EPA and the sheriff’s department sting hazardous removal suspects | TahoeDailyTribune.com

EPA and the sheriff’s department sting hazardous removal suspects

William Ferchland

Five men were taken into custody during a sting operation Tuesday.

The sting targeted people who allegedly did not have proper certifications to transport hazardous materials from the Angora fire burn zone, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

Detained were Israel Bilodeau, 25, from Sparks; Joshua David Handcock, 32, from Reno; Gregory Darnell Meadows Jr., 27, from Reno; James Peter Phillips, 55, from Round Hill; and John Wicklander, 38, from Sparks.

The sheriff’s department assisted Environmental Protection Agency officials in the operation. Authorities waited until the men drove off with the haul before pulling them over and handcuffing them.

The crime is a felony with various misdemeanors attached to it.

In other news:

— A male juvenile and an 18-year-old man were arrested early Wednesday morning for reportedly using a baseball bat to vandalize three vehicles along Elwood Avenue and attack people at the 7-Eleven Food Store at 2620 Lake Tahoe Blvd., a South Lake Tahoe police officer reported.

At least one juvenile at 7-Eleven reported an injury, bleeding on the left side of the head, but no one was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital, the officer stated.

— A 22-year-old South Lake Tahoe man, a Horizon Casino Resort employee, allegedly provided 20 free rooms at the hotel to friends and people affected by the Angora fire, a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy reported.

Authorities are looking into charges of embezzlement against the man.

— A 24-year-old man was taken into custody for allegedly carrying a loaded .25-caliber, nickel-plated gun in his pants pocket, a Douglas County Sheriff’s Department deputy reported.

A deputy on foot patrol in Harrah’s Lake Tahoe was approached by casino security regarding the man with the concealed weapon early Friday morning. Security reportedly discovered the gun during a pat-down search at Club Vex, but the man scurried away.

After he was detained by two deputies, a background check revealed the suspect was convicted in 2004 of carrying a loaded firearm in public from the Fremont Municipal Court, the deputy reported.

— More than $500 in power tools was reported stolen from the garage of a house along Fair Meadow Trail, an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy reported.

The owner of the house left his back door unlocked to allow friends affected by the Angora fire to store items in his garage, the deputy stated. On Monday, the owner realized several tools — two drills, a saw and a compressor — were missing. All the tools except the compressor were marked with green neon spray paint.

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