September 21, 2014

Centerville nurse sentenced to prison in health care scam

A Centerville woman will serve time in prison and have to pay back thousands of dollars in a health care fraud scheme. Forty-seven-year-old Angela Shae Ellison, the former owner of the Cornerstone Counseling Center pled guilty to issuing more than $6,000 in fake claims to insurance providers using the names and identification numbers of various doctors who never did the work.

More then one-million dollars in fake bills were submitted and various insurance companies paid out more than $700,000 in claims. Ellison was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay more than $724,000 in restitution.


Montour man to serve prison time for lying in bankruptcy court

A central Iowa man will spend time in federal prison for lying in court during his bankruptcy. Jay Freese of Montour admitted filing for bankruptcy in 2009 and then not disclosing that he owned a skid loader and a tractor when questioned by the bankruptcy judge. He claimed he had sold the skid loader and tractor to another person.

Freese pled guilty in February to one count of concealing assets in a bankruptcy. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and given a $5,000 fine.


Charges dropped, could be refiled in Sioux City shooting

Criminal charges have been dropped against a Sioux City man who was accused in the shooting of his uncle at the victim’s home in the Morningside neighborhood on September 9th. Forty-year-old Eric Riley was charged with attempted murder and first-degree burglary in the shooting of 66-year-old Ben Steffe.

Police say Riley is a relative of the victim and the two were also business associates. Riley was scheduled to appear in court this morning, but the Woodbury County attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges. Court documents state there is not currently sufficient evidence in the case and further investigation is needed.

Charges against Riley, who was released from the Woodbury County Jail Thursday afternoon, could be refiled in the future. Steffe was shot twice in the chest and remains hospitalized, but his condition is not being released.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)


Large amount of possible drugs found at Rockwell City prison

The discovery of a large of amount of possible drugs at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City is under investigation. Alex Murphy, spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says 300 to 400 “unknown capsules” were found in the prison earlier this month.

 “It was discovered by the warden and his staff at the correctional facility during their routine checks,” Murphy said. The capsules have been sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory in Ankeny for analysis.

“If they were to be illegal drugs, we would turn our findings over to the county attorney’s office and they would decide how they want to pursue this case,” Murphy said. Details about exactly where and when the possible drugs were discovered are not being released.

More information about the case may come for several weeks.  It could take anywhere from two to six weeks for the crime lab to complete their testing on the capsules, according to Murphy. The minimum security facility in Calhoun County houses around 490 inmates who are classified as “low risk” offenders.

Des Moines police shoot man carrying a knife

Des Moines Police have released more information about Wednesday night’s officer-involved shooting. The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. as officers responded to a call about a domestic dispute in an apartment on Des Moines’ southeast side.

Police say they were confronted by 41-year-old Brian Beeler, who had two knives in his waistband. Beeler allegedly pulled one of the knives and advanced toward the officers. He ignored orders to drop the weapon and one officer fired a Taser, but missed.

The two officers, Cody Willis and Peter Wilson, then fired their guns and hit Beeler. He’s now hospitalized in critical but stable condition.


Iowa City man given 5 years on drug distribution charge

A former Iowa City man is going to prison for selling drugs to a person who later died. A federal judge has sentenced 24-year-old Kyle Messerle to five years in prison for distributing heroin.

Court documents show Messerle was at a party in Iowa City in November 2012 when he provided heroin to two individuals, who both used the drug that night. One of the individuals was found dead the next day and a medical examiner ruled the death was the result of “mixed heroin and ethanol intoxication.”

Investigators said Messerle sold the two “china white” heroin, which is heroin mixed with the prescription narcotic Fentanyl. The combination is said to be up to five-times more potent than heroin alone.

Juveniles charged with vandalizing Oelwein cemetery

Police in Oelwein have now charged seven local juveniles with second-degree criminal mischief for damaging tombstones in an historic cemetery.   The vandalism was reported to police on September 9th. Numerous tombstones in Oakdale cemetery, some belonging to the Oelwein family, were pushed over and broken. Damages were estimated at $4,200.

Oelwein Police Chief Jeremy Logan stated, “while we take all criminal mischief cases seriously, it is especially disheartening when damage is done to grave sites.”

(Reporting by Roger King, KOEL, Oelwein)