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K9 traffic stop results in two fraud arrests

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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On June 18, just before 10 p.m., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy arrested Porschae Renee Page, 28, from Minneapolis, Minn., and Christopher Michael Johnson, 30, also from Minneapolis, after locating marijuana, over $20,000 in cash, and fraudulent credit cards. Both also had two valid Federal arrest warrants.

The K9 deputy stopped the couple's red Jeep Compass for moving violations on south Interstate 17 near State Route 179. During contact with the driver, Porschae Page, he could detect an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. A warrant check revealed Page had an active fraud/identity theft federal warrant. Her Johnson provided fake identification to the deputy. Once his true name was confirmed, deputies discovered he was also wanted on a similar federal warrant. Both warrants indicated no-bond holds.

During a search of Johnson's person, nearly $10,000 in cash was found and several apparently fraudulent credit cards.

A search inside the vehicle revealed a marijuana cigar and in excess of $10,000 inside a purse belonging to Page.

Both were booked at the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde and remain in custody. The currency was held as evidence pending a money laundering investigation.

On Sunday, June 21, at 12:30 a.m., deputies were dispatched to an area along the Verde River north of Clarkdale, regarding a stranded 3 3-year-old female. The caller stated that his girlfriend and their two sons, ages 6 and 7, had been hiking along the river and around sunset, he and the boys decided to return to their motorhome requiring a nearly 200-foot climb up a canyon wall. His girlfriend stayed back and once darkness fell, she felt she could not climb out on her own. Her boyfriend indicated she did not have a flashlight or cell phone, was not dressed for cold weather and was becoming distressed. At the scene, deputies could hear the subject in the canyon, but could not understand her.

Deputies called out the Yavapai County Sheriff's Rescue Team's Back Country Unit, who were assembled by 3 a.m., and had to repel down the canyon wall to access the stranded female. Once they determined she was not in immediate distress, the team was able to slowly escort her out via a wash and reunite her with family around 5 a.m. The family was appreciative regarding the efforts of rescue teams working throughout the night to insure her safety. Although the foursome should have concluded their hike earlier to avoid darkness and the likelihood of confronting steep terrain returning to camp, they did the right thing concerning the stranded hiker by waiting for rescue professionals to get her out safely. There was a very obvious risk of injury if she had tried to maneuver her way out in pitch black darkness against unfamiliar and steep terrain.

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Original Publication Date: July 1, 2015

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