Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies — working with federal marshals on an arrest warrant for a Pennsylvania fugitive — ended up arresting three convicted felons on a variety of charges Thursday night.
Dale Baynard Woods, 53, was listed as one of Pennsylvania’s most wanted Megan’s Law offenders with a conviction for indecent assault dating back to 2001. The U.S. Marshals issued two arrest warrants for Woods in 2012 for failure to register as a sex offender and failure to appear for a theft charge.
According to U.S. Marshal spokesman Frank Newsom, Woods had been living in the San Juan Ridge area for about a year and a half, “hiding out in the hills.”
“He was supposedly gold mining,” Newsom said.
Newsom said word filtered back to Pennsylvania authorities of Woods’ presence in Nevada County, and the information was passed on to his office.
The U.S. Marshals discovered Woods was living in a trailer off Jackass Flats Road, where he allegedly was squatting on some property with two other men, Newsom said.
The marshals contacted the Sheriff’s Office, and deputies accompanied them up to the Ridge, where they waited “for a while” for the three men, who were allegedly in a vehicle and armed with a sawed-off shotgun.
Deputies conducted a traffic stop of the car and arrested the three men without incident, Newsom said.
The driver, Thomas Stark, 47, had a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his waistband, said Sheriff Keith Royal. Stark allegedly was found to have an arrest warrant out of Pennsylvania for auto theft.
A second man in the vehicle, identified as Mark Anthony Firestone, 33, also had a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband, Royal said. Firestone allegedly has multiple felony convictions in Pennsylvania.
During a search of the trailer in which the men were living, deputies found a 12-gauge shotgun that had been reported stolen in 1986, Royal said. They also found a sawed-off shotgun, which apparently was linked to Stark.
Stark was arrested on suspicion of possessing a sawed-off shotgun, being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and the outstanding warrant. He was being held without bail.
Firestone was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held in lieu of $50,750 bail.
Woods was being held without bail on the outstanding warrant.
“He for sure will be extradited to Pennsylvania,” Newsom said.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.