Sheriff Gary Raney to retire in June

After spending over three decades serving the people of Ada County, Sheriff Gary Raney announced Thursday that he is retiring at the end of June.

There will be more to come in the days ahead as we celebrate the career of Sheriff Raney but we wanted to share the letter he sent to the Ada County Board of Commissioners earlier today.

Board of County Commissioners

Ada County

200 W. Front Street

Boise, ID 83702

Dear Commissioners:

Looking back I cannot imagine a more fulfilling career than the one I have had. Since 1983 I have been given many opportunities and worked alongside truly dedicated and honorable men and women, all culminating in the last ten years that I have been honored to serve as sheriff. When I first took office I said that when the day came that I thought I had achieved what I set out to do I would move on to the next challenge. No leader, and certainly no elected official, should stay too long. The Ada County Sheriff’s Office has grown into a nationally-recognized organization that is both innovative and accountable. We have quietly led the nation, and sometimes even the world, in the way we manage our jail. We take pride in being told that we do not act like a government organization. I have accomplished what I set out to do and, therefore, I am writing to give you notice of my retirement effective June 30, 2015.

Upon my retirement I encourage the Republican Central Committee to recommend, and then you to appoint, Captain Stephen Bartlett as the next sheriff. Aside from Major Ron Freeman, who is not seeking the appointment, there is no more qualified person than Captain Bartlett. He has proven his leadership, he knows what to do and he is ready to take charge of the years ahead and continue the great legacy of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

After my retirement as sheriff I will begin to work with the US Department of Justice, helping guide law enforcement agencies that need assistance solving problems. I have always considered myself a problem solver and this position will allow me to tackle important issues all across the nation. It is a rare opportunity and I am thrilled.

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to thank the men and women who have made the Sheriff’s Office what it is today. I may set the policy or direction, but they deserve the accolades because really it’s that one deputy who takes the extra time with a victim, or goes out of his or her way to help someone in need, that makes all the difference in the world. I am proud of each and every one of them for keeping our county safe and making this a great place to live.

Sincerely,

GARY RANEY

Ada County Sheriff

An 18-month-old boy died Monday after falling into an irrigation canal near Kuna

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the 7500 block of S. Ten Mile Road, just north of the W. Columbia Road intersection, at 1:17 p.m. after dispatchers got a 911 call the boy had fallen into the water.

Initial reports indicate a group of young kids was playing behind a house near the canal when the boy went missing.

Once a family member noticed one of the kids was gone, she and others immediately began searching the area.

A family member found the boy in the water more than 60 feet away from where he likely fell in. The boy was not breathing. The family member began CPR immediately and someone else called 911.

Paramedics arrived, began treating the boy immediately, and rushed him to St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center. The boy was declared dead a short time later.

The case is still under investigation.

Irrigation canals can be very dangerous. The water flows fast and cold, and it can be very difficult to get out once someone has fallen in.

Go to http://www.usbr.gov/pn/about/otto/facts.pdf to get more information about canal safety.

Update: Deputies arrest man who robbed Paul’s Market on Thursday night

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies say public input led to the arrest of 34-year-old Andrew Reed Buzard for an armed robbery at Paul’s Market Thursday night.

ACTION team deputies and U.S. Marshals arrested Buzard at his residence on W. Brownstone Drive just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The home is about four blocks from Paul’s Market, which is on the corner of Lake Hazel and Five Mile Roads.

Buzard, who used a handgun to threaten a clerk during Thursday’s hold-up, is being held in the Ada County Jail on a felony charge of robbery.

Ada County Sheriff’s Captain Steve Bartlett thanked the public Saturday for their help.

“A tip from the public ultimately led our detectives to identify the person who did this violent crime,” Bartlett said. “We are very grateful to have citizens who care so much about keeping our community safe.”

The robbery occurred just before 10:15 p.m. Thursday. A man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt walked into the store, located in the 10000 block of W. Lake Hazel Road, took out a gun, and demanded a store employee give him money from the store. Once the robber had the money, he made the clerk lay on the ground while he walked out.

Witnesses described the robber as being about 5-foot-8 to 10 inches tall and about 200 pounds. He has short-cropped light colored hair, olive-colored skin, and hazel eyes. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and bright blue tennis shoes. FullSizeRender

Deputies arrived moments later but were not able to locate the robber in the area.

Security photos and video from the store were posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and traditional media outlets by Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, tips were rolling in. it wasn’t long before someone identified Buzard from the images and contacted our deputies.

By Saturday afternoon, deputies located Buzard and arrested him without incident. Detectives found evidence at the Brownstone Drive home linking Buzard to the robbery.

Buzard will make his initial court appearance Monday afternoon. The crime of robbery is punishable by up to life in prison, with a five-year minimum sentence.

Sheriff Raney thanks the public for their continuing help with Cartwright Road homicide case

An Ada County grand jury indicted Adam Michael Dees on three counts of first-degree murder Wednesday in connection with the deaths of Ted, Elaine, and Thomas Welp in March.

The grand jury also charged Dees with felony counts of robbery and use of a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of a crime.

Dees, who was already charged with felony counts of grand theft and forgery in connection with items being taken from the Welp’s home, is being held in the Ada County Jail with no bond.

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney and Prosecutor Jan Bennetts told a group of reporters Wednesday the grand jury was able to make those indictments thanks to the tireless work of detectives and other investigators since the Welps were found dead inside their Foothills home in early March.

Indictment 1

A major part of that investigative work would not have been possible without the help of the public, Raney said.

“Right after this case broke, I asked people to call in with leads … We got those leads, thanks to people who gave us that observation, who went out of their way to go dig something up that they might have thought was suspicious.

Those things will ultimately be presented at trial. But what is unique about this is it wasn’t just the people directly involved or directly impacted (by the murders). It was people who could have just as easily turned the other way, gone about their business and not taken the extra time. But they took the extra time, and because of that, we have a good case.”

Raney said Wednesday that ACSO detectives will continue to work to bring justice to the Welp family.

“Over the past four weeks, (detectives) have spent well over 1,000 hours following up leads, processing the crime scene, and gathering every piece of evidence (they) could gather.

I am very proud of the work that they have done … it’s taken time away from their families and personal lives, but they are here to bring justice for this case and they’ve done an exceptional job of doing that.”

The grand jury determined Dees used a baseball bat and gun to kill all three members of the Welp family inside their Cartwright Road home sometime between March 8 and 9. The grand jury also determined Dees used force to rob the Welps — stealing credit cards and jewelry — and then committed the crimes of grand theft and forgery by using the Welp’s credit cards at stores.

An arraignment hearing for Dees will be set sometime during the next several weeks in front of a 4th District Judge. Dees will be able to enter a plea during that hearing. If he pleads not guilty, a jury trial will be scheduled.

Both Raney and Bennetts thanked the Welp family for their trust and support over the last month.

“In such a time of tragedy, (the Welp family) had nothing but grace and class throughout this process,” Sheriff Raney said. “They have been so great. We hope that this process, as we hand this investigation over to the Ada County prosecutors office, for the furtherance of justice, brings them the day they deserve.”

Detectives find over two pounds of pot, dozens of ecstasy pills at Kuna home

A 19-year-old Kuna man who sold drugs to undercover officers earlier this year is now in custody after detectives found more drugs at his house Monday afternoon.

Morgan C. Dotson is charged with felony counts of trafficking in cocaine and marijuana and delivery of a controlled substance.

Dotson sold undercover officers small amounts of marijuana, hash oil, and cocaine on three occasions between March 17 and April 2.

Deputies served a search warrant at Dotson’s home in the 400 block of Taper Court Monday morning as part of that ongoing investigation.

They found 1,017 grams of marijuana; 79 MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) pills, which is also known as the club drug Ecstasy; and 12 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms, another hallucinogenic, inside the home.

Dotson 1 Dotson 2

The three deals with undercover officers prior to that involved smaller amounts of marijuana, hash oil, and cocaine.

Detectives arrested Dotson at that point and booked him into the Ada County Jail.

He is set to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

The delivery charges are punishable by up to life in prison.

An update from Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney about the Cartwright Road homicide case

“The murder of three people in their foothills home is shocking and horrific. I understand you have questions and want to know as much as possible about the investigation. I do too. The good news is Ada County Sheriff’s detectives have found lots of answers. And they are working tirelessly to piece together the case.

This investigation is about the Welps. I want justice for the victims. Every day we get one step closer to that. All of the information and evidence is being turned over to prosecutors as we move toward charges in this case.

As soon as we can share some of those details without jeopardizing our investigation into this horrible crime —  or any court proceedings that arise from it — we will.

There is one man in custody on theft and forgery charges in connection with this case. At this point in the investigation, I can tell you that man — Adam Dees — is a suspect in the triple homicide.

It is important to point out, however, that Dees is not currently charged with those deaths.

As I said before, I do not believe there is an ongoing threat in our community related to these deaths. I feel more confident than ever that is true.  I think that confidence will become clearer to you in the weeks ahead.”

 Sheriff Gary Raney

Update: Eagle Police find hit-and-run driver

We’d like to pass on a major thank you to the public for helping us identify the driver involved in a hit and run crash near the Eagle Road/State Street intersection Sunday night.

A woman driving a white Toyota 4Runner smashed into another car near there Sunday night and then took off. We shared a photo with the public and asked if anyone recognized her. They did and let us know. Eagle police contacted with the female driver Tuesday and she admitted to being involved in the crash.

Deputies cited 38-year-old Michelle Sturdy for inattentive driving and leaving the scene of a property damage crash. Sturdy told deputies she thought she hit a curb or possibly a concrete post.

This was the picture that led Eagle Police to the driver.

Eagle crash

The crash happened around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Sturdy pulled the 4Runner out of a parking lot on to northbound Eagle Road and smacked into the right rear fender of a car going south. That car was damaged on the back end.

She then took off. Deputies later found the 4Runner had damage to the right front.

hitandruncrash1 hitandruncrash2

The driver of the other car was not hurt.

Once again we’d like to thank the public  — specifically readers of social and traditional media — for helping us with this case.

Action Team deputies catch trailhead car burglars in the act

Deputies arrested two Boise men moments after they broke into a parked car and stole a purse at the Seaman Gulch Trailhead Thursday afternoon.

The duo are suspected of doing at least a half-dozen similar “smash and grab” burglaries at trailheads all over the Treasure Valley since the beginning of the year.

For now, 45-year-old Paul A. Sublet and 24-year-old Benjamin A. Hinote are both charged with single felony counts of burglary in connection with Thursday’s incident.

Additional burglary charges for the other break-ins will be filed at a later time.

Deputies have evidence Sublet and Hinote have been smashing windows of cars at trailheads and taking purses, backpacks, and other items of value when no else is around.

All the burglaries were done the same way. Someone smashed a car window to get into a locked car while the owners were hiking nearby. All were done during the light of day.

Deputies with the ACSO Action Team (Anti-Crime Team In Our Neighborhoods) have been doing extra patrols and keeping a close eye on trailhead parking lots over the last several weeks.

Deputies were also on the lookout for a white pickup truck which was spotted in February around the same time as one of the car burglaries at the Eagle Sports Complex off Horseshoe Bend Road.

An Action Team deputy was parked by the Ada County landfill Thursday afternoon and keeping an eye on the Seaman Gulch trailhead when a white GMC pickup truck pulled in just before 5 p.m.

The men in the pickup, later identified as Sublet and Hinote, waited until all the people near the parking lot were  gone. The deputy, who was about 1000 feet away and up the hill, then saw them break a window of a car and grab a purse and backpack from inside.

The deputy called in the burglary over the radio and took off after the truck. Other ACSO deputies, who had been told a white pickup had pulled into the trailhead parking lot, were already on their way.

Deputies pulled over the truck on Hill Road moments later and arrested Sublet and Hinote. Deputies found the purse and backpack inside the truck the duo had just taken from the car at the trailhead.

While you should always lock your car or truck when parked at a trailhead — or anywhere else — it’s a good idea to leave your purse or wallet at home or take it with you when recreating in the Foothills.

The ACSO Action Team’s focus is to identify and impact specific crime problems and quality of life issues that affect our community.

Deputies arrest Boise man who refused to get out of car for an hour after he crashed it Tuesday night

Deputies arrested a 34-year-old Boise man who led them on a brief car pursuit in Star and then refused to get out of his car for almost an hour after he crashed it on Beacon Light Road late Tuesday night.

Adam S. Weber is charged with felony counts of DUI and eluding arrest and misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license and resisting arrest.

The incident began around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday when Ada County dispatch got a report of a possible drunk driver near W. New Hope and Munger Roads.

A Star Police officer found the car around 8:30 p.m. by the Foothill Road/Schmidt Lane intersection and attempted to pull the car over. The driver, later identified as Webser then took off, going east.

Weber got on Beacon Light Road but eventually lost control, hit a tree, and crashed his car near the Merlot Place intersection around 8:35 p.m.

Weber 1

It was during the initial call when Star Police and Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies were looking for the car when our dispatchers got a report from Canyon County that someone driving a car fitting the same description was seen waving a gun out the window earlier in the night.

When deputies got to the scene of the crash, Weber refused to get out of the car and told deputies — and dispatchers — that he had a gun.

Star Police, ACSO deputies, and Boise police responded to the crash and spent almost an hour trying to convince Weber to get out of the car.

When he did get out, around 9:30 p.m., Weber was not holding a gun. When Weber tried to get back inside the car, a Boise Police K9 dog was able to stop him.

Deputies then got Weber into custody.

Weber was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being booked into the Ada County Jail.

It did not appear Weber suffered any serious injury.

Deputies searched the car a short time late and did not find a gun.

We’d like to thank Boise Police for their help.

Sheriff Raney’s update on Cartwright Road homicide case

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney has some new details to share about the Cartwright Road homicide case.

While the homicide investigation is still very much ongoing — and detectives are working around the clock to gather every piece of evidence and any possible information to help determine exactly what happened — there have been continuing developments that we can’t go into detail about right now that have provided some important answers on what happened.

“A few days ago, I could not confidently tell you not to be concerned about your safety. Today, I feel comfortable saying that you can sleep peacefully tonight – without fear and worry of an ongoing threat in the community,” Sheriff Raney said.

“I want to thank everyone who has called in a tip or shared information with investigators. Every new detail takes us one step closer to accountability for the person responsible for three gruesome murders and one step closer to justice for the Welp family.”

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate leads and work to figure out why three people were murdered inside a foothills home in North Ada County earlier this week.

Two men and a woman — 80-year-old Theodore Welp, his wife, 77-year-old Delores Welp, and their son, 52-year-old Thomas Welp— were found inside their home on North Cartwright Road, near Pierce Park Road, late Tuesday morning.

Deputies arrested a 22-year-old Adam Dees Wednesday in connection with the case. Deputies took Dees into custody while he was at the Best Buy store in Boise shortly after 3:30 p.m.

Dees is charged with three felony counts each of grand theft and forgery and a misdemeanor court of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Ada County prosecutors said Thursday Dees used credit cards taken from the Welp’s home to buy items at area stores, including the Buckle, Boise-area restaurant Barbacoa, and Best Buy.

For some of the purchases with the stolen credit cards, Dees forged the signature of members of the Welp family. Dees also had a handgun in his waistband when deputies arrested him Wednesday.

There is also evidence Dees was trying to sell a wedding ring earlier this week.

That ring — Elaine Welp’s diamond engagement ring — has been recovered from a local jeweler.

Dees is not charged with murder. Additional charges are possible. No one else has been arrested in connection with the case.

Dees is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $2 million bond. His next court appearance is set for March 26.

Detectives spent much of Thursday morning and afternoon searching Dees’ home in the 1700 block of N. Cody Ave. in Nampa for evidence.

Deputies also seized a 2003 black Subaru Legacy with a gold panel on the bottom Dees was driving when he went to Best Buy.

Anyone who saw that car near Cartwright Road or in East Boise between Sunday and Tuesday night and noticed anything odd should call detectives at 577-3701.

Sheriff Gary Raney said Wednesday the killing of the Welp family was one of the most violent crime scenes he had ever seen in over three decades working in law enforcement.

“When I say this crime is heinous, that is probably an understatement,” Raney told a group of reporters Wednesday. “Somebody, who violently, without cause, without any provocation that I know of, killed three innocent people. We are working 24 hours a day with everything we’ve got to put that person in jail.”

Deputies began investigating the case late Tuesday morning after a family member, who last heard from the Welps on Sunday, went to check on them today and called Ada County dispatch to report finding suspicious circumstances.

Deputies responded immediately and found the three adults dead inside the home. There were signs of a violent struggle inside and foul play.

This is very much an open and ongoing investigation, so information is limited at this point.

Anyone who knows about any possible connection between Dees and the Welp family should call detectives at 577-3701.

The Welp family released this statement Thursday.

“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected and tragic loss of our beloved parents and brother.  No words can adequately express the grief and despair we are feeling.  These were kind, caring and generous people who meant so much to us and have been senselessly taken from us.  

Please respect our family’s need for privacy during this difficult time.   We truly appreciate the outpouring of love, condolences and prayers from family, friends and members of the community.

We would like to thank the Ada County Sheriff’s Office for handling this investigation professionally and compassionately. We urge anyone with information about our parents’ or brother’s deaths to please let detectives know. We pray the person or people responsible for this horrific crime are held accountable so we can have some understanding of what happened and why.”

Ted and Elaine Welp[2]

Anyone with information on the case should call detectives at 577-3701.