Investigators seek man who used counterfeit $50 bill at frozen yogurt shop

Eagle Police detectives want to know if you recognize a man who paid for two bottles of water with a fake $50 bill earlier this month.

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The man made the purchase at the Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shop in the Chinden Boulevard/Linder Road neighborhood around 2 p.m. on July 6.

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He is described as being African-American, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with long dreadlocks.

Investigators don’t know if the man knew he was using a fake $50 but would like to talk to him to find out.

Anyone with information should contact Eagle Police at 938-2260 or send an email to


Deputies investigating fatal rollover crash on Swan Falls Road

Ada County Sheriff’s Office investigators are working to determine what caused a 61-year-old Eagle man to lose control of his pickup truck on Swan Falls Road Friday night.

Rusty Schwinn died late Friday night at a local hospital from injuries he sustained in the crash.

Deputies were called to investigate a single vehicle rollover on Swan Falls Road near the King Road intersection around 8 p.m. Friday.

The pickup truck was going southbound on Swan Falls Road at a high rate of speed when Schwinn lost control. The truck went off the side of the road and rolled over, coming to a stop on its side.


Schwinn was in the truck by himself and was thrown from the truck during the crash.

Paramedics arrived and took Schwinn to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead hours later.

Evidence tests show he had a .20 blood alcohol content (BAC) level after the crash, which is more than twice the legal BAC limit of .08 in Idaho.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was an accident.


16-year-old boy arrested for shooting teenage girl in the leg earlier this month

A 16-year-old boy is charged with careless handling of a firearm for shooting a 15-year-old girl in the leg earlier this month while he was messing around with a handgun.

Deputies are recommending a misdemeanor charge of providing false information to law enforcement be filed against the girl, who originally said she was shot in the leg by people driving by while she was walking on Ustick Road in the early morning hours of July 3.

Investigators had doubts about the girl’s story from the beginning.

The girl didn’t call 911 to report what happened — and deputies only found out about the shooting after getting a report from a third party that a girl with a bullet wound in her leg was being treated at a local emergency room.

The girl told deputies she was walking on Ustick Road, between Ten Mile and Black Cat roads, just before midnight July 2 when she was hit by a bullet in her leg as a car drove by.

Deputies spent several hours searching that area but did not find any evidence of a shooting.

Detectives interviewed several people and followed numerous leads before determining the shooting actually occurred inside the girl’s home the night of July 2.

The girl was not seriously injured in the shooting. She was treated and released from the hospital hours later.

An arrest warrant was issued for the boy Tuesday. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of being a minor in possession of a firearm.  The boy turned himself in early Thursday morning.

Deputies are also recommending the 35-year-old man who drove the girl to the hospital be charged with providing false information to law enforcement.

That man originally told deputies he did not know who the girl was but picked her up after she waved him down from the side of the street. It turns out he knew both the girl and the boy.

Anyone with information should call Ada County non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790 or send an email to



Update: Remains of Meridian man found on an island in the Boise River

Ada County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating how the body of a 34-year-old Meridian man ended up on a small island in the Boise River just west of Willow Lane.

Detectives began their investigation just after 7 p.m. Monday when member of the public who was in the river saw what appeared to be human remains on the island and called 911.

Garden City Police and members of the Boise Fire River Rescue Team went out to the island and found the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition.

It is unclear how long the body had been in the water prior to Monday night. The Boise River had been over flood stage for most of the spring and only dropped back down to normal seasonal levels last week.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s Office removed the remains early Tuesday morning and did an autopsy.

Coroner’s officials identified the man as Andrew Joseph Lee Gatten. The cause and manner of death are pending. There were no obvious signs of fatal injury.

Coroner’s officials are waiting for the results of evidence tests, which could take several weeks to be processed.

No missing persons reports have been filed for Gatten, who did not appear to have a permanent residence.

Detectives are working to establish the last time Gatten was seen by anybody. He was in the Ada County Jail on a misdemeanor drug charge until he was released on May 4.


Anyone with information should call Ada County non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790 or email



15-year-old girl busted after stealing a pickup truck and then leading deputies on high-speed pursuit

A teenage girl will be charged with felony counts of eluding arrest and grand theft for  stealing a pickup truck early Tuesday morning and then leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit in south Ada County.

The girl was driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph before the pursuit ended on Ten Mile Road, near the Amity Road intersection, after she drove over road spikes.

The incident began around 4 a.m. when an Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw a Ford F-150 going 65 mph in a 40 mph zone on Overland Road by the Maple Grove Road intersection.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights and attempted to pull the truck over when it took off west on Overland at a high rate of speed. The truck went through a red light at Five Mile Road and kept going west at speeds exceeding 100 mph.

The truck kept going west on Overland  before it turned up Eagle Road and eventually went into a field off Franklin Road when the driver lost control as she was trying to turn.

She got the truck out of the field and kept driving, eventually going south on Ten Mile Road, where a deputy was able to deploy spike strips across the road.

Even with deflated tires, the girl kept driving south until the truck came to a stop on Ten Mile Road near Amity Road.

When deputies went to arrest the driver, they discovered four other girls in the truck, ranging in age from 9-to-15-years-old.

All five girls were taken into custody at that point. The case is still under investigation.


Two Boise men are in custody in connection with armed robbery of Eagle teenager

Two Boise men who used Snapchat to develop a relationship with an Eagle teenager before one robbed him last month are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Detectives identified 19-year-old Syrus E. Tomaskovich as the stick-up man and arrested him early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop near Ustick and Mitchell streets in Boise. Deputies found two loaded handguns in Tomaskovich’s car.

Gooding County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 18-year-old Ervey Tovar earlier Tuesday on an Ada County warrant for conspiracy to commit robbery.

Tomaskovich is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Tovar is being held in the Gooding County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

The investigation began May 31 after the teenager contacted Eagle Police and told them he had been robbed at gunpoint near his home the night before.

The teenager said he had developed a friendship with Tovar on Snapchat over a period of months and made arrangements to meet him the night of May 30 so they could drive to California. The teen said he had never met Tovar before that night.

The teen grabbed some cash and some clothes and went outside to meet Tovar.

The teen said he and Tovar walked a short distance before another man, who was holding a gun and wearing a bandana over his face, jumped out from behind a bush and demanded both give up their wallets and cell phones.

The teen said once the robber got those items and ran away Tovar told him to stay put while he went to a nearby house to call police. The teen said Tovar never came back that night — and that he never heard from him again.

Eagle Police began collecting evidence and doing interviews and eventually identified Tomaskovich as the robber and Tovar as his accomplice. Detectives got arrest warrants for both by Tuesday.

Preliminary hearings for both Tomaskovich and Tovar will be set for early July.



ACSO is reviewing AG analysis on the legality of selling aerial fireworks

It is illegal for any citizen to set off aerial fireworks in Idaho unless they have a special permit for a public display.  That is Idaho law.

As soon as someone lights a fuse on a bottle rocket, they are committing a crime.

What remains unclear is if a recent Idaho Attorney General analysis claiming Idaho Code bans the sale of aerial fireworks is enforceable.

For years, retailers – mostly in Canyon and Elmore counties — have sold aerial fireworks like bottle rockets or roman candles to customers after they sign a waiver that they won’t light them off in Idaho. Then the customers light ‘em off here anyway.

Such illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous activity is what led to the devastating Foothills fire last summer near Table Rock. That blaze destroyed one home, put hundreds of others at risk, and saddled the 20-year-old man who started the fire with a roman candle with bills totaling about $391,000.

The ability for retailers to sell fireworks in Idaho, to Idaho residents who aren’t allowed to use them, is a loophole that has vexed fire officials and law enforcement agencies for years.

There seemed to be a solution Tuesday when the Boise Fire Department issued a release citing a recent Idaho Attorney General’s analysis that determined it’s illegal for any retailer to sell aerial fireworks to people without a permit.

While we totally agree that such fireworks should not be sold to private citizens in Idaho, as the law allows for permitted public displays like Fourth of July celebrations, our initial interpretation of the recent AG’s analysis still leaves it unclear whether permits are required for private citizens to buy aerial fireworks when they promise not to use them in the State of Idaho.

We strongly encourage fireworks stands to not sell aerial fireworks to private citizens without a permit in Ada County this summer as they risk getting a citation.

This is a complex issue. Not only are aerial fireworks dangerous for the people who use them, they also put everyone else in the community at risk.

Detectives find duo suspected of taking trail camera in animal observation area by Idaho 21

Update: ACSO detectives have located two teenagers seen in surveillance video before a trail camera was removed from a tree off Idaho 21 in May.

Detectives continue to work on the case and no charges have been filed at this point. Detectives have determined the girl will likely not be cited. Charges against the 17-year-old boy are possible. We’d like to thank everyone who contacted us with information about the case.

Here’s the original story:

Ada County Sheriff’s Office detectives want to know if you recognize a young man and young woman who appear to have stolen a trail camera earlier this spring in an animal observation area off Idaho 21.

The theft most likely occurred on May 2, according to video images captured that day.

The camera was on land in the Warm Springs Avenue/Idaho 21 area monitored by members of the Boise State University Intermountain Bird Observatory institute to study mammal populations in the area.

Detectives began their investigation May 15 after being contacted by a BSU employee. She told detectives the camera had been secured to a tree branch with a steel cable and was in fine working order on April 25, when she did an inspection of the area.

That same employee discovered the cable had been cut off and the camera was missing when she went back on May 4.

They reviewed video and found images of two people, possibly teenagers, walking by the camera multiple times between 7:30 p.m.-to-8:40 p.m. May 2, around the same time it was cut down.

If you recognize either person or have any information, please contact Ada County non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790 or send an email to



Four 12-year-old boys will be charged with burglary for breaking into over a dozen cars in Kuna last weekend.

At least a dozen people who left their cars unlocked in the Ten Mile Road/Deer Flat Road/Linder Road/Avalon Street neighborhood in the early morning hours of June 11 woke up to find items missing from inside.

Kuna Police identified four 12-year-old boys as the culprits. Juvenile Court charges are pending against the boys, who were caught shortly after a resident saw them breaking into a car in the driveway of his Trini Street home just after 4 a.m. that morning.

If there is one concept we here at the Kuna Police/Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like our residents to embrace above all others, it would be: lock your stuff up.

The best way to avoid being a victim of theft is to make sure your homes and vehicles are locked all the time.

People who live in the neighborhood had items taken from unlocked cars and trucks like cash, vape pipes, ear buds, flashlights, cigarettes, phone charges, and a purse in the early morning hours of June 11.

By June 12, Kuna Police identified the boys responsible and began doing interviews and finding items, including the vape equipment and liquids, that had been taken from unlocked cars.

If you live in that area and suspect you had vape equipment stolen, contact Kuna Police at 577-3860.

Officers interviewed the boys, collected evidence, and passed all the information to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.

There have been numerous cases over the years of people “jockeyboxing” – which means they walk through neighborhoods and check to see if cars and trucks are locked. If they are not, thieves then go through and steal anything of value.

So please remember to lock your cars, trucks — and doors to your home and garage areas.

ACSO applies for MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge grant

It’s been two years since the MacArthur Foundation selected Ada County as a finalist for its Safety and Justice Challenge to reduce our jail population.

Since then we’ve been hard at work to create a sustainable plan to reduce Ada County’s jail population by 15%-to-19% — and to promote social justice.

Our plan to answer the challenge is add 14 people in key areas of Ada County’s justice system – including more inmate case managers, pretrial release experts, and court clerks — to make that happen.

We are also proposing adding a new night court for people with Failure to Appear charges to help them get out of the “miss court and get arrested” cycle along with text-messaging reminder software so people don’t miss upcoming hearings

Late last month we asked MacArthur for a $1.9 million grant to fund these improvements.

You may remember our previous application to the MacArthur Foundation in 2016 asked for $3.9 million, most of which would have gone to the creation of a Community Safety Center to provide services for people in crisis — like those suffering from mental illness or struggling with substance abuse — who now often find themselves in jail for lack of any other options.

We decided that plan duplicated efforts by the State of Idaho to create a similar Behavioral Health Community Crisis Center in Ada County.

We will work closely with the state and our local health and public safety agencies to use that facility once it gets built and staffed.

That allows us to concentrate on structural fixes to the local court system — like options to the traditional cash-based bond system.

If you have access to money, you can pay a bond and be released from jail while a criminal case moves through the court system. That doesn’t really work for people on limited incomes.

So we’ve made some moves already to improve.

One temporary change that went into effect June 1 in Ada County is that anyone arrested on driving without privileges (1st-to-3rd offense) or failure to obtain, maintain, and provide proof of insurance will be released on their own recognizance (ROR) instead of having to post a cash bond. The Idaho Supreme Court approved this as a pilot project. We are hoping success in Ada County will result in this becoming law.

Ada County’s public defenders are now doing “jail sweeps” to identify people stuck in jail with low-level misdemeanor charges who can’t afford bond. They work closely with those inmates to resolve those cases and get them out of jail.

We’ve created new office space and public defender/inmate meeting rooms inside the jail and set up a second video courtroom to make case processing a little more efficient.

A major contributor to jail population is when people who are charged with a misdemeanor and fail to show up for court get arrested on Failure to Appear (FTA) charges. This can create an arrest cycle that is hard to break.

We surveyed people charged with FTA and found that 50% said they just didn’t know or forgot about their scheduled court date; 24% cited transportation issues; 8% said they had work or childcare conflicts.

Our proposal combats this phenomenon with the creation of the text-message notification system that will allow the Ada County Clerk of Court staff to send out alerts about upcoming court dates; a new unit at the Public Defender’s Office to help clients navigate the court system and attend their hearings; increased access to public transportation and travel vouchers; and the creation of a evening court to give people who have missed court dates an opportunity to appear in front of a judge before an FTA warrant is issued.

We’ve also identified a questionnaire/interview/criminal history assessment we can use for inmates eligible for Pretrial release to determine if they can be released from jail while their cases are being resolved.

This will give Ada County’s judges a useful tool to help make a pretrial release decision outside of the recommendation of a prosecutor.

We are also working on reducing current disparities for Native and African American inmates in our jail.

Ada County’s population is 85.3% white, non-Hispanic individuals, with 2.5% African-American and .2% Native-American populations. The jail population for African-Americans is 2.9% and .4% for Native-Americans.

Ada County law enforcement agencies will work to reduce this rate through education, training, and a renewed focus on community policing in our minority communities.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is mandating implicit bias training for all employees and has selected three employees to become trainers, who will create specific lesson plans for commissioned and civilian employees.

We are also proposing Idaho’s Peace Officer Standards and Training — which certifies all law enforcement officers in the state — to make implicit bias training part of their curriculum.

Our request would fund a total of 14 new jobs. Those include:

* Four public defender case managers to work closely with inmates to help them understand the court system and help them get to hearings.

* Four new pretrial release case managers (to join the current staff of five) to do risk assessments on everybody arrested in Ada County and provide recommendations for judges – and one pretrial release records technician for clerical support.

* Two court clerks who will oversee the text message notification system and the evening FTA court.

* A civilian mental health coordinator who would assist ACSO deputies on calls for people with mental health or substance abuse issues.

* A research analyst who will continue to work on jail reduction strategies and identify solutions as our plan evolves.

* A Safety and Justice Program manager to make sure all our strategies are implemented and to work with the State of Idaho on the implementation of the Behavioral Health Community Crisis Center.

That’s just an overview of our plan. If you want to read the whole thing, send an email to and we will send you a copy of our latest application.

We will keep you up to date as the year goes on about our progress.

For more information on the Safety and Justice Challenge, visit