Suspect in Cache County SWAT operation booked on multiple felony counts

Richard Ortiz. Photo: Cache County

MILLVILLE, Utah, Jan. 4, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A 30-year-old man has been charged with stalking, electronic harassment and multiple other offenses in Cache County.

After a SWAT operation Thursday in Millville, Richard Ortiz was booked into the Cache County Jail on suspicion of:

  • Stalking, a third-degree felony
  • Distribution of pornographic material, a third-degree felony
  • Transport of a weapon/ammo/etc. into a secure area or facility, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor
  • Criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor
  • Electronic communication harassment, a class B misdemeanor
  • Disorderly conduct, an infraction

The complainant called dispatch on Thursday and reported Ortiz “was harassing her and sending her death threats. She stated to dispatch this had been an ongoing problem for month,” the probable cause statement says.

Soon after, the woman called dispatch back to report Ortiz was in the driveway of her mother’s Millville residence.

Cache County Sheriff officials responded to the Millville residence.

“Deputies responded with SWAT negotiators and attempted communication,” arrest documents say. “They were only able to communicate with Richard via text message. After it was determined (the victim) was safely out of the residence, two teams were left in the area to observe if Richard would leave the residence.”

Police interviewed the complainant away from the residence.

She “provided me with her cell phone and explained Richard has consistently attempted to contact her by either calling her or texting her. In reviewing her calls and text messages, it appears Richard has attempted contact via either method at least 50-60 times within a two-day period. On 12/31/2019 and 01/01/2020 JH directs Richard to stop. Richard never does as (she) asks and instead¬†continues to try and contact her.

“Later I asked JH if she feared for her safety. She replied, ‘yes.'”

The woman said that on that day, “Richard arrived at her mother’s residence where (the victim) is currently residing. Richard sent a text message around 0500 that he left a Starbucks coffee and a bacon egg and cheese biscuit on the hood of JH vehicle.

The woman told officers she texted back to Ortiz that she didn’t want it, that he was not welcome at her mother’s house after he left used needles there, the statement said.¬†Ortiz then began sending multiple text messages and attempted multiple times to call the victim.

“A brief snippet from one of his many texts, he states, ‘Call me know before I do something really stupid. One. Two. Three. Death by cop,'” the probable cause statement says.

Other text messages said it would be the victim’s fault if Ortiz got killed in a high speed chase that put others in danger and possibly left other people dead.

The victim also told officers Ortiz had sent her pornographic images and videos through Facebook Messenger.

After Ortiz left the residence, officers took him into custody and transported him to the sheriff’s office. An orange cap, like those used to cover syringe needles, was found in his pocket, the statement says.

After being read his Miranda Rights, Ortiz was interviewed and was observed to be “talking very fast,” and his eyes were constricted, and he could not sit still, the statement said.

Ortiz declined to give a urine sample voluntarily, so a warrant was issued for the collection of blood and urine.

“When I presented him with the warrant, he replied ‘I’m going to get an additional charge,'” the statement says, adding that blood was collected from Ortiz.

Ortiz admitted to leaving coffee for the victim, “and stated he wasn’t welcome at the Millville residence. He admitted to attempting to contact her multiple times.”

Ortiz denied having illegal substances on his person, the probable cause statement says. While being searched before being booked into jail, a baggie with white residue was found in his pocket. It tested positive for methamphetamine.

Bail for Ortiz has been set at $33,460.

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