Lottery scam suspects in court

Police arrest 4 individuals on theft and related charges

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Four suspects in what police are calling a "Jamaican lottery scam" case appear in court today and Thursday for status conferences.

Yanique "Niki" Nicholette Mendez, 28, appears in district court at 1 p.m. today at the Routt County Combined Courthouse. Troy Robert Cox, 23, Simon Levi Guthrie, 30, and Catrina Graham, 32, appear at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Steamboat Springs Police Department officers arrested Mendez on charges under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act and on suspicion of crimes against at-risk victims, theft by receiving, conspiracy and criminal extortion.

The other three suspects are charged with racketeering and theft, with theft counts ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to second-degree felonies.

Cox and Graham are suspected of making scam phone calls to senior citizens, Sgt. Rich Brown said when they were arrested. The pair reportedly told seniors they won a lottery cash prize that they would receive after sending them taxes on the prize.

Brown said anyone receiving a suspicious phone call should report it to the police department at 879-1144.

Capote brothers to appear in court in June and July

David and Eduardo Capote Jr., two Miami brothers charged with assault in connection with the death of Richard Lopez, waived arraignment and remain on bail.

Sgt. 1st Class Lopez died Jan. 5 at a Denver hospital of severe head and brain trauma. In a Jan. 2 altercation at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, Lopez took two hits to the face before suffering a severe blow from hitting the back of his head on the ground, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office.

An arrest warrant accuses Eduardo Capote Jr. of punching Lopez in the face, causing him to fall back and suffer a fatal head injury.

David Capote is charged with three counts of third-degree assault and faces as many as two years in prison for his role in the fight with Lopez's companions.

David Capote is next scheduled to appear for a disposition hearing at 1:30 p.m. June 24. Eduardo Capote is scheduled to appear at 8:45 a.m. July 2 for arraignment.

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