Chronicles of 2013
Park Resident Charged with Assaulting and Threatening Rangers and Residents
Grand Canyon National Park • January 2013
On December 14, 2012, US Park Rangers responded to a call of a drunk and aggressive male at a trailer park within Grand Canyon National Park. The suspect locked his significant other out of her home after he pulled her off her bed and punched her in the head. The male then assaulted a Xanterra Security Officer after he was called to help the female get back into her home. Once rangers arrived on scene the male became verbally and physically uncooperative. The male was placed under arrest and, while being loaded into a patrol vehicle, he spit into the mouth of a ranger. The suspect also threatened to return to the park to kill the officers and their families. ISB Special Agents opened a joint investigation into the incident with US Park Rangers of Grand Canyon National Park, and filed a criminal complaint with the US Magistrates Court in Flagstaff (AZ). The criminal complaint charged the suspect with three felonies and five misdemeanors. In January of 2013, the subject pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a period of incarceration, supervised release, as well as a number of other conditions.
Park Resident Charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation
Grand Canyon National Park • January 2013
On March 9, 2011, the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) received a Cybertip Report from a detective with the Phoenix Police Department (AZ). The tip was generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and alleged inappropriate, sexually explicit communications via the internet between an adult Grand Canyon National Park resident and an underage male. ISB Special Agents launched an investigation into the communications and ultimately received a confession from the suspect. In January of 2013, the Grand Jury of Coconino County, Arizona indicted the suspect and the judge issued an arrest warrant. An ISB Special Agent and US Park Rangers of Grand Canyon National Park took the suspect into custody on two felony counts of Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation.
Man Charged with Child Molestation Pleads Guilty to Indecent Exposure
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area • January 2013
In October of 2010, the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) was contacted by a California police department, which relayed information regarding the sexual assault of a minor that happened within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the weekend of July 4, 2010. The incident occurred during a family trip to the lake and the victim knew the perpetrator. ISB Special Agents in California and Arizona conducted the investigation. The suspect was indicted on February 2, 2012 by Coconino County and subsequently arrested for his actions. Charges included Child Molestation. In January of 2013, pursuant to a plea agreement, the suspect pled guilty to felony Indecent Exposure.
Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Unauthorized Removal of Archeological Resource
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area • February 2013
On February 25, 2013, Utah resident William A. Adams pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal of archeological resources from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Adams was initially believed to have removed a mummified infant from a Native American gravesite during a trip to the area in October of 2009. However, the object was later examined by several archeologists who determined it to be an unusually large mass clay substance that they believe had been gathered by historic tribal residents of a nearby archeological site for the purpose of making pottery. The artifact, possibly dating no more recently than A.D. 1300, will be retained in the park's museum collection. In addition to being fined $1,000, Adams was ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Interior Restoration Fund in the amount of $1,000.
Former Manager of Non-profit Convicted of Theft
Grand Canyon National Park • February 2013
In January of 2011, members of the Board of Directors of the Grand Canyon Recreation Center contacted the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) about suspected theft. The center is a not-for-profit organization operating within the confines of Grand Canyon National Park, and boardmembers believed that a former manager of the recreation center used center funds for personal use over a period of two years. During the investigation, special agents served two federal search warrants, resulting in the recovery of a number of items purchased with the center's funds. Carrie Bazan, the former manager, pleaded guilty in February of 2013 in US District Court for the District of Arizona to one charge of theft. She was sentenced to 5 years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $41,342.
Previously Convicted Felon Sentenced to Eight Months Prison for Theft
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks • February 2013
On February 7, 2013, Carol L. McCallion, age 57, of Visalia, California, was sentenced by United States Chief Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin to eight months in prison for theft involving the use of fraudulent checks. Upon release from prison, she will be on supervised probation for a period of one year. The judge ordered immediate payment of the restitution in the amount of $2,263 and imposed several special conditions of probation. On June 6, 2012, the Yellowstone Association made a complaint that McCallion, a park concession employee, used fraudulent checks at their retail sales outlets. An investigation by ISB Special Agents and US Park Rangers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks determined McCallion had victimized businesses in both parks, as well as eight businesses in four counties in Montana and Wyoming. Yosemite National Park's law enforcement office also provided significant investigative assistance. Search warrants were served upon McCallion, her vehicle and her dormitory residence. During an interview, McCallion confessed to passing all of the fraudulent checks and on August 1, 2012, she was arrested on felony charges. In consultation with surrounding jurisdictions, a plea agreement resulted in charging three counts of misdemeanor theft with McCallion agreeing to make restitution to all ten victims.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds
Yosemite National Park • February 2013
A former park employee pleaded guilty on February 4 to theft of government property from the park. The case was investigated by ISB Special Agents and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys from the Eastern District of California. According to documents filed in the case, Mary Alice Walk was employed by Yosemite National Park between October 2008 and June 2009. During that time, she charged $32,820 in personal expenses to government credit cards that had been issued to her for making official government purchases. Walk's sentencing hearing will be held on April 15. She faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Park Resident Arrested for Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Grand Canyon National Park • July 2013
On July 30, 2013, park resident Eric Joe was arrested in Grand Canyon National Park by Special Agents with the Investigative Services Branch (ISB). The arrest was made pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the Superior Court of Arizona. Following the ISB investigation, Joe was indicted on felony charges of two counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor. Joe and the minor victim were both residents of Grand Canyon National Park when the sexual conduct occurred.
Major Vandalism Incident Results in Felony Charges
Saguaro National Park • July 2013
Pursuant to a joint investigation between the National Park Service and Tucson Police Department (AZ), a juvenile resident of Tucson was arrested on July 29 and charged with two felony counts of vandalism. These charges stem from damage that occurred in the park on May 11th and at numerous other locations throughout Tucson (about 140 instances overall). US Park Rangers, ISB Special Agents and officers from the Tucson Police Department, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety's Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission worked together over the course of two months to identify, locate, and ultimately arrest the defendant. Tip line information from the local community also played an important role in this case. The park received reports of extensive vandalism along the Douglas Spring Trail on May 12th. Over 40 different objects were tagged with black spray paint, including more than 11 saguaro cacti. The incident received significant media interest, including a June 4 article in the New York Times. Initial cleanup began in June with Southwest Conservation Corps donating a crew to assist with the non-cactus objects. Using a product called "elephant snot," the crew was able to remove the paint from boulders, cliff faces, water bars and trail signs. Park staff continue to be challenged with the task of removing the graffiti from the saguaros, many of which are well over 100 years old.
- "We are attempting to find a solution to clean the cactus that doesn't further damage them," said the park's chief ranger. Products initially tested to clean the saguaro cacti were at first promising, but NPS biologists who have been monitoring the results now plan to test other products they hope will prove as effective with less potential to damage the fragile cacti. "This has been a cooperative effort from the beginning," the chief ranger continued, "and we would like to thank all the agencies and community members who assisted with this investigation."
The two felony charges are being brought through the Pima County Juvenile Court system.
Sentencing of California man convicted of ARPA violations
Public Lands, California • July 2013
A man who pleaded guilty to violating the Archeological Resource Protection Act (ARPA) was sentenced for the crimes. The man had visited several archeological sites on public lands in northern California in 2007, searching for Native American artifacts. He excavated and removed American Indian human remains from a rock shelter that had previously been looted;the remains had been repatriated by the Pit River Tribe in 2005. ISB Special Agents worked with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) investigators on the case, which was prosecuted by the US Attorney's Office in Sacramento (CA). The suspect was charged in December of 2012 with two misdemeanor counts of attempting to excavate and remove archeological resources from public lands. He was ordered to serve six months' probation, perform 100 hours of community service, pay $3,500 in restitution, and pay $50 in court fees.
Conviction for Child Endangerment
Grand Canyon National Park • July 2013
On the evening of May 11, 2013, the Grand Canyon National Park Communications Center received a report of ongoing physical abuse of a child. Responding rangers located the victim who reported their guardian had been physically abusing them for some time. The victim had numerous marks and bruises in various stages of healing which can be indicative of ongoing physical abuse. Both the victim and guardian were residents in the park. Responding rangers recognized this as a possible child abuse investigation, immediately requested assistance from an ISB Special Agent, and initiated a joint investigation. The victim was transported via ambulance to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment. The guardian was ultimately arrested and, pursuant to a plea agreement, the suspect pleaded guilty in a July federal court hearing to two counts of child endangerment.
Former Park Resident Arrested for Sexual Abuse of a Child and Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Grand Canyon National Park • August 2013
A multi-year investigation by ISB Special Agents revealed continuous sexual abuse of a minor in Grand Canyon National Park. On August 20 of 2013, former park resident Ronald E. Gipson was arrested in Florida by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office on a warrant issued by the Superior Court of Arizona. He was then indicted on felony charges of one count Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and seven counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
Last updated: April 8, 2018