Investigation leads to arrests Dec. 4

Investigation leads to arrests Dec. 4 by David Lias Local law enforcement arrested five people in Vermillion before they could carry out what local police believe would be a crime very similar to an incident that occurred in the city last summer.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. Dec. 4, the Vermillion Police Department along with the Clay County Sheriff's Office, arrested five Vermillion residents for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Four arrests were made at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 4 after a traffic stop in the 400 block of Jefferson Street, according to Interim Police Chief Kim Callahan. The fifth arrest was made later in the day.

Those arrested in the traffic stop are David West, 31; Christopher Dyer, 22; James Wilson, 19; and a 17-year-old juvenile.

A fifth suspect, Sara Sterrett, 20, was later arrested at her apartment.

All five suspects are from Vermillion and are charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. The Class III felony carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The juvenile is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Sioux Falls. West is being held without bond at the Human Services Center in Yankton. Wilson and Sterrett have bonded out of jail.

Dyer was being held without bond in the Clay County Jail in Vermillion. He was also being held for a parole violation.

According to a press release issued by Callahan, police had earlier obtained information that these individuals were planning a home invasion of house in Vermillion with the intent of assaulting the occupants and stealing illegal drugs

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and money.

It's a scenario that closely resembles a June 24 incident in the 400 block of Adams Street in Vermillion. However, local law enforcement haven't linked the individuals arrested last week with the June crime.

In the earlier incident, two men broke into a residence. Both intruders were masked, and one used a handgun to beat one of the residents in the head.

Callahan cited a number of recent drug cases which are moving through the courts: On Oct. 6, a search warrant was executed at 2 N. Plum Street in Vermillion. Eric Solomon, 19, of Vermillion was arrested for possession of marijuana, ingestion of a controlled substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cocaine.

Jason Solomon, 25, and Jackie Solomon, 24, both of Vermillion, were arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and ingestion of marijuana. They each pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and were sentenced to two days in jail, a $300 fine and $88 for drug testing.

On Oct. 18, Darren Kranz, 31, of Vermillion was arrested for possession of controlled substance, ingestion of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and simple assault-domestic violence.

He pleaded guilty on the simple assault charge and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and $43 court costs, with 30 days suspended with the repayment of court-appointed attorney fees.

On Nov. 11, a search warrant was executed at 435 High Street, Apartment #1. Shane Benzel, 20, and Alen Bakeberg, 20, both of Vermillion, were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, keeping a place for use of drugs and possession of marijuana. They will be arraigned at 3 p.m. Jan. 3 in Clay Court Circuit Court.

The meth and cocaine charges are Class 4 felonies, each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine. The charge of keeping a place for use of drugs is a Class 5 felony carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $5,000 fine.

Natascha McGinley, 20, of Vermillion was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

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