January 18, 2018

Archives for March 2012

“Stellar Investigation” by WCSO Detectives results in significant guilty plea

Deputy Prosecutor Jim Hulbert praised work by WCSO Detectives. 

From the Northern Light: A Birch Bay man could serve anywhere from 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to molesting a child at his home in Birch Bay.

Richard W. McCoy, 26, has entered a guilty plea to one count each of first degree rape of a child and first degree child molestation, Whatcom County prosecuting attorney James Hulbert said. Hulbert recommended a sentence range of 20 years to life for McCoy.


Whatcom County is a “Storm Ready” Community

Last February, the National Weather Service (NWS) accepted WhatcomCounty’s renewal application to continue as a StormReady(R) community.  The StormReady preparedness program  (http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/) helps communities develop severe weather and flooding response plans with NOAA’s National Weather Service and local emergency managers. Since the program began in 1999, nearly 1,600 U.S. communities have become StormReady. 

 To earn StormReady designation, a community must:

Establish a 24-hour center to receive National Weather Service warnings and an emergency operations center;

Have redundant ways to receive weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public;

Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;

Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and

Develop a formal hazardous weather plan to train severe weather spotters and carry out emergency exercises.

In a letter from the NWS – Seattle Office, dated 02/27/2012,  Meteorologist in Charge Brad Colman and Warning Coordination Meteorologist Ted Buehner state, “Whatcom Countycontinues to do a fine job of promoting and executing all-hazards awareness and preparedness, including weather and flood, throughout the County.”

WhatcomCountyhas been a Storm Ready community since 2003 and was one of the first counties inWashingtonto be so recognized.  Recertification is required every three years. 

 Sheriff Elfo said: “A huge thanks must go to our extraordinary volunteer, Bob Jacobson, who completed our first application in 2003 and each of the three renewal applications since then.  In preparing the renewal application, Bob personally contacted each City Hall, School Superintendent’s office, and Senior Center to verify preparedness.  Bob also continues to coordinate the Skywarn(R) Severe Weather Spotter Training held in Whatcom County every two  years.”  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/skywarn/

Even though the County has taken these steps to be better prepared to respond to the needs of the community, the challenge remains for each resident and every business to prepare for severe weather and other hazards our community faces (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hazardous material incidents, etc) through personal, family, and business preparedness.

Drug Task Force Busts Cocaine Dealer

On March 20, 2012, the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF)completed a two-month investigation in regards to a subject dealing cocaine from a residence in Bellingham,Washington.

On three occasions, an agent of the Task Force had purchased cocaine from the suspect out of a residence in the 2400 block of Toledo Street in Bellingham.  On Tuesday, March 20, the NWRDTF served a search warrant on the residence and arrested the male suspect without incident.  During the search of the residence, detectives located a small amount of narcotics and items associated with the sale of narcotics.  They also located a loaded shotgun and a loaded handgun.  The handgun was found to have recently been stolen fromChelan County, Washington.  As the suspect in the case is a previously convicted felon, he is precluded from owning or possessing firearms.  He is also an admitted member of a local street gang.

The suspect arrested in this incident is identified as:

           Austin L. Proctor (25 year old male)

He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on the investigation of the following charges:

  • 3 counts Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Cocaine
  • 2 counts Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st
  • Possession of a Stolen Firearm
  • Maintaining a Premises for Drug Trafficking

Sheriff Elfo said: A convicted felon gang member dealing cocaine out of a neighborhood apartment endangers everyone.  These types of cases represent a high priority for the Norhtwest Regional Drug Task Force.”

  The Northwest Regional Drug Task Force is a consortium of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, the Bellingham Police Department, the Washington State Patrol and the United States Department of Homeland Security

5 Persons Arrested in Cemetery Thefts

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies and Detectives have arrested 5 individuals and are looking for one additional person in connection with the theft of nearly 200 bronze memorial vases  from Greenacres Cemetery near Ferndale,WA.

On February 6th 2012 a WCSO Deputy took a theft report from a representative of Greenacres Cemetery, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale.  The initial theft report concerned the loss of approximately 60 bronze vases that are commonly used at burial plots for remembrance flowers.  The vases are valued at approximately $200 each for a loss estimated at $10,260.00.  The vases are usually purchased by the family of the person buried at each grave site.

As the investigation progressed an accounting indicated that as many as 170-200 vases were missing, with a value of as much as $40,000.00.  The Cemetery covers approximately 40 acres according to the report.

Investigators received tips that led them to check some local recycling businesses. On February 21, 2012, Alrite Recycling in Bellingham assisted in the investigation by confirming that they had received at least 100 of the vases and assisted investigators in identifying the persons who brought in the vases as well as recovery of a number of the vases.

One of the subjects arrested in this investigation (Ryan Getz) was contacted on February 17th, 2012 in possession of 15 bronze vases while attempting to sell them at SAB Recycling located at 5373 Guide Meridian,Bellingham. Another individual (Joshua Anderson) was implicated in the thefts at that time and is being sought.

Alrite Recycling worked with the Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation and the cooperative effort led to the recovery of 82 vases.  Some of the vases had been shipped to a plant inCanada, but were returned.  So far, 99 vases have been recovered and returned to Greenacres Cemetery.

Several of the suspects in this case admitted to possession and selling the vases for cash and were aware that they were stolen. Receipts, identification, and photos were obtained of the subjects selling the vases at the recycling center.  Any additional information that the public might have regarding the theft or possession of stolen bronze vases from Greenacres Cemetery would be appreciated.  Please contact Detective Ken Gates of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 676-6650 or leave information on our tip line:(360) 715-7459 or toll free at 1-866-456-2157.

Sheriff Elfo said:  “I am very proud of the efforts of our deputies to seek out and apprehend the persons responsible for this reprehensible crime and act of disrespect to the families whose loved ones are buried at Greenacres Cemetery. We are pleased with the recovery of a substantial amount of stolen property and look forward to the return of the remaining vases that were stolen.”

 Arrested in this case for Possession of Stolen Property 1st Degree and Trafficking in Stolen Property 1St Degree:

 Richard J. Neal III, (2/3/1989) Transient – listingPO Box 15553Friday Harbor,WA.  Arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail on 2/23/2012

 Ryan A. Getz (8/8/1979) of2905 Patton Street,Bellinghamarrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail 3/1/2012

 Nicholas J. Parker (5/12/1978) of2176 Robyn Drive,Ferndale, arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail 3/1/2012

 Arsenio J. Gray (11/29/1989) 5411 Guide Meridian,Bellingham, Arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail on 3/9/2012

 Autumn D. Tucker (5/9/1992) of8198 Valley View Rd, Custer Arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail on 3/10/2012

 Being Sought: Joshua A. Anderson (9/23/1978) Transient,Bellingham, White Male, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, 5-10, and 180 lbs.