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Tag Archive | "Kent County Jail"

Man sentenced on child exploitation charges

Richard Eric Webb, owner of Zylatech.

Richard Eric Webb, owner of Zylatech.

The Cedar Springs business owner who was arrested last fall on child exploitation charges has pleaded to the charges and is now serving his sentence.

Richard Webb, 45, of Nelson Township, was arrested in September 2016, after the Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force conducted a search warrant at his home, and found him to be in possession of and distributing child sexually abusive material.

Webb was charged with one count of distributing child sexually abusive material, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. He pled guilty to those charges, and was sentenced to one year in jail, five years probation, and 200 hours of community service. He also has to pay $1,326 in court-related costs: $136 to the state, $130 crime victim, $60 DNA, $600 attorney fees, and $400 in court costs. He is serving his time in the Kent County jail.

Webb is the owner/operator of Zylatech, an IT business based in Cedar Springs. The business provided service to the greater Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas.

According to D/Sgt. Chris Prevette, clients of Zylatech shouldn’t have anything to worry about regarding their own computers. “We don’t have anything showing that he co-mingled his personal files with business files,” he said.

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Teen charged in business break-in


N-Sunshine-logoA suspect has been charged in the breaking and entering of a local business earlier this year.

On January 3, the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a business burglary at the Cedar Chest, located at 61 N. Main Street, in the City of Cedar Springs. An employee contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, after finding the back door damaged and that entry had been gained. KCSD Deputies responded and processed the scene. It was reported that some items had been taken from the store.

Through investigative leads, detectives were able to locate a potential suspect in the case. Additional interviews and searches were conducted leading to 18-year-old Alexander James Hirst being identified as a suspect.

Hirst, a resident of the City of Cedar Springs, was charged by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office with one charge of breaking and entering, and one charge of safe breaking.

Alexander Hirst is currently in the Newaygo County Jail on unrelated charges and will be transferred to the Kent County Jail upon release.

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Man arrested in hit and run

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

A Grand Rapids man is being held on $200,000 bond in the Kent County Jail after he struck a bicyclist then left the scene in Cannon Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Wednesday, August 17, at 8:19 p.m. on Cannonsburg Road, east of Chauncey Avenue. Witnesses at the scene reported that a 66-year-old bicyclist, traveling westbound on the shoulder, had been struck from behind by a westbound white passenger car, who then left the scene.

The victim, Charles Lewis Driggers, 66, was transported by Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in critical condition.

Investigators with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office located and seized the vehicle involved in the crash, and charged Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg, of Grand Rapids, with driving while license suspended causing serious injury, and failing to stop at a serious injury accident in relation to this incident.

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Suspects arrested in armed robbery


Gabriel Taylor

Gabriel Taylor

Emilio Melton

Emilio Melton

Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez

Two weeks ago the Post ran surveillance photos of the suspects that committed an armed robbery in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 27, at the Circle K gas station at 4811 West River Drive, in Plainfield Township.

Last week, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department arrested three male suspects in the robbery and charged them with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Gabriel Taylor 21; Emilio Melton, 19; and Javier Hernandez, 17, have all been arraigned, and their bonds were set at $100,000. All are currently residing in the Kent County jail.

Two of the suspects reportedly entered the store about 4:40 a.m. armed with a gun and masks over their faces, and demanded money from the clerk before fleeing in a getaway car. No shots were fired during the robbery and no one was injured.

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Rockford rowing coach arrested


Timothy Warren Vallier

Timothy Warren Vallier

The head coach of the men’s rowing team at Rockford Public Schools has been fired and arraigned on charges after allegedly recording videos of female athletes changing their clothes.

Timothy Warren Vallier, 30, was arrested on Friday, July 8, and has been arraigned in 63rd District Court on two obscenity charges—one charge of child sexually abusive commercial activity and one charge of possession of child sexually abusive material; and two charges of using a computer in the commission of a crime.

Rockford Public School Superintendent Mike Shibler contacted the Kent County Sheriff Department on the morning of July 8 after receiving a call from one of the crew (rowing) parents informing him that a video camera had been found in a crew vehicle with inappropriate footage.

Two assistant coaches in the vehicle reportedly saw the camera, and when one of the girls got curious and looked at it, found footage of two female athletes changing their clothes inside the changing room area of the Rockford Crew House located at 5501 Jupiter Ave., in Plainfield Township.

In a note sent home to parents, Shibler said that he contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department immediately, and turned over the camcorder within the hour.

“Once I became aware of the video, my first priority was to contact law enforcement in the hopes of identifying and getting the perpetrator off the streets to protect our students,” he said. “Thanks to the excellent work of detectives, this happened within 12 hours of the district learning about the video. Law enforcement asked that this be kept confidential while they conducted their investigation.”

Vallier reportedly admitted to police that he put the camcorder in the girls changing room on multiple occasions. He also said he has done this several times over the last few years, and has videos of other female athletes.

He is being held in the Kent County Jail on $100,000 cash/surety bond. The case is still under investigation.

“My thoughts are with those affected,” wrote Shibler in his letter to parents. “The fact that this can happen despite all of our safeguards to protect students is extremely troubling.”

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Police arrest six in credit card fraud, seek another suspect


One suspect may have made over $100,000 in purchases

The Kent County Sheriff Department arrested six suspects in three separate credit card fraud incidents on March 4 and 5, and police are seeking a woman in another case.

According to police, the subjects are using stolen credit card information on line to make purchases or reprogramming the magnetic strip on credit cards or gift cards with stolen credit card information and using the cards to make in store purchases. In addition, suspects are using stolen personal information to obtain services/items of value such as cell phones.

The first suspect was arrested on March 4, for an incident that happened in Byron Township on January 21. The suspect had reportedly purchased merchandise with a stolen credit card. The investigation over the following month revealed a 27-year-old male from Detroit, Deandre Calhoun, made purchases from at least four businesses in Kent County using stolen credit cards. After his arrest Kent County detectives, with the assistance of the Detroit Police Departments, searched a couple of houses in the City of Detroit. Detectives located property such as a sofa, TV, and collectible coins from victims in Kent County. They also located hundreds of credit cards, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and people’s personal information, along with equipment to encode the magnetic strip on credit cards in the houses.

The suspect is believed to have purchased or attempted to purchase over $40,000.00 worth of property from Kent County businesses and is believed to have made purchases with stolen credit card information in excess of $100,000. He has been charged by larceny over $20,000.00, unlawful use of a computer, and illegal use of a financial transaction device.

In another case, Kent County deputies made contact on March 5 with a couple of subjects from the Detroit area at a gas station in Plainfield Township, after they made some suspicious purchases of cigarettes with gift cards. The suspects had several gift cards on them which had the magnetic strip reprogrammed with stolen credit card information. In addition, they had 18 cartons of cigarettes in their vehicle, which are believed to have been purchased with the stolen credit card information. Deputies were able to track fraudulent purchases to at least two businesses located in Kent County.

One of the suspects, Willie Coger, a 21-year-old male from Detroit, was lodged at the Kent County Jail and charged with possession of a fraudulent transaction device.

In the third case, Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the Meijer store in Cascade Township on March 5, after receiving a call of several people smoking marijuana in the parking lot. Deputies were able to locate the vehicle and made contact with three subjects who were from the Detroit area.

During their investigation deputies located a small amount of marijuana. Deputies also became suspicious of possible credit card fraud after locating numerous gift cards, Visa Green Dot cards, 10 IPAD Airs, 4 boxes of shoes, a PS4, a hoverboard, and clothing.

Do you know this woman? Police are seeking to identify her in relation to identity theft and credit card fraud in Byron Township. If  you recognize her, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Do you know this woman? Police are seeking to identify her in relation to identity theft and credit card fraud in Byron Township. If you recognize her, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

It was determined the subjects had numerous stolen credit card numbers programmed on the back of gift cards and were using the stolen numbers to make their purchases. The value of the merchandise recovered in the vehicle was close to $7,000.00 and the total credit card fraud the suspects are responsible for is thought to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The suspects are Desean Porter, 26, and Arthur Jackson, 26, along with 25-year-old Jennifer Harris, all from the Detroit area. They were lodged at the Kent County Jail and charged with possession of a fraudulent financial transaction device.

In another incident of identity theft unrelated to the above credit card frauds, the Kent County Sheriff Department took a report on Feb. 6, where a female went to a Sprint store located in Byron Township and used someone else’s identification to open up an account and obtained four Iphone 6’s valued at $2,600. On the same date, two other Sprint stores in the area had a similar female do the same thing at their locations.

The suspect is described as a heavier set black female in her twenties. Detectives have not been able to identify the female suspect in this case and are asking anyone that may recognize the person of interest in the attached photo to contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Man sentenced in mobile meth lab arrest

Derek John Rider

Derek John Rider

A Sparta man will spend time in prison after a traffic stop last spring turned up components of a mobile meth lab in his vehicle.

Derek John Rider, 31, was traveling along 17 Mile in Cedar Springs, east of US131, on May 9, 2015, when he was pulled over by police. They found methamphetamine and items to make it in his vehicle.

Rider pleaded guilty last month to manufacturing meth, and in exchange, a charge of maintaining a meth lab involving hazardous waste and a habitual offender charge were dropped. He was sentenced to a minimum of four years and three months and a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Rider was previously convicted in 2014 on a charge of possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to two years probation. Most recently he has served time in the Kent County jail for operating while intoxicated and operating while intoxicated with a blood alchol content over .17.

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Man arrested for trying to steal plasma cutter

Jacob Abraham Savickas

Jacob Abraham Savickas

A man believed to be involved in several thefts around the county was arrested this week for attempting to steal merchandise from a local farm store.

On Friday, June 19, the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit responded to a possible retail fraud attempt at Family Farm and Home on 17 Mile, in Cedar Springs.

They reported that a white male attempted to steal a valuable plasma cutter. Employees recognized the man as someone who previously stole welders. The theft was interrupted and the suspect fled the scene.

Store employees provided a thorough vehicle description, including the license plate number to police. After further investigation, the suspect was identified as Jacob Abraham Savickas, 31.

Savickas was arrested, and is currently being held in the Kent County jail, on six charges, several for retail fraud.

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Waterline busts at jail

Personal and professional visits to the Kent County Jail were canceled Wednesday, January 8, after a water line broke about 7 a.m. outside the main entrance.

The Kent County Sheriff Department said they believe the damage is the result of the extreme cold temperatures.

The KCSD originally said the public entrance would only be closed until 1 p.m., but cleanup and repairs took longer than anticipated.

Those posting bond for an inmate were able to use the back entrance.


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Man arrested for using stolen credit card

Juan Carlos Morejon

Sparta police put out a bulletin at the end of January that they were looking for an older couple that used a stolen credit card to make several purchases in the Village of Sparta on January 7, including groceries and gas. They were caught on surveillance tape at the Sparta Family Fare, and media outlets, including the Post, published a photo of the couple on their websites asking people to identify them.
According to Sparta Chief of Police Andrew Milanowski, they received numerous calls telling them who the couple was, and Officer Cook made contact with them. On February 9, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Juan Carlos Morejon, 57. He was arrested and lodged in t he Kent County Jail on February 10, and arraigned on February 11 on one charge of fraud—illegal use of a credit card. Bond was set at $4,000 cash or surety bond. At press time, he was still in custody.

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