A pair of women convicted of welfare fraud was sentenced to probation and jail time Nov. 18 in Nevada County Superior Court.
Rochelle West, 42, was sentenced to three years’ probation, 90 days in jail and 600 hours of community service. Also convicted of perjury, the Grass Valley woman must serve the first 30 days of jail in custody before becoming eligible for alternative sentencing.
Ellen M. Pond, 51, of Lincoln, was sentenced to three years’ probation, 30 days in jail and 300 hours of community service, with instant eligibility for alternative sentencing. Unlike West, Pond’s conviction was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
A jury convicted the pair in March. Deputy District Attorney Kristin Hackler showed evidence that the government was taken for more than $21,000 between November 1997 and October 1999 after West, who was receiving welfare benefits, sold her then-business, Baby Bear Boutique in Grass Valley, to Pond for $10.
Despite the sale, according to a Probation Department presentence report, West continued to “co-mingle” her personal funds with the business account while Pond had little to do with the business.
In other cases:
— Robert and Sherry Long, town of Washington residents, were arraigned for suspected possession of mischievous animals, a felony, and alleged violation of a county ordinance for allowing the animals to roam.
On May 9, a woman was bitten on the forearm by Rocky, one of the Longs’ four dogs that approached the woman, according to Nevada County Animal Control, which allegedly learned of prior incidents involving bites. The Longs are scheduled to enter pleas Dec. 19.
— Steven E. Spreadbury, 34, was arraigned Nov. 18 on counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and meth possession. He’s scheduled to enter a plea Dec. 5. Nevada City police arrested Spreadbury inside an abandoned Searls Avenue house Nov. 14 and reported finding meth, meth-producing chemicals and equipment.
— James Vanek, 37, and Patricia Albright, 51, were each arraigned on counts of marijuana cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, with Vanek facing an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a felon, a shotgun.
Narcotics agents arrested them Nov. 15 at a home near North Bloomfield-Graniteville Road and reported finding 22 pot plants, an undisclosed amount of marijuana packaged for sale, and $5,000 cash.
— Jerome J. Woodruff, 18, of Penn Valley pleaded no contest Thursday to lewd acts with a child involving a 13-year-old girl, according to a court clerk. Sentencing is Jan. 6.
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