GOLD NUGGET REPUBLICAN WOMEN meeting
was held on Wednesday, October 21st at the Golden West
Restaurant in Loyalton.
Following the meeting, a hearty barbecued brisket or pork sandwich lunch and Vicki’s coveted cheesecake were served .
Guest Speaker was Sierra County Sheriff Mike Fisher who attended the luncheon with his Executive Assistant Autumn Long-McGie, oldest daughter of former Chief Probation Officer Pete Villarreal.
Fisher told how they started off 2020 with a change of face due to COVID-19, working hand in hand with the court and big changes on how cases were heard online. He told about the Black Lives Matter protest in Loyalton, unique for Sierra County, which was joined by the Second Amendment and State of Jefferson groups. He stated law enforcement was there to “protect and serve,” not involved with politics and to stand hands off. Probation, CHP and Fish and Wildlife were staged for rapid deploy if there was violence while he and Undersheriff Brad Dempster dressed down and walked through all groups. He told of “very little issues;” CHP defused a situation and two instances rose to intervening. One investigation led to brass knuckles and a physical arrest that day.
The 4th of July weekend he recalled as “never a good time to make national news,” but had two shooting victims when Fish and Wildlife officials were attempted to be run over. He told how he and Dempster covered patrol shifts and receiving information of two people shot at Poker Flat on a remote dirt road. It was confirmed the shooting victims drove themselves out only to then receive a 9-1-1 call from a 15-year-old of his dad being shot and the youth having fled into the woods. Fisher detailed the active shooter search amid all the ATVs and “a lot of folks” that busy week end. He stated they had a total of 72 law enforcement officers from northern California.
The sheriff credited his Executive Assistant Autumn with getting 62 breakfasts. The 15-year-old’s mother arrived and Fish and Wildlife, SWAT teams and various police agencies successfully searched. A second load of food was delivered with local donations. After contact with the suspect there was a vehicle pursuit toward Downieville. The sheriff detailed how a Fish & Wildlife officer “heroically drove up a one lane dirt road where he couldn’t avoid the suspect. Shots were fired; one shot to the suspect was called a justifiable shooting which landed him in a Butte County hospital. Fisher was hesitant to name the suspect but passed around the People magazine article.
The week end after the Poker Flat incident there was a lightning strike which affected four people at Stampede Boat Ramp. Two were on a jet ski and one was a fatal hit with Truckee Fire and its dive team which located the victim.
Then there was the Loyalton Fire which blew up with the first ever national alert of a firenado on Scotts Road in Long Valley. Officer Bayley ran body camera and is on Facebook with audio which Fisher called “chilling.” One deputy had a flat tire on Scott Road and Cal Fire warned to get out. It was “real fortunate,” the sheriff stated nobody was injured. Other local fires were the Harding, Truckee and Bassetts Fire which were smaller and the Sheep Fire in Lassen County and the North Complex. Fisher was “excited” to have deputies to send out for mutual aid; four to Lassen County and to Butte County where sadly, there was one found deceased.
Included in the list of events was the Sierraville drug house Fisher stated he’s had to “deal with his entire career.” An infant living in the house changed the dynamics as a drug endangerment of a child and there were search warrants and arrests.
An ATV fatality at Lakes Basin Little Deer Lake had the operator ejected yet the incident resulted in good mutual communication.
The cannabis operation was inundated with smoke which normally has 4-8 flyovers yet with only 1-1/2 days this year which identified a large scale commercial grow on private land. They put in 3 days for under 600 plants, 11 loads and one felony and 8 misdemeanors. They continue dealing with large scale commercial operations, harvesting environmental issues utilizing Fish & Wildlife with scientists looking for environmental crimes, seizing $17,000 in cash and 590 plants. He told of marijuana plants 12-feet tall, 30-foot in circumference and the physical work utilizing helicopters with a choker, like in logging.
A missing mountain biker had the Sheriff’s Office join Search & Rescue who knew the trails.
He called staff the “highlight.” Detective-Sergeant is Kameron Crawford. Patrol (West Side) are Deputies Nathan Rust and Malcolm Fadden; Patrol (East Side) are Deputies Dave Morris, Scott Bayly and Rachel Wheeler; Corrections/Dispatchers are Officers John Smith, Aaron Astesana, Aaron Stringer, Brittany Rust and Michael Reynolds; Reserve (East Side) are Reserve Deputy Steve Ulrich and Reserve Doug Mackey.