Homicide Suspect May Have Hung Out in Casinos While “in Hiding”
Last night, we reported that Jesse Wells, one of the trimmers alleged to have participated in the death of Jeffery Settler, was arrested. Today, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has released more information. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
In late 2016, Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office traveled to the Lake Tahoe area to investigate tips that suspect Jesse Cole Wells (33 year old male from Laytonville) had been frequenting local casinos.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives were assisted by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Douglas County Nevada Sheriff’s Office.
Evidence was discovered that Wells had indeed been in Lake Tahoe casinos, however Wells was not located at that time.
Between November of 2016 and February 2017, there have been additional tips and reports to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department regarding Wells’ whereabouts.
On 02-23-2017, Wells’ location was identified by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives sought a search warrant from the Mendocino County Superior Court for a residence in South Lake Tahoe (California).
Sheriff’s Detectives traveled to South Lake Tahoe and met with Investigators from the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
Due to the violent offense for which Wells was wanted, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department served the search warrant with the assistance of their S.W.A.T. unit.
Wells was taken into custody without incident at 4:00 PM on 02-24-2017 and was to be booked into the El Dorado County Jail on the Mendocino County Superior Court arrest warrant alleging homicide and robbery, in lieu of $650,000.00 bail.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives remained on scene to continue the investigation.
Wells will be extradited to Mendocino County at some point where he will be prosecuted along with the five additional suspects in custody on this case at this time.
This arrest was made as a result of the cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies working with concerned citizens who came forward with the information about Wells’ whereabouts.
Currently one suspect who is identified as Gary Blank III (34 year-old male from Garberville, California) is still at large and is believed to have fled the state of California.
Any persons with information about the location of Gary Blank III is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4421, the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100 or the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office via their Facebook page.
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