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Crime Corner

COURTS: Hollywood madam in court on 2013 pot charges

Heidi Fleiss appeared in Pahrump Justice Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing. She is facing charges of maintaining a residence where drugs are sold and drug possession with intent to sell charges.

Authorities discovered nearly 400 marijuana plants on Fleiss’ property in August 2013.

Deputy Adam Tippetts testified in court and stated that he went to the Fleiss residence to issue an arrest warrant for a fugitive who was believed to be residing with Fleiss.

Tippetts explained that as he approached the main residence he found the front door left open. After knocking and announcing his presence, he decided to walk to the side of the property to see if anyone was in the backyard.

Once there, the deputy noticed approximately 158 marijuana plants maturing on the side of the home.

At this point, Tippetts called for backup.

Shortly after backup units arrived, they saw Fleiss exiting a secondary structure in the back of the property.

Authorities called for Fleiss’ attention and began speaking with her about the plants on her property.

After authorities made contact with Fleiss, officers went to the secondary structure and found the remaining marijuana plants, two grow lights, and chemical nutrients.

Det. John Powell was called to the stand and read a transcript of the conversation between himself and Fleiss where he explained to her numerous times that she had a right to an attorney, but that he would like to continue questioning Fleiss.

The transcript reflected that Fleiss had asked the officers if she needed an attorney and then she did state that she wanted to speak with an attorney.

Fleiss’ lawyer, Jason Earnest, claimed that Fleiss had clearly identified that she wanted to seek legal counsel.

Prosecutors argued that Fleiss’ statements were ambiguous as to whether or not she wanted to invoke her right to speak with an attorney, but Judge Ron Kent agreed with the defense and stated that he believed she was clear about wanting to speak with an attorney.

Officers, however, continued to question Fleiss.

Earnest also questioned Powell who testified that no scales, drug-packaging items or other drug paraphernalia were found on the premises.

The defense attorney requested that the charge of maintaining a residence where drugs are sold be discharged because prosecutors were unable to prove Fleiss’ intent to sell the marijuana, due to the lack of paraphernalia required to sell narcotics.

Prosecutors argued that the number of marijuana plants alone prove her intent to sell.

Kent chose to recall the charge of maintaining a residence where drugs are sold until Friday, allowing him time to deliberate.

Fleiss’ other charges were bound over to District Court where she will be arraigned on Oct. 17. She also is facing DUI and driving without a license or insurance charges stemming from a separate arrest. Fleiss goes to trial on those charges March 26, 2015.

COPS: Boy, 12, accuses sex offender of inappropriate contact

A man was arrested on Monday for alleged sexual misconduct with a 12-year-old boy.

Gary Ward is already a registered sex offender with prior convictions for sex acts involving a minor.

The victim in this case went to police and accused Ward of touching and masturbating his genitals and making sexual comments.

Authorities interviewed Ward and he admitted to touching the boy’s buttocks and scrotum, but stated that he was helping clean the minor off after he had defecated on himself.

The victim stated that Ward’s comments were somewhat true; however, the victim told police that Ward continued touching him after he was already clean and after the victim told Ward to stop.

Authorities believe Ward was grooming the minor, who lived next door.

Ward is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 2. He is being held at the Nye County Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

COPS: Man charges cops, Tazer fails, stiff-arm tackle doesn’t

A man was was arrested Sunday after officers attempted to use a Tazer on him and the device failed.

Ultimately officers were forced to tackle Michael Allensworth in order to take him into custody.

Allensworth was arrested at 3250 East Cactus St. for violating a temporary protection order.

When authorities were called to the scene, Allensworth was immediately uncooperative.

Officers asked Allensworth to place his hands behind his back, but the suspect stated, “That’s not going to happen.”

Allensworth started to ball up his fists, preparing to fight with the deputy, who then showed Allensworth his Tazer.

Allensworth was advised, again, to cooperate, but he continued to refuse and began to lunge at the officer.

The deputy deployed his Tazer, but the device failed to operate and Allensworth continued charging forward.

At that point, another deputy tackled the suspect from the right side, knocking Allensworth to the ground.

Once in restraints, the suspect continued to make the arrest difficult by dropping all of his body weight while the officers picked him up to place him in a patrol vehicle.

The victim, Shada Maxie, and her sister, Mary Maxie, had seen Allensworth in the backyard of their residence when they called the sheriff’s department.

The victim stated that she believed Allensworth was intoxicated.

Allensworth refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, but officers were able to secure a warrant to conduct a blood test.

Allensworth later admitted that he was under the influence of pills.

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