I have received numerous inquiries from the public in regard to the recent articles "Flagstaff man caught with stolen goods, including artifacts" and "Car thief nabbed in sting," wherein it was reported that the suspects were released as the county attorney's office did not file a complaint.
In the first article, it was reported that Ryan Loucks was released as my office could not meet the deadline to file a complaint. In the second article, the reporter was informed that in a prior investigation, "He (Bradley Allen) was arrested and charged, but the Gila County Attorney's Office never filed a complaint."
These comments do not reflect the complete story and without an understanding of the judicial system are misleading.
In Arizona, once a suspect is arrested he or she must be taken before a magistrate or judge within 24 hours for an initial appearance.t the initial appearance, a determination of release conditions is made by a judge or magistrate.
Release conditions can include the requirement that a suspect post bond, or the court may release the person on his or her own recognizance.
If bond is set and the suspect is unable to post bond, within 48 hours of an initial appearance, a complaint must be filed by the county attorney to hold the suspect in custody.
Prior to filing the complaint, the investigating agency must submit a report to my office or contact me personally so that I can determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of the suspect.
Often is the case that a suspect bonds out or is released by the judge on his or her own recognizance within hours of his initial appearance and prior to the issuance of a complaint.
Once a complaint is filed by my office, the justice of peace or the grand jury must hold a probable cause hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require the suspect to answer to the charges in superior court.
As to the two referenced cases, in both cases I requested additional information from the investigating officer so that I would be able to file a complaint.
In the Loucks matter, that information has now been obtained and a complaint has been filed. At the time of this letter, the suspect is in custody and prosecution will proceed.
In the prior Allen matter, referenced by the article, the suspect had been arrested and released prior to my receipt of a report on that arrest. Additional information is being obtained so that I may determine if there is sufficient information to file charges.
In reference to Bradley Allen's recent arrest, the article left the matter hanging.owever, my office filed a complaint within hours of my receipt of the officer's report and he is in custody at the time of the writing of this letter.
I believe this information emphasizes that our judicial system demands a careful review of all matters so that no person is prosecuted and/or held in custody without proper justification.
Prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies are limited in what information can be disseminated to the public, but should we be able to discuss the matter, I invite any member of the public who has a specific concern to call my office at (928) 474-4068
Daisy Flores, Gila County Attorney