A Faribault man is accused of bilking thousands of dollars from people who donated through his gofundme page. 37 year old Jeremiah Jon Smith is charged with theft by swindle. In October of 2015 he set up a gofundme page claiming that he had stage 4 cancer and had 18 to 24 months to live. A month later, he said he had 6 months to live according to a Dr. Bartels at the Olmsted Medical Clinic. He received $6800 in donations. A benefit in Spring Lake on Feb. 6th, 2016, netted Smith $6600. Another benefit was held at the Northfield Ballroom on Feb. 20th of last year which was a live and silent auction, door prizes and food. Smith received $9000 from the Northfield benefit. Several Northfielders
were involved in setting up the fundraiser. Smith’s wife tried to get medical records from the clinic but they denied her access. She found no evidence of bills, records or other indication that he had cancer. She tried to get help from Rice County Social Services but Smith refused to sign the paperwork. For months, Faribault and Northfield police questioned Smith and asked for medical records. In July of last year he told them he would not give out his records to nosy people. In November, detectives were granted a search warrant and his records indicated no diagnosis of cancer. In February of this year, detectives spoke with Dr. Bartels who said he never diagnosed Smith with cancer and never treated him for it. In total, Smith received $23,000 from people who believed him. His first court appearance is November 8th. The charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Smith complaint
Clumsy burglar pleads guilty
In August a pair of burglars made it easy to be caught. 29 year old Emily Anne Wagner, left her wallet in the victim’s driveway in Cannon City. She pled guilty yesterday in Rice County Court to 1st degree burglary. Sentencing is December 5th. Her alleged partner, 33 year old Nathan Quast has pled not guilty and a jury trial is scheduled for December 11th. 1st degree burglary is a felony and carries a sentence from 6 months to 20 years. Wagner complaint
Wait for the First Responders
Rice County has dealt with many crashes since August including a couple of ATV accidents that resulted in injuries. Just last Friday, an 8 year grandson was able to guide First Responders. Due to the wooded terrain, Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn said it took them 15 minutes to find the man with the grandson calling out to them. They sent in a UTV to get him out of there. This week, a father and daughter, were in an ATV crash in the Tri-County ATV Park, they’re in Regions Hospital. A head-on collision last week on Hwy 60 sent three to the hospital by helicopter. Dunn said the investigation continues in that crash. Dunn stressed that, if you come upon a crash like that, it’s important to know what to do and what NOT to do. First, call 911. The dispatcher may have received multiple calls but you may have additional information. The next thing is how many people are injured, how serious do they look, is there a fire or gas leak? What they DON’T want you to do is pull people from cars unless it’s a life-threatening situation. Unless the vehicle is, literally, on fire or sinking in water, it’s best to leave them inside and let the first responders handle it. Dunn says in nearly every crash, there will be some kind of smoke or steam. Contrary to television, it’s very rare that a vehicle would explode.