Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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BLACKDUCK—A Blackduck man was charged Friday with possession of pornographic work involving minors after an investigation into a child porn-sharing network allowed them to track his IP address. According to a criminal complaint, Douglas Allen Peasley, 31, was arrested May 1, after Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents and Beltrami County deputies executed a search warrant at his house in Blackduck.
BEMIDJI -- A former Bemidji State University employee was charged with a felony Tuesday after he allegedly used his university-issued credit card to make personal purchases. Former Physical Plant Manager Jeffrey Arne Sande, 66, was charged with financial transaction card fraud, nine months after authorities confiscated multiple big-ticket items -- including lawn mowers, a trimmer and other equipment -- from his Bemidji home.
ECKLES TOWNSHIP—Two men were charged with assault Monday after allegedly shooting a man at the Elpine Village Mobile Home Park on Friday. Luiz Javier Solis Delarosa, 23, of Walker, and David James Cook, Jr., 21, of Red Lake, are both charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon causing substantial bodily harm, according to court documents. Delarosa is also charged with the intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers another. According to a criminal complaint:
BEMIDJI -- A person was arrested Friday in connection with a shooting near Bemidji. A Facebook post by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office at 5:39 p.m. did not say where the shooting took place, but multiple Bemidji Police Department squad cars and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked at the Elpine Village Mobile Home Park northwest of Bemidji at about 4 p.m. Friday.
RED LAKE—Michael Wayne Whitefeather did not know who he was attacking when he shot Anthony Allen Wells, according to a federal criminal complaint charging Whitefeather with second-degree murder. Whitefeather, 18, who has been in custody since Wednesday, is accused of killing Wells in the early hours of Saturday, April 28, on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. According to a criminal complaint:
BEMIDJI—No one was injured Wednesday evening in a downtown structure fire. The Bemidji Fire Department was called to 507 Beltrami Ave. NW at about 5 p.m. after the wooden deck attached to an apartment caught fire. Most of the fire was contained to the deck, Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said, but an apartment window broke out and "minor fire" extended into the building. The apartment tenant was able to escape the flames. The building also houses Pine Country Insurance.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man accused of shooting at two people during an early October altercation pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault Monday. Deavion Ladell Beasley, 24, was initially charged with gross misdemeanor possession of a firearm after his Oct. 5 arrest. According to court documents: Police say Beasley shot at two men—Andy Tillotson and Kevin Robertson—after Tillotson attacked him with a pry bar in the parking lot of Pete's Place West.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Jail violated state rules regarding inmate checks in the 2017 death of a woman in custody, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Stephanie Bunker, 39, of Naytahwaush, was found hanging in her cell at the jail on July 1 and later died at a hospital on July 11.
BEMIDJI—A Williston man who sought sex with an underage girl in Bemidji received no additional jail time when he appeared in court April 18. Alexander Jin Brown, 29, pleaded guilty in January to one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child. During his April 18 sentencing, Brown received a stayed 15-month prison sentence. This means he will not have to spend time in prison if he successfully completes a three-year period of probation.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man who intentionally set fire to a house about five miles north of the city was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison Wednesday, April 18. Damian Patrick Joseph Smith, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree arson March 16. He has been incarcerated since Jan. 1, when the Bemidji Fire Department responded to the fire. According to a criminal complaint, firefighters responded to the blaze at the 700 block of Sunset Way at about about 10:22 p.m. When they arrived, officials found Smith and both of the home's residents in the garage.