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Bayfield man sentenced to 10 years
2/26/2010 By: Times staff report
Bayfield man sentenced to 10 years
Vanness pleads guilty in federal court following car chase on CR 521
Times staff report
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver reports that Bayfield resident Donald Vanness was sentenced on Feb. 17 to serve 10 years in federal prison for intentionally resisting and assaulting a deputy U.S. Marshal and for violating his supervised release. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel sentenced Vanness to serve 108 months for the resisting and assault, and 12 months to be served consecutively for violating his supervised release.
The criminal charges came after a July 15, 2008, car chase near Bayfield. Following his 10-year prison sentence, Vanness is required to spend three years on supervised release. The defendant, who appeared at the hearing in custody, was remanded.
Vanness was first charged by criminal complaint on July 16, 2008. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on Aug. 6, 2008. He pled guilty on Nov. 13, 2009.
According to the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, a deputy United States Marshal tried to arrest Vanness on July 15, 2008, based on an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in New Mexico for a supervised release violation.
As the deputy marshal was driving south on County Road 521, he observed the defendant driving the opposite direction. The deputy marshal turned around and followed the defendant’s car, confirming his identity by running the license plate number.
A high speed pursuit ensued. A Bayfield marshal’s office deputy also joined in the pursuit.
When the deputy marshal tried to pass Vanness with the hope of ending the pursuit, the defendant intentionally struck the deputy marshal’s vehicle. Vanness temporarily lost control of his vehicle, but was able to speed away and the pursuit continued.
Vanness then drove to the home of an acquaintance where he abandoned his vehicle and ran through an open field on foot. He ultimately gave up and was arrested on the federal warrant.
The car was later searched according to U.S. marshals’ inventory policy and with the suspect’s consent. A storage compartment was located in the left rear interior of the car. Concealed within the storage compartment were 15.14 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale.
U.S. marshal for the district of Colorado, John L. Kammerzell said, “In this incident, we are extremely thankful that neither of the deputies were seriously injured. Fugitives only have two choices when being pursued by a Deputy United States Marshal; either peacefully surrender or face a life of constant fear, knowing no matter where you hide or how far you run, in the end, you will face justice.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service with substantial support from the Bayfield Marshal’s Office. Vanness was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd Norvell and Bob Mydans.
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