Gang Sweep

On 05/18/15 members of the El Dorado Gang Enforcement Detail, often referred to as EDGE, contacted several gang members at their homes. Participating in the operation were members of the Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County Probation, El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, and South Lake Tahoe Police Department.

At about 1:00 PM, EDGE Officers went to an apartment off of Schnell School Road in Placerville to serve an arrest warrant on 42 year-old Charles Sinclair. At the residence, several BB guns were recovered. All had been modified to look like real firearms. Sinclair was taken into custody for the warrant and transported to the El Dorado County Jail.

At about 3:30 PM, EDGE Officers contacted 30 year-old Fabio Soto at his residence in the 4700 block of Patterson Drive in Diamond Springs. During a search, illegal drugs were located. Soto was arrested for possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, and felonious criminal conduct by a gang member. He is still in custody at the Jail.

At about 4:00 PM, EDGE Officers contacted 33 year-old Jessie Mercado in his room in an apartment complex in the 300 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Diamond Springs. Mercado was arrested and booked into the County Jail on possession of narcotics and paraphernalia charges. He is still in custody.

At about 7:55 PM, EDGE Officers went to a residence in the 3000 block of Omo Ranch Road in Mount Aukum to serve an arrest warrant on 35 year-old Dana Franklin. On their arrival, Franklin fled from the barn on foot. Deputies tracked Franklin to a neighbor’s storage unit. Inside the unit they found Franklin and took him into custody without incident. He was transported and booked into the El Dorado County Jail where he is still in custody without bail.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

Charles SinclairBooking photo of Charles Sinclair

Fabio SotoBooking photo of Fabio Soto

Jessie MercadoBooking photo of Jessie Mercado

Dana FranklinBooking photo of Dana Franklin

Body Found Near Weber Creek

On 05/17/2015 at approximately 5:00PM, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a dead body in the area of Weber Creek.  The body was located in a rocky area amongst many trees and bushes near Helmrich Lane in Placerville.  The body had initially been located by two juveniles who were walking in the area and was in poor condition.

Coroner Detectives have determined that the decedent was a white female adult who was approximately 60-70 years of age. An autopsy was conducted and no signs of foul play were present. Coroner Detectives have been working to identify the decedent.

Deputy Arrested in Nevada

On May 19, 2015, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 hangup at a residence in Minden, NV.  During their investigation, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies located what they believed to be controlled substance paraphernalia.  Suspecting drug activity by the occupants, the Douglas County Deputies continued their investigation and detained the occupants, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Zlendick and an unidentified female.  As a result of their investigation, Deputy Zlendick was arrested for drug related charges and booked into the Douglas County Jail in Nevada.  Deputy Zlendick posted bail and was released.  Deputy Zlendick, employed since 2004, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.  This is an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.  Any questions related to the investigation and arrest should be directed to Douglas County Press Information Officer Pat Brooks at 775-782-9931.

Suspicious Subject

On 05/18/15 at about 9:30 AM, a deputy was dispatched to the Pine Top Montessori School in Pollock Pines regarding a suspicious occupied vehicle. The school reported a White Male Adult came onto school grounds and told employees they were teaching the children how to become terrorists. The male was seen driving a white Volvo sedan.

On the deputy’s arrival, the individual and the vehicle were gone. The male, described as about 55 years-old, 6’ tall, with an average build, and gray hair had contacted staff asking what type of nationalities were present at the school. The male claimed that college students were being taught how to join ISIS and that Chinese people are terrorists. When the male returned to his car, staff called the Sheriff’s Office.

After calling EDSO, the male re-approached the front door of the school and found it locked. He knocked and asked to enter but the staff refused. The subject returned to his vehicle and drive away. No students reportedly came in contact with him.

Anyone who has information regarding this person or vehicle is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office. Please call our office number at (530) 621-5655 or send us an email at

Lt. Tom Murdoch

CVS Alcohol Theft

On 05/15/15 at about 2:30 PM, a Deputy John Gray was flagged-down by a CVS employee regarding a theft in progress. The employee pointed towards a White Male Adult standing next to a Red Mitsubishi Eclipse in the parking lot, telling the deputy the individual was stealing alcohol from the Cameron Park store. The male was accompanied by three other persons, and seeing the deputy, got quickly into the car.

Deputy Gray contacted the group. The person the employee was pointing towards was identified as 21 year-old Samuel White of Sacramento. With him were 23 year-old Rudolph Beltran of Sacramento, 23 year-old Jasmine Wasi of Elk Grove, and another 16 year-old female juvenile from Rancho Cordova. All four were detained pending a theft investigation.

Checking Samuel White for weapons, Deputy Gray located seven bottles of alcohol concealed on his person. He removed a bottle of Crown Royal, a bottle of Elijah Craig, a bottle of Gentleman Jack, and four bottles of Smirnoff Vodka. The bottles were in White’s waist band, crotch area, and down his pant legs. When taken into custody, White thought he’d be released with a citation due to the passage of Prop 47.

Deputy Steve Coburn arrived to assist. Searching the vehicle, twenty-two more bottles of alcohol were located in the trunk (see attached photo). A backpack inside the car also contained numerous bottles of alcohol to include 151 Bacardi, a bottle of Captain Morgan, more Crown Royal and Gentleman Jack, and three bottles of Sailor Jerry. The alcohol in the trunk appeared to have been stolen.

During the investigation, deputies learned the group had formulated plans on how they were going to steal alcohol. They would go into a store with baggy clothing or the backpack, fill their clothes or the backpack with hard alcohol, and unload the stolen property into the vehicle. Once unloaded, they would start again at another store. Also located inside the backpack was processed marijuana. More processed marijuana was found in the glove compartment of the vehicle.

Samuel White and Rudolph Beltran were booked into the El Dorado County Jail for shoplifting and conspiracy. Beltran received an additional charge of possession of concentrated cannabis. Jasmine Wasi was also booked for possession of concentrated cannabis. The vehicle was towed and the female juvenile was released to a parent.

Due to the passage Prop 47, the deputies could not charge the suspects with Burglary (entering a building with the specific intent to commit a theft – a felony). Under Prop 47, even though there was pre-planning and multiple thefts in the same day, deputies could only charge them with shoplifting or petty theft under new California Law.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

CVS Alcohol TheftBottles from the suspect vehicle (the bottles found inside the backpack and on Samuel White are not included in this photo).

Samuel WhiteBooking photo of Samuel White

Rudolph BeltranBooking photo of Rudolph (Rudy) Beltran

Jasmine WasiBooking photo of Jasmine Wasi