Redding couple caught, this time in Mendocino County

Redding couple caught, this time in Mendocino County

Donald Gordon Powell and Lawanda Jean Parks seem to have gotten together in Redding, though they both currently reside south of the city. Powell, 34, lives in Cottonwood, south of Anderson in a mobile home park. Parks reports a home address in Corning, further south past Red Bluff. But as recently as the end of May, Powell was living in Redding at a home on Court Street. And at that same time, Parks, 30, reported an address in Zenia, a small town of fewer than 200 residents in western Trinity County, just east of Humboldt County and the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Happier, healthier times. Powell and Parks in Facebook images from 2014.

Happier, healthier times. Powell and Parks in Facebook images from 2014.

Powell had traveled further south too, as evidenced by an arrest on April 9 in the city of Galt, south of Sacramento. He was charged by Galt police with possession of drug paraphernalia.

At around the same time, Anderson police were searching for him as a suspect in a theft and fraudulent check cashing scheme, according to the Anderson Standard. He was suspected of stealing checks from residential mailboxes, altering them and cashing them at businesses like Walmart, Safeway, and even the Tri Counties Bank. The thefts had been reported in various locations in Shasta County, including Redding and Anderson. After appearing on the Shasta’s Most Wanted list, Redding police arrested him on May 27 on charges of violating his post release Community Supervision, from a prior conviction of forgery.

Lawanda Parks had been arrested a few times herself in the past months. On her Facebook page, she is a self described recovering addict, but on April 20, Redding police arrested her for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, along with presenting false ID to the officers. Then on May 11 she was again arrested by Redding police for two counts of misdemeanor possession of a narcotic controlled substance, and felony child cruelty or endangerment. Parks reportedly has one daughter. On May 28 Anderson police arrested her once again for possession of a controlled substance. During all these arrests she reported a mailing address of a P.O. box in Zenia.

Powell and Parks together, image Facebook

Powell and Parks together, image Facebook

Which brings us to June, when Powell and Parks were traveling together in Mendocino County. They were in the town of Leggett, a small town of just over 100 residents in the forested area of northern Mendocino County, just off Highway 101, and famous for the “Chandelier Drive Through Tree”, a giant Coastal Redwood with a drive through cut out at the base. A resident, a 65-year-old man, was alerted that a strange car was parked next to his mailbox. According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office, the man approached the couple in the car, but they drove off.

Seeing they had taken some of his mail, the man followed them. Calling the Sheriff’s office, he continued after them as they headed south about 20 miles to Laytonville. They pulled off the 101 Highway at Boomers Saloon, and deputies soon arrived to question the pair. But seeing law enforcement, the driver, who was of course Powell, sped off again. But they were no match for the pursuing patrol car, and pulled over when the deputies caught up. It was 1:30 in the afternoon.

Boomers Saloon on Highway 101 in Laytonville.

Boomers Saloon on Highway 101 in Laytonville.

The deputies spoke with Powell and Parks, who said that they hadn’t stolen anyone’s mail. But with probable cause established, a search of the vehicle soon made liars of the pair. There was mail present from at least eleven victims, all from other counties, and over $22,000 worth of altered checks and money orders. They had already been busy too, perhaps while stopped at Boomers. Two money orders that the man from Leggett had placed in his mailbox were already forged, adding Donald Powell’s name to them. The search also turned up an unspecified quantity of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Powell and Parks were arrested for possession of stolen property and forged documents, and criminal conspiracy. Powell was also charged with forgery, burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and probation violations. He also had an outstanding warrant from Shasta County for burglary. Bail for Parks was set at $15,000, while Powell’s was $185,000 when they were booked at the Mendocino County jail.

 

Read More:

Anderson Standard: APD Seeking Redding Man in Mail Theft, Check Cashing Scheme

Redding couple caught, this time in Mendocino County was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Mendocino, Shasta