ramon cruz.jpg

 Ramon Ruiz Cruz

Suspected drug buyer arrested in Safford

A Gila Valley man suspected of buying methamphetamine in the parking lot of a Safford motel was arrested July 22 by Safford Police.

A Safford officer patrolling East Highway 70 around midnight saw the man, identified as Jacob Gonzales, speaking with a man on a bicycle in the motel parking lot. Finding this suspicious given the area’s known drug activity, the officer followed Gonzales’ car to a second motel.

Gonzales said he was staying at the first motel but wanted to know the cost of a room at the second motel. Officers found a bag of methamphetamine and a pipe in the car. Gonzales first denied knowledge of the items, then, according to police, admitted buying the methamphetamine earlier.

Gonzales was booked into the Graham County Jail on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two guilty pleas in shovel attack case

A Gila Valley woman charged with attacking a man with a shovel, sending him to the hospital, pleaded guilty in Graham County Superior Court Monday.

Meygan Tourangeau, 34, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, possession of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A co-defendant, 52-year-old William Donahue, entered a guilty plea on June 29. Donahue pleaded guilty to second degree burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also admitted to a probation violation.

Tourangeau was accused of hitting the victim several times with a shovel in his home on June 7. She had been staying with him temporarily and was asked to leave. She then returned with Donahue and they broke into the home, according to the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.

When they were arrested, Tourangeau was found with a bag of methamphetamine and both had drug paraphernalia.

Donahue and Tourangeau are scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 10 and Sept. 28 respectively. Donahue faces from one to four years in prison, and Tourangeau’s sentence could range from probation to two years in prison.

Elderly homeless man in his early 80s still missing

The Graham County Sheriff’s Office continues to search for an elderly homeless man who hasn’t been seen for nearly a month.

Ramon Ruiz Cruz, who is in his early 80s, was reported missing by another man who told authorities he hadn’t seen him since July 4.

Cruz, in his early 80s, was living near the Eden monument. At the time the report was filed, most of his property was still there, but his vehicle, a green 1998 Nissan Frontier, was missing.

Ruiz’s truck was found on Sunday in the Ft. Thomas area, prompting the Graham County Search and Rescue team to organize a search Tuesday.

According to authorities, the team worked in a grid pattern, looking for Cruz for six hours.

The team was unable to locate Ruiz, and will conduct another search on Saturday morning.

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