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Looking back: Sheep case goes to court, shooting star display and massive drug raid in Preston

Looking Back

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EAST IDAHO — Every week, EastIdahoNews.com is looking back in time at what life was like during this week in history.

This week is Oct. 11 to Oct. 17.

1900-1925

AMERICAN FALLS — A case involving stolen sheep was set to go to district court, the American Falls Press reported on Oct. 14, 1921.

Eight men were accused of stealing sheep from the Rosenkranz Sheep Company in Bull Canyon at the beginning of October. Barn Alvord, O.F. Hess, Wood Ralph, George Udy and Henry Moss faced a charge of stealing sheep. Arthur Taysom, Elmer Hartley and J.H. Hadley faced a charge of accepting stolen property. All were at liberty under $500 bonds, according to the paper.

A preliminary hearing took place before Judge Wm. J. Travis on Oct. 11., and it occupied the “greater part” of the day. The American Falls Press said the witnesses for the defense and accused didn’t take the stand.

Pearl Scrimsher, who was with the men accused of stealing the sheep, claimed he had taken part in the alleged theft against his wishes. Scrimsher was about 18 years old at the time and was not included in the complaint filed against the accused.

“Scrimsher said in effect that they discussed among themselves in his presence, how they would divide the sheep,” the paper stated. “He said that one man caught them with the sheep and was given one to take home, provided he would keep still.”

A.W. Rosenkranz testified that he identified the sheep as belonging to the Rosenkranz Sheep Company and that he located the sheep on the ranches of those accused of stealing them.

The district court date had not been set at the time of publication.

1926-1950

RIGBY — A “brilliant display” of shooting stars in October was viewed by many Idahoans, the Rigby Star explained.

The Oct. 17, 1946, newspaper said the shooting stars were part of the comet Giacobinizinner’s tail. Scientists said meteors were shed by the comet — forming part of its tail — as the earth came within 131 thousand miles of the spot in space through which the comet passed eight days previous.

The shooting stars appeared about 8 p.m. and “seemed to be at its best” shortly after 8:30 p.m.

“A cloudless sky in this section made the view possible in all directions as the falling stars arched across the sky,” the Rigby Star recalled.

The stars seen on earth were those caught by the earth’s gravitational pull as they “plunged” through the earth’s air shell. The Rigby Star explained the friction between the solid matter and air caused the “brilliant burning.”

1951-1975

SODA SPRINGS — Soda Springs Chief of Police Blynn B. Wilcox reminded citizens in the Caribou County Sun on Oct. 14, 1971, that his department offered home security service while owners were away on vacation.

To secure the service, citizens were to notify the police prior to leaving. An officer would then contact the homeowner and discuss what security measures should be considered.

“During your absence, your home will be spot-checked several times during each 24-hours and all circumstances pertaining to your residence will be noted,” the paper stated. “On your return, you will be mailed a report of these activities so you will know how many times your home was checked and what irregularities, if any, have occurred.”

1976-2000

PRESTON — In 1977, the biggest drug raid Franklin County had ever seen went down.

The Preston Citizen reported in an article dated Oct. 13, 1977, that 23 arrests were made but more were expected by Franklin County and Utah law officers. The arrests, which came from a Oct. 7 raid at a Preston residence on 4th South, may have broken up major drug traffic supply lines which led into Utah, according to the paper.

“The total cost of the investigation was just over $2,000, which the board had authorized,” the paper said. “The board agreed it was worthwhile.”

Preston home involved in drug raid
The Preston home where arrests were made during a drug raid.| Courtesy Preston Citizen

County prosecuting attorney J.D. Williams said two-thirds of those arrested were from Utah and that it appeared Utahns were coming to Idaho for illegal drug traffic. He wasn’t sure why other than “they might consider Preston an easy touch.”

The raid was set up by Larry Kidd, an undercover agent who worked in the county for two-and-a-half months. Williams and Deputy Sheriff Duane Golightly said Kidd was “very accurate (and) intelligent in his dealings.”

Golightly explained that most of the illegal drugs being sold involved marijuana with some pills. The Preston Citizen said most of the drug traffic was being carried on at an amusement center located directly across from Preston High School.

Bond was set at $5,000 on the adults arrested. Williams explained that for the first seven “pushers” arrested, the maximum sentence on the felony charge could be five years in prison with $1,000 fines. Juveniles arrested could face 30 days in jail and possible detention in state facilities for youth. Those who were present at the party when the raid happened were expected to face misdemeanor charges and fines up to $300.

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