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Monthly Newsletter - May 2014
 
Date: 5/12/2014
    
Monthly Newsletter - May 2014

The first quarter of 2014 passed before we knew it!

Quite a lot of progress occurred within PCAO and a significant amount remains.

From January to today, we have served nearly 1,600 victims, closed 303 cases and taken 15 cases to trial. Of those cases taken to trial, 80% were found guilty and, as an office, we have a 98% conviction rate!

Beyond the walls of this office and in the community, we continue to work on a myriad of projects to lift-up victims and aid in prosecution.

Chief among those:

Valley. If you’re not aware, a Family Advocacy Center serves as a one-stop shop for victims of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence as interviews are completed in one location and, if necessary, a physical exam may be completed within the same building. This greatly reduces revictimization by avoiding the need to interview a child multiple times, at multiple locations and builds strong cases against offenders as the complete story can be obtained and preserved in the one interview. Two months ago, we hired Dr. Tascha Spears to serve as Director over both of the FACs (Eloy and STV). She brings an incredible knowledge base and immense drive to operate a top-notch facility. To that end, we submitted an application for the location in Eloy to become a fully-accredited site, which if approved, would be one of six in Arizona!

2. Moving forward with the Pinal County Attorney’s Office Veterans’ Program, we reviewed the first candidates for inclusion in the program and will enter into negotiations with the attorneys of those selected on appropriate rehabilitative treatment programs. While the Veterans’ Program is certainly not a desirable program in which one wants to enroll, our goal with veterans, who commit crimes, is to rehabilitate, when possible and when a medical professional confirms their alleged crime is a result of a condition stemming from their service for our country.

3. We achieved another victory for the sake of our youth and communities working with local groups and leaders to prevent a marijuana dispensary in Florence. Another proposal for placing one in Oracle comes be-fore the Board of Supervisors this month and due to our informing the community of the proposal and the community’s outrage with the attempt, Planning and Zoning recommended against approval. I’ll again be asking the Board to not approve the dispensary and hope you do too.

4. Also this year, we successfully lobbied the Arizona legislature (both House and Senate) to provide prosecutors with additional tools to address specific issues effecting Arizona by making punishment more severe for those violent and dangerous offenders, who represent continuing threats or are human smugglers, and who commit first degree murder. Though the measure was ultimately vetoed, I will not stop at that road block to ensure our attorney’s have the resources and support necessary to effectively prosecute offenders.

5. With the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and United Dance Crew of Coolidge, we received a National Anti-Bullying Award for our combined efforts to curb bullying within Pinal schools and began working with the National School Safety Advocacy Council to bring a Regional Anti-Bullying Conference to Arizona this Fall!

From hosting Shred-a-Thon’s with Goodwill to providing firearm trainings and search warrant seminars to law enforcement, the list of programs sponsored and promoted by PCAO continues, but in general, I want you to know that we continue working tirelessly to support Pinal families and law enforcement through vigorous prosecution and programs creating safer neighborhoods.

Below read about a successful prosecution of a married couple guilty of burglarizing homes in SaddleBrooke.

Lando

Office & Case Highlights

Chandler couple, posing as a real estate agent and potential home-buyer in order to carry out SaddleBrooke burglaries, find a new home - prison

John Gaw, 45, and Deanna Gaw, 42, were sentenced in Pinal County after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary, each. According to a PCSO Narrative report, John, an actual real estate agent, used an online system to identify homes for sale in SaddleBrooke and his wife, Deanna, posed as a real estate agent booking windows of time for the couple to be at the houses without the homeowners present. While the homeowners believed their house was being shown to a potential homebuyer, the burglar-ies ensued.

On July 10, 2012, homeowners, suspicious of the couple, reported them to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, providing a description of the man, woman and vehicle they were driving. That same day, a PCSO Deputy saw the vehicle matching the description with an expired Nevada license plate and pulled the vehicle over on Highway 77, as it traveled into Pima County.

After the PCSO Deputy noted latex gloves, women’s jewelry and collector’s coins on the floorboards of the vehicle and further noted the couple matched the description of the suspicious couple reported to police, he requested back-up from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. After establishing probable cause, the Gaw’s were arrested on suspicion of burglary and fraud.

PCAO filed indictments against the couple and on July 29, 2013, John Gaw accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to a 3.5 year term at Arizona Department of Corrections with five years of supervised probation to follow. Deanna Gaw accepted a plea agreement, on April 14, 2014, and was sen-tenced to 2.5 years at DOC with a three year term of probation to follow.

Exploiting an online real estate listing service, largely used by the real estate industry, these two criminals abused the trust individuals place in real estate agents to prey on and burglarize unsuspecting homeowners.

Victim homeowners, suspicious of their activities, correctly contacted authorities and due to a successful in-vestigation and prosecution, the defendant couple, who previously posed as a potential buyer and agent, has now found a new home in prison for the next several years.

Jim Knupp
County Attorney's PIO
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30 N. Florence St
Building D
Florence, AZ 85132


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