Troopers, KPD search for wanted fugitives

Published KDN: 05/10/18

Daily News Staff Writer

Felony bench warrants for two fugitives have been issued for Jeremy Ellis, 24, and his co-defendant/wife Nicki Deanna Casey, 33.

Furthermore, Ellis — who has multiple felonies — was incorrectly released from Ketchikan Correctional Center following a court error.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Ellis and Casey are being encouraged to contact the Alaska State Troopers or the Ketchikan Police Department.

Ellis and Casey, AKA Nicki Ellis, were indicted by a grand jury on a number of felonies back in March including misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree and two third-degree misconduct involving weapons charges.

Court documents show that Ellis has a no bail bench warrant for his arrest, while Casey has a $20,000 warrant. An Alaska State Trooper bulletin says that Ellis is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Ellis was originally arrested on March 6 after police executed a search warrant of his Second Avenue apartment rental and car.

According to charging documents in the case, police allegedly discovered 33.9 grams of heroin and “a scale with a large amount of heroin residue.”

Ketchikan Police Sgt. Andy Berntson told the Daily News at the time of the arrest that the value of heroin found is believed to be about $28,000.

Also during the search, police discovered a loaded .357 caliber handgun on top of Ellis’ refrigerator. KPD also found a loaded 6.35 caliber handgun underneath a seat in Ellis’ car. Both Ellis and Casey are convicted felons and were not permitted to be in possession of the weapons discovered.

On April 19, Ellis was given $15,000 cash bail by Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey, $7,500 of which was a performance bond and $7,500 of which was an appearance bond. Although, according to court documents, a clerical error mistakenly labeled the appearance bond as “unsecured” instead of “cash.”

Ellis was released from Ketchikan Correctional Center on April 26. But there were problems surrounding Ellis’ release. The issues are twofold.

Ellis left KCC following the posting of just half of the cash bail — $7,500. In addition, the unsecured bond that was incorrectly issued was not signed when he was released.

Carey described what occurred in an “order for remand” that was written the day after Ellis’ release.

“The conditions of release prepared for the undersigned’s signature incorrectly stated that the appearance bond was unsecured, an error that was not noticed by the undersigned when I signed the conditions,” Carey wrote. “The record of the April 19 proceeding clearly shows that the court was intending to maintain the $15,000 cash bail.”

Carey also wrote that Ellis “was released without the erroneously set unsecured appearance bond being signed.”

“So there are two issues. First, Mr. Ellis should not have been released without posting the $7,500 appearance bond. But this was the court’s mistake,” Carey wrote. “Otherwise, however, he should not have been released in any event without signing the bond.”

Casey, on the other hand, was originally released on her own recognizance. She didn’t appear at a May 1 hearing and then, again, failed to appear at a May 3 hearing. At that point a bench warrant in the amount of $20,000 was issued for her arrest.

Berntson told the Daily News on Wednesday that he believed the two to be together somewhere, and are possibly being assisted in evading capture.

“It takes someone dumb enough to hide you out, you know, because at that point that person is submitting themselves to potential charges,” Berntson said. “… If you’re actively helping a person hide and abate from law enforcement it could be a felony hindering prosecution charge.”

An Alaska State Troopers bulletin posted on Wednesday says that Ellis is still believed to be on Prince of Wales Island or in the Ketchikan area.

Berntson said that authorities at Ketchikan International Airport and the Alaska Marine Highway System have been contacted regarding the fugitives.

“The different entities that have ways of getting people out of town, they’re given the information and then they have law enforcement professionals that work in and around those entities, and so they just keep an eye out,” Berntson said.

And according to the Trooper bulletin, the public should keep an eye out as well. AST is asking the public to contact law enforcement with any information regarding Ellis’ whereabouts.

“Do not attempt to contact Ellis on your own as he is believed to be armed and dangerous. He is known to carry a firearm,” the bulletin reads.

“(Ellis) seems to have a familiarity and comfort with possessing firearms,” Berntson told the Daily News. “And if you’re running from law enforcement facing those kind of charges with that kind of criminal history, you got to assume a person is intent on not going back to jail.”

“I would consider him a dangerous person,” Berntson later added.

Published KDN: 05/10/18

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