Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office

  • Agency: Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office
  • Address: 28 N. Lower Sunset Drive, Sonora, 95370 CA
  • Chief:
Phone: 209-533-5855
Fax: 209-533-5831

Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office is located at 28 N. Lower Sunset Drive, Sonora, 95370 CA. The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office phone number is 209-533-5855.

Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office News

On Veterans Day we honor all of the men and women who have served our country and fought to protect our freedom. Some of them continue their service and now work for our Sheriff's Office protecting our community. Words can not express the appreciation and gratitude we have for what they have done and continue to do. Thank you to all Veterans for their bravery and sacrifice in serving our country. Happy Veterans Day!🇺🇸 from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office.

There’s nothing sweeter than getting a special delivery of homemade cookies 🍪 from these smiling faces. Ashton, Cally, Jayden, and their mom dropped off thank you notes and homemade cookies as part of their homeschool project. When their mom asked them what they were thankful for, they said: law enforcement for all they do and for keeping us safe. Sheriff Pooley and Sgt. Cuellar were happy to give them a tour of a patrol car, K9 stuffies, and badge pins. Thank you Ashton, Cally, Jayden, and mom for making our day. 😁

A search warrant ends with four arrests. On Tuesday morning, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives, deputies and the High Risk Probation Team, served a search warrant at a home on Sherry Lane in Soulsbyville. Heroin, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and evidence of drug sales were found at the home. 33-year-old Robert Degn and 28-year-old Cody Wright were arrested for maintaining a drug house, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Degn was also booked for a misdemeanor drug warrant. Also at the residence were 24-year-old Tori Rowe and 28-year-old Steven Hoch who were in possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were arrested and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail. Rowe was also booked for failing to appear on 5 misdemeanor warrants for drugs and burglary.

Early this morning we lost a member of our law enforcement family. Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Ron Helus was killed in a mass shooting incident in Thousand Oaks. Sgt. Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer responded to reports of a shooting at a local bar and were immediately met by gunfire. Sgt. Helus was shot several times and died at an area hospital early this morning. Sergeant Helus was a 29 year veteran and SWAT member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and was planning on retiring next year. Sgt. Helus is survived by his wife and son. Sergeant Helus’s family and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department are in our thoughts and prayers as well as all those affected by this tragedy.

Please take a moment to read and share these ATM safety tips, with neighbors, friends, and family. 1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers. 2. Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM, make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive or walk immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business. If you feel you are in danger, call 911! 3. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable. Consumers should look for signs of tampering on the ATM, such as damage or alteration to the card reader, unusual looking keys or overlays on the keyboard, or even devices on the door to the ATM location that could be used to capture magnetic stripe data 4. Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card — contact a bank official. 5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant. 6. Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place. 7. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line. 8. Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine. 9. Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to your bank. 10. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, comply, get to safety and call 911 immediately.

An early morning traffic stop nets two thieves. Tuesday morning, a deputy stopped a black Honda Civic on HWY 108 at Via Este Road in Sonora for driving in the dark without headlights on. As the deputy approached the vehicle, he could see the back seat was filled with numerous power tools. A records check of the driver, 30-year-old Jesse Grenland, and passenger, 30-year-old Joshua Hobbs, revealed they were on searchable probation. During the investigation, it was determined the Honda Civic was stolen and the power tools did not belong to the registered owner. Grenland and Hobbs were arrested and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail for vehicle theft, and violating probation. Hobbs was also charged with committing a felony while out on bail. Throughout the day our office received several reports of residential burglaries in the Sonora and Soulsbyville area reporting power tools were taken from their homes. The victims met with the deputy at our office and were able to positively identify their property that was found inside of the Honda. One of the victims was also able to provide surveillance video of the men at the residence. Grenland and Hobbs were additionally charged with burglary. We were happy to catch these two and reunite the victims with their belongings.

Fentanyl-Laced Heroin is becoming an epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting an increase in deaths involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl laced heroin (see: https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00413.asp). Fatal heroin overdoses are spiking in cities across the nation, but there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye. Hundreds of unsuspecting users are purchasing a deadly new variant of heroin that is laced with Fentanyl, an opiate 100 times more powerful than morphine. Discovered in 1959, Fentanyl is a highly-addictive synthetic alternative to morphine and used to treat pain in the terminally ill. In the 1980s, a few underground chemists altered the chemical makeup of Fentanyl. What they came up with was a highly toxic and potentially lethal product nicknamed “China White.” Mixing Fentanyl with heroin amplifies the potency of both drugs. Once injected, smoked, or snorted, the killer heroin creates a frighteningly powerful high. Since heroin and Fentanyl both have depressant effects, users feel exaggerated drowsiness, nausea, confusion, sedation and, in extreme instances, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and death. According to published reports, most users don’t know their heroin is laced with Fentanyl. Lucky victims have a friend with them who can immediately administer the antidote naloxone, or the victim may make it to an emergency room, where the antidote naloxone is immediately administered. As seen in the picture, Fentanyl-laced drugs are deadly because Fentanyl is so much stronger than heroin. On the left is a lethal dose of heroin, equivalent to about 30 milligrams. On the right is a 3-milligram dose of Fentanyl, enough to kill an average-sized adult male. Fentanyl, according to the CDC, is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times more potent than heroin. Drug users generally don’t know when their heroin is laced with Fentanyl, so when they inject their usual quantity of heroin, they can inadvertently take a deadly dose of the substance. In addition, while dealers try to include Fentanyl to improve potency, their measuring equipment usually isn’t fine-tuned enough to ensure they stay below the levels that could cause users to overdose. Plus, the Fentanyl sold on the street is almost always made in a clandestine lab; it is less pure than the pharmaceutical version and thus its effect on the body can be more unpredictable. Heroin and Fentanyl look identical, and with drugs purchased on the street, you don’t know what you’re taking. Frightening facts about this lethal combination. •Death can occur within minutes after injecting killer heroin laced with Fentanyl. •Multiple overdoses are commonly seen in a 24-hour period. •Killer heroin is being sold under the names “Theraflu,” ”Bud Ice,” and ”Income Tax.” A Fentanyl overdose can be accidental or intentional. Equally, the concurrent use of other medications that affect brain function (including benzodiazepines, the consumption of alcohol, and the ingestion of certain foods) could affect the way the body metabolizes the drug. Signs of a Fentanyl overdose may vary but could include: •Labored or shallow breathing •Small pupils •Cold and clammy skin •Extreme fatigue and sleepiness •Inability to talk or walk normally •Confusion •Fainting and dizziness. Above all, if you or a friend of yours is using opioid drugs, you should visit the Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Department and pick up information about naloxone and the availability of treatment for drug use disorders. You should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else is displaying any of these signs. If administered properly and in time, Naloxone can temporarily reverse overdoses due to Fentanyl and opioids.

Another late night traffic stop leads to drugs and stolen goods being recovered. On Monday evening just before midnight, one of our deputies on patrol in the Jamestown area made a traffic enforcement stop on a green Dodge Durango after it failed to stop at the 3rd Ave and Seco St. stop sign. The deputy made contact with the driver of the vehicle, 28-year-old Carlton Schuster of Sonora and the passenger, 30-year-old Avenall Ruddock of Modesto. After the deputy ran Schuster’s name with dispatch, it was discovered Schuster was on CDC parole. A search of Schuster’s person on scene revealed he had .07 grams of methamphetamine in his possession. K9 Hans responded to the stop and conducted a narcotics sniff of the vehicle. After Hans alerted deputies to the odor of narcotics inside, deputies conducted a vehicle search. Hypodermic needles with tin foil as well as stolen property from a previously reported burglary were located. A subsequent search of Ruddock and her belongings in the vehicle revealed drug paraphernalia, suspected heroin, and a prescription bottle of pills that did not have Ruddock’s name on the bottle. Both Schuster and Ruddock were arrested and transported to the county jail. Schuster was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, possession of stolen property as well as a CDC parole hold for violating his parole conditions. Ruddock was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Does this man look familiar to you? We need your help in identifying this burglary suspect seen on surveillance at a home on Old Buchanan Mine Road in Tuolumne early Sunday morning. The suspect appears to be a white man with a dark colored beard. He was wearing a baseball cap, hooded sweatshirt and jeans. If you have any information regarding this incident or identity of this man please call the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office at 533-5815.

“Don’t forget to turn your clocks back. That means I get an extra hour of playtime....yes! -K9 Hans

Congratulations to Deputy Corey Holmes who recently completed the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office field training program and is working as a solo beat deputy. Deputy Holmes served in the Marine Corps from 2005-2010. He served as a Sergeant and received training and education as an Avionics Technician. Deputy Holmes continued his education and received several degrees in fire science. He joined our agency in 2017 and worked as a Jail Deputy before going to our patrol division. We know he will serve our community with pride and professionalism. Stay safe.

Last week, deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle occupied by two men parked in front of a home on Via Este Road in Sonora. Deputies arrived and spoke with driver, 27-year-old Kody Ingram of Jamestown and passenger, 29-year-old Daniel Simpers of Twain Harte. While speaking to the men the deputy could see drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. A records check revealed Ingram was on searchable parole and when asked if there were any illegal items inside the vehicle the men admitted there was. During a search of the truck, over 4 grams of heroin, methamphetamine, digital scales, multiple small plastic baggies, several hypodermic needles including a hypodermic needle filled with heroin were found. Both men were arrested and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail. Ingram faces charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale and Simpers was booked for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Wednesday morning just after midnight, one of our deputies stopped a silver Ford Mustang on Campo Seco Road in Sonora because the car had a broken license plate light. As the deputy approached the car, he could see drug paraphernalia on the floor board. Hypodermic needles, a glass smoking pipe, 6 grams of heroin, and methamphetamine were found during a search of the vehicle and people inside. The driver, 27-year-old Daniel Sanchez of Tuolumne, and passengers, 34-year-old James Wood of Sonora and 33-year-old Lawrence Beenblossom of Pittsburg, were arrested and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail. Sanchez was booked for possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale and driving on a suspended license. Beenblossom faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. Wood was booked for possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia as well as three local warrants for violating his probation and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

An arrest was made only a few hours after surveillance footage was shared with the community, regarding a local check fraud investigation. A Black Oak Casino Security Officer alerted law enforcement after spotting 37-year-old Josiah Silveira of Modesto who matched the description of the wanted man. Responding Deputies arrested Silveira Inside the casino and a search of his car turned up dozens of fraudulent and forged checks, a laptop computer, a printer, and blank check paper. During the investigation, evidence surfaced that Silveira had successfully passed several fraudulent and forged checks at a local Tuolumne County grocery store. Silveira was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail and now faces several felony charges.

Let the Haunting begin.... Our Haunted House is open from 3-5 PM, enter if you dare!

Update 8 PM: We asked and you answered. Only a few hours after surveillance footage was shared regarding a local check fraud investigation, a Black Oak Casino security staff member spotted 37-year-old Josiah Silveira of Modesto and alerted law enforcement. Responding Deputies found Silveira inside the casino and arrested him. A search of his car turned up dozens of fraudulent and forged checks, a laptop computer, a printer, and blank check paper. During the investigation, evidence surfaced that Silveira had successfully passed several fraudulent and forged checks at a local Tuolumne County grocery store. Silveira was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail and now faces several felonies. Original Post: Business owners beware! Take a good look at the man in this surveillance video. He was caught at a local grocery store trying to cash a homemade check on Tuesday morning. We discovered he stole account information to create a forged check. The employee he tried to fool went to a manager to verify the check, and the man took off. Although he was unsuccessful in his attempt, we want to catch him and we need your help! Contact us at 533-5815 and help us catch this man.

Halloween is finally here! Don't forget to stop by our Haunted House from 3-5 PM tomorrow for some candy and scares! It will be a ghoulish good time!

Today’s two minute tip brought to you by Sgt. Cuellar and Cpl. Benson. #2mt #traumaplatepack #firstaid

A pair arrested and their crime spree stopped in its tracks. Deputy Vince Lee was patrolling the Jamestown area just before 3 o’clock Sunday morning when he received information about a purse that had just been stolen from a parked car in East Sonora. The suspects were reportedly driving a silver Toyota truck and headed west toward him. The truck was spotted on Highway 108 near 5th Avenue in Jamestown. The driver saw Deputy Lee and sped off. The driver tried to make a quick getaway but couldn’t shake Deputy Lee who found the truck in a parking lot on Donovan Street. 28-year-old Kristen Chapman was detained and the truck was determined to be stolen out of Roseville. 40-year-old Jeremy Chapman was found nearby by a CHP Officer who stopped by to assist in the investigation. The Chapmans were arrested and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail in several charges. The purse was found in the truck and returned to the victim. More stolen property was recovered from the truck which tied the Chapmans to several vehicle burglary cases including one reported to Sonora PD. This investigation is ongoing as we continue to reunite victims with their stolen property.

The Tip-A-Cop Fundraiser last night at Applebee’s was a great success thanks to our wonderful community, Applebee’s staff, amazing athletes and law enforcement personnel from Sonora CHP, Sonora Police Department, California Department of Corrections and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. Over $6000 was raised to benefit Special Olympics, which is nearly double the amount from last year! Your support and generosity is heart warming and greatly appreciated!

Come on down to Applebee’s now! Enjoy a great dinner while we wait on you. We are here for the Tip-A-Cop Fundraiser benefiting the Northern California Special Olympics.

No job is too small for our department. Sheriff Pooley came across a man who lost his load of lumber on the highway. The Sheriff was happy to help the man gather the wood and store it safely in his vehicle, so he could make it to his destination and other travelers could have a safe journey. #community #lendahelpinghand

Update 5:15 PM: Roads are now open in the area and all evacuations have been lifted. Update 3 PM: CAL Fire reports flames to both structures have been extinguished and their fire investigators are on scene. Once the road closures are lifted, those who have been evacuated will be allowed to return to their homes. Update 2:15 PM: CAL Fire reports ground crews have stopped the forward rate of spread on the 2 acre vegetation fire but remain working on containment of the two structure fires. Road closures remain in place. Update 1:30 PM: Additional road closures have been conducted at Sawmill Flat Road at Covington Road and Bighill Road at Glory Gulch Road. Update 1 PM: Air and ground resources continue to respond to the two structure fire in the Upper Quail Mine Road area of Columbia. Cal Fire reports the flames have spread to vegetation that has grown to approximately 2 acres in size. Road closures are at Gunsite at Quail Mine Road, Lower Quail Mine at Upper Quail Mine and Lower Quail Mine at Rattlesnake Gulch. Original Post 12:10 PM: Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Personnel are responding to a house fire the 22550 block of Upper Quail Mine Road in Columbia. Deputies are conducting evacuations on Upper Quail amine and nearby on Old Miner Road. We will continue to update with any developments.

Do you have any unused or expired medication you need to dispose of? If so we are having a prescription drug take back day on Saturday, October 27th from 10AM-2PM in the Junction Shopping Center on Mono Way in Sonora near the Sheriff's Community Service Unit. Medication except for intravenous solutions, injectables, and syringes will be accepted. Liquid products such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container. All participants will remain anonymous and no record of dropped off medications will be maintained. There is also a 24 hour drop off box for medication located in our office lobby at 28 N. Lower Sunset Drive in Sonora.

A week-long investigation by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Detectives has ended in an arrest for the killing of a Jupiter man. On the evening of October 16th, deputies were called out to a home on Italian Bar Road near Rose Creek for a report of a man who had been shot. 31-year-old Scott Andrew Rockey was found dead outside his home. Last night, deputies arrested 23-year-old Matthew Grogg, a resident of the Jupiter area. Detectives were assisted by Narcotics Detectives, the High Risk Supervision Team and the Crisis Response Unit. At this time, we are not releasing specific details or motive for the killing while detectives continue their investigation.