Fugitive extradiated back to Fallon
A Fallon fugitive was extradited to Churchill County last week after he fled a sentencing hearing for drug charges.
William Cross III, 32, is being held in the Churchill County Jail after authorities transferred him from Kodiak, Alaska. Cross skipped his hearing in District Court on July 16, 2013, after he plead guilty to one count of trafficking in a controlled substance, 28 grams or more, in May.
According to the original plea agreement, the state recommended a sentence of 10-25 years in prison, although the judge could also implement a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 10 years.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled at 8:45 a.m. on Feb. 24.
According to a previous interview with North Central Narcotics Task Force Sgt. Dan Johnson, U.S. Marshals located Cross at a fishing cannery or processing plant and he was arrested without incident. A tip to the marshals led to the apprehension.
Cross was arrested on Nov. 19, according to Alaskan court records. Kodiak is 410 miles southwest of Anchorage and includes about a 180-mile ferry ride to the island.
Cross’ attorney, Jacob Sommer, told the court in July he spoke with his client the day before the sentencing hearing for about two hours. When Cross failed to appear, Sommer told Judge Robert Estes he did not know Cross’ whereabouts.
Before the sentencing hearing, Cross posted $10,000 bail in December 2012 and was placed on an ankle monitor. The monitor, though, was removed by the court shortly before sentencing.
Cross’ initial arrest came after a lengthy investigation by the task force. He sold cocaine and marijuana near the Churchill Youth Softball Fields. According to court documents, he sold cocaine on numerous occasions.
He was originally charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, 28 grams or more, and four counts of offer attempt or commission of an unauthorized act relating to a controlled substance near a school or public park.
In other court news —
A Schurz man was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence Tuesday in District Court for his ninth driving under the influence conviction.
Eldon Richard Valdez was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison. He was arrested after he crashed into a ditch and was Care Flighted to Reno for medical treatment, Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Michael Winn said.
Winn rattled off Valdez’s criminal history, which dates back to DUIs in 1976 through 2004. In addition, Valdez has been previously convicted twice of felony DUI plus 27 misdemeanor and one gross misdemeanor convictions.
Valdez’s attorney Paul Drakulich said he has witnessed a turnaround with his client in an attempt to avoid the lengthy sentence. Valdez told Judge Tom Stockard, “I’ve had enough of this.”