of Emmanuel Sanchez-Cerros for 2 counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Heroin.
Cassandra Morgan was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, Heroin.
Sanchez-Cerros recently pled guilty to charges stemming from a previous Columbia River Drug Task Force case from February, 2017 and was awaiting sentencing. A search warrant was served on that date and both heroin and methamphetamine were located in the residence as well as a large amount of cash. During the search warrant, Child Protective Services were called and two children were removed from the residence.
On October 19th, 2017 a controlled drug buy was completed. After the controlled drug buy was completed uniformed patrol officers along with members of the Columbia River Drug Task Force arrested Sanchez-Cerros and Morgan.
It was determined children were present and nearby when the controlled drug buy occurred. CPS was called immediately and the children were placed into emergency custody. Sanchez-Cerros and Morgan were both booked into jail.
Morgan is still pending charges from her arrest in February, 2017 and Sanchez-Cerros was scheduled to be sentenced for the February charges he pled guilty to in December 2017.
Their vehicle was seized for a search warrant and more charges could be filed.
Final report on Albertsons shooting released
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
The North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit was called upon to investigate the Officer involved shooting that occurred July 27, 2017 at Albertsons in Wenatchee. Over the next several weeks, the SIU conducted a complete and independent investigation of the incident including interviews of all identified witnesses, review of all known video, and collection of physical evidence. At the conclusion of the active investigation the case was turned over to the Chelan County Prosecutor’s Office.
Doug Shae, the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney, has released his review of the investigation, which is included below. The SIU concurs with the finding by the Prosecutor and now considers the investigation into the incident closed.
Dryden Shooting Suspects in Custody
- Written by Gregory Kennedy
On October 3, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports both suspects from the September 27th Dryden shooting incident are in custody.
On Wednesday, September 27 shortly before 2:00pm Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported disturbance on Josephine Avenue, Dryden. The reporting party stated someone was beaten with a bat and then shot in the leg. The victim and witness described the two suspects as Michael Hernandez a 34 year old East Wenatchee resident and Modesto Gonzalez a 42 year old Wenatchee resident. Both suspects were described as leaving in a white passenger vehicle prior to Law Enforcement arrival.
On Thursday, September 28 Chelan County Deputies and Detectives located the suspect vehicle abandoned in South Wenatchee. The vehicle was seized by Detectives in preparation for a search warrant. On Friday, September 29 Chelan County Detectives and the Washington State Crime Lab Response Team executed a search warrant on the vehicle. Evidence results from the search warrant are still pending.
On Sunday, October 1 Chelan County Deputies, through proactive investigation, learned of a possible location for Michael Hernandez. Deputies performed surveillance on a Palisades residence and were able to positively identify Hernandez. Deputies waited for Hernandez to leave in a vehicle at which time they performed a high risk stop on the vehicle and took Hernandez into custody without incident. That vehicle was also seized in preparation for a search warrant. The results from that warrant are still pending.
On Tuesday, October 3, again through proactive investigation, Chelan County Deputies learned of a possible location for Modesto Gonzalez. Deputies performed surveillance on an East Wenatchee residence and observed Gonzalez leave the location in a vehicle. Deputies performed a second high risk traffic stop on the vehicle and successfully took Gonzalez into custody without incident.
Both Hernandez and Gonzalez have been booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for the following crimes:
- 1st degree Burglary
- Assault 1st degree
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Intimidating a witness
Update on Wenatchee Albertson's Officer Involved Shooting of July 27, 2017
- Written by North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit
As of September 5, 2017 the North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit has announced that it has nearly completed its investigation of the July 27, 2017 Officer Involved shooting at Albertson’s. The following is a timeline of events during the incident on July 27:
On July 27, 2017 at 22:05:47 hours, a reporting party called 911 to report that there was, “a guy screaming and yelling walking around with a knife” in the parking lot of the Albertson’s grocery store at 1128 N. Miller Street in Wenatchee. The reporting party was a truck driver who was making a delivery to the nearby Starbucks store.
At 22:06:43 hours, Wenatchee Police Officer Albert Gonzalez and other Wenatchee Police Officers responded toward Albertson’s.
At 22:08:29 hours, Officer Gonzalez entered the Albertson’s parking lot. He was the first officer on scene. As Officer Gonzalez drove west through the Albertson’s parking lot, his in-car camera captured the suspect walking in front of the patrol car toward the west Albertson’s entrance.
At 22:08:39 hours Officer Gonzalez parked his patrol car near the Albertson’s west entrance. The suspect had already reached the Albertson’s west entry doors and was approximately twenty feet from Officer Gonzalez’s driver’s side door. Officer Gonzalez was driving a fully marked patrol car with his emergency lights activated, and he was wearing a Wenatchee Police Department uniform. As Officer Gonzalez got out of his patrol car, surveillance video and eyewitness statements showed that the suspect moved aggressively toward him.
At 22:08:42 hours, Officer Gonzalez loudly and clearly gave the commands, “Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!” in rapid succession. Immediately following these commands, Officer Gonzalez fired three shots from his 9mm pistol. The suspect fell to the ground in close proximity to the open driver’s side patrol car door. Several Wenatchee Police Officers arrived to assist Officer Gonzalez after the shots were fired. Shortly after their arrival first aid was administered. A tactical folding knife with a 3-inch blade was found on the ground next to Folden’s upper body. The suspect was identified as 31 year-old Matthew L. Folden of Wenatchee.
Folden was transported by ambulance to Central Washington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2320 hours. Preliminary examination showed that he had gunshot wounds to the lower right abdomen, the lower right chest, and the right shoulder. During autopsy, three bullets were recovered from Folden’s body.
Officer Gonzalez provided a detailed statement to investigators. It stated upon contact with Folden, Officer Gonzalez observed a knife in Folden’s right hand. Folden was holding the knife close to the center of his chest. Folden immediately aggressed toward Officer Gonzalez and extended the knife with his right arm toward Officer Gonzalez. Officer Gonzalez said Folden was not responsive to any commands. After firing three shots at Folden, Folden fell to the ground. Folden was still in possession of the knife, but dropped it after Officer Gonzalez gave him the command to “drop the knife”. Folden complied and released the knife. Four independent eyewitnesses and video from Albertson’s corroborated Officer Gonzalez’s statement that Folden was the aggressor.
The investigation is pending a small amount of documentation and lab results to include toxicology and autopsy reports. Once the investigation is complete it will be turned over to the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit is Capt. Jim West WPD * Undersheriff Jason Mathews CCSO * Chief Steve Groseclose DCSO * Capt. Edgar Reinfeld WPD
Two Climbers Rescued from Dragontail Peak
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
Sep 1, 2017 - Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that two climbers were rescued today on Dragontail Peak approximately 11 miles southwest of Leavenworth.
On Thursday afternoon, James Templeton (50 yoa) of Seattle and Petr Praus (28 yoa) of Seattle were attempting to climb Dragontail Peak via the “Serpentine Arete” route. The climbers got off route and reached a spot where they couldn’t climb any higher and were unable to descend safely and activated their emergency beacons.
At 8:38pm on Thursday, RIVERCOM dispatch center received a call from the Washington State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) advising that two emergency beacons had been activated near Aasgard Pass. A Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue coordinator requested a hoist capable helicopter through WA State Emergency Management but none were available.
This morning at 5:45am, a Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter (AIR30) responded to the area and located the climbers on a small ledge approximately 100 feet below the summit of Dragontail Peak. AIR 30 inserted a Chelan County deputy, two members of Chelan County Mountain Rescue, and a medic from Lake Chelan Community Hospital into the area. At approximately 8:30am the rescuers were able to reach the climbers, who were not injured, and guide them safely off the mountain.
Fatal Kayak Incident Near Plain, WA
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
UPDATE: Wednesday - August 30th, 2017
The identity of the individual involved in the fatal kayaking incident on Tuesday afternoon has now been authorized for release. Michael R. Lawrance (61-yoa) of Hollywood, Florida was located at the bottom of the Wenatchee River near Plain, WA by a swift water team member. Lawrance had been seen in the water attempting to catch up to the kayak shortly before he disappeared. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The Chelan County Coroner’s Office has made contact with Lawrance’s next of kin out of state.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a kayaking incident on the Wenatchee River near Plain, WA has claimed the life of a 61-year old man Tuesday afternoon.
The initial 911 call to RIVERCOM dispatch was made at 1:23pm from a witness on the east bank of the river who had noticed an empty kayak floating in the middle of the river with a male subject in the water behind it. The witness stated the subject appeared to be trying to catch up to the kayak as they floated down the river. The subject in the water was described as wearing shorts with no personal floatation vest. After making the 911 call, the witness said she could no longer see the person in the river, and the kayak was still floating downriver unoccupied.
Personnel from Chelan County Fire District #9, Cascade EMS, and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the area in an attempt to locate the missing subject. The kayak was located and secured. At 2:39pm a member of the swift water rescue response team using a float board observed the missing male at the bottom of the river in approximately 5 feet of water. The subject was removed from the river to the west shoreline and CPR was initiated. He did not survive the incident.
It was confirmed that the subject was not wearing a personal floatation device. At this time, it is not known how the subject was initially separated from the kayak. Friends of the subject eventually contacted Sheriff’s deputies at the scene when they realized he was well overdue floating from the old bridge on Chapel Road in Plain to a property along Meachum Road which is about 2 miles downstream.
The name of the victim is being withheld at this time as the Sheriff’s Office and Chelan County Coroner attempt to locate next of kin out of state.
Wenatchee River Floating Accident Leaves Man in Critical Condition
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 47 year old Wenatchee man is in critical condition Sunday morning after a rafting accident on the Wenatchee River Saturday evening.
Ronald Anderson was swept off an inflatable tube as he and other subjects were floating toward the Cottage Avenue Bridge at about 5:45pm. Some of the inflatable rafts and tubes deflated as they were caught in the strong water flow around the bridge pillars near the center of the river. Anderson was on a single tube which was tied to two other tubes and a raft. There were a total of five subjects in the group.
Anderson went under water after colliding with the raft in front of him as they struck a bridge pillar. Anderson was eventually rescued by other members of the group. He was lifted onto one of the remaining inflated tubes and floated to the shore as 911 was called by a resident in the area. Rescue breathing was initiated as they floated Anderson toward the shore. Two citizens who witnessed the incident ran to assist the subjects in keeping Anderson above water and began CPR.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies, Cashmere Fire & Aid and Ballard Medics all responded to the area and met the subjects along the shore in the 100 block of Riverfront Drive. Life-saving efforts continued until Anderson was transported to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee. Two of the other four subjects involved in the incident received minor injuries.
Anderson was not wearing a personal floatation device. He remains in critical condition at Central Washington Hospital.
Two Climbers Rescued at Mount Stewart
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports two climbers were rescued from Mount Stuart in Chelan County Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. One of the subjects suffered life threatening injuries Sunday when a boulder he was leaning against broke free while ascending the West Ridge route of the mountain at approximately 8,500 feet. Tim Pate (64yoa) of Camas, WA fell nearly 50 feet after the large rock dislodged and he careened over a ledge. Pate was found to be unresponsive when his climbing partner -Jim Schiller (59yoa) – of Happy Valley, Oregon - traversed down the slope to his location. Schiller called 911 at 6:48pm to report the incident and requested a rescue.
Due to Pate’s reported unresponsive state on the mountain, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators requested a hoist capable helicopter from Naval Air Base Whidbey Island. A Sheriff’s Office SAR coordinator was able to communicate directly with Schiller via text messaging. Coordinates were obtained for the incident location on the southwest aspect of the mountain. Pate remained unconscious throughout the rescue response. The Navy Blackhawk helicopter was over the scene by 8:45pm and successfully hoisted Pate into the aircraft which was staffed by a Navy medic. Pate was determined to be in very critical condition and was expedited to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Schiller was left on the mountain hoping to descend Monday. Sheriff’s Office SAR personnel received a phone call from Schiller early Monday morning. He was requesting assistance descending the slope. Schiller advised he was exhausted and felt he was unable to safely make trek by himself.
Initially, SAR coordinators planned to insert Chelan County Mountain Rescue personnel below Schiller’s location via the Sheriff’s Office helicopter. The team would have had to ascend nearly 1,000 feet to reach him and then make a decision to ascend or descend the mountain with Schiller. At 1:00pm on Monday it was determined that the Whidbey Island Naval flight crew would be available to respond back to Mount Stuart to extract Schiller via hoist. A Sheriff’s Office deputy who had already been inserted below Schiller’s position would also be hoisted into the aircraft.
Both subjects were successfully removed from the mountain by 3:00pm and transported to Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee. Schiller is in good condition. He stated that Pate was the more experienced climber during their attempt to summit Mount Stuart. Schiller said he was not comfortable descending the mountain by himself after Pate’s accident. The two climbers began their ascent of the mountain on Sunday morning after camping near Ingall’s Lake on Saturday night.
Pate remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. He suffered head, neck, back, and abdominal injuries from the fall.
Sergio Valdez Arrested in Phoenix
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
On July 18, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports Sergio I. Valdes was located and arrested in Phoenix, Arizona.
On May 29, 2017, Valdes was involved in a physical altercation at Slide Waters in Chelan, Washington. When Valdes left the scene he took his two young children, a 6-month old and an 18-month old, and fled the area. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office notified our local community and sent out a nationwide alert attempting to locate Valdes and the two children. The Sheriff’s Office Detective Unit also worked with the National Center for missing and exploited children and Washington’s Most Wanted to try to locate Valdes and the children. All involved agencies were working diligently to locate Valdes.
On July 17, 2017 the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office developed a possible location for Valdes in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Detective Unit notified the U.S. Marshal’s Service, specifically the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force. The Pacific Northwest Offender Task Force than worked with another Marshal’s Task Force in Phoenix and were able to successfully locate and arrest Valdes. Both children were located in good health and were taken into protective custody. Our local Child Protective Services is working with the children’s mother and Phoenix agencies for the children’s safe return.
Arrangements are being made to transport Valdes back to Chelan County when he will be charged with Custodial Interference 1st degree, a felony, and other crimes. Valdes is also awaiting his sentencing in Douglas County for crimes he was convicted of prior to fleeing the Slide Waters incident.