Feds: California teen alleges captivity, sexual abuse on marijuana 'farm'
What began as an investigation into a suspected marijuana-growing farm in Northern California has led to allegations of a 15-year-old girl being held captive in a coffinlike metal box and sexually abused.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:59 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:59:32 GMT
(CBS/KBTX) - There's something about a field of wildflowers that draws out the photographer in all of us. In Central Texas, there are plenty photo ops, but stopping on the side of the road to take a pictureMore >>
There's something about a field of wildflowers that draws out the photographer in all of us. In Central Texas, there are plenty photo ops, but stopping on the side of the road to take a picture can be downright dangerous. The Texas Department of Public Safety is warning Texans to be careful.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:26:27 GMT
(CBS/CNN) - Today is tax day. The official deadline to submit your federal income taxes. But is it really a hard deadline? Penalties for filing tax returns late only apply to people who owe the governmentMore >>
Today is tax day. The official deadline to submit your federal income taxes. But is it really a hard deadline?More >>
Monday, April 14 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-04-14 14:03:47 GMT
(CNN) - Now that spring has finally sprung, a lot of us have one thing on our mind -- vacation. So what are the latest travel trends? If the nicer weather has you dreaming about vacation after a coldMore >>
Now that spring has finally sprung, a lot of us have one thing on our mind -- vacation. So what are the latest travel trends?More >>
Friday, April 11 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-04-11 14:38:50 GMT
(CNN/KVUE) - Thanks to a new prosthetic hand a young boy in Texas will get a chance to do things just like other children his age. A team of teens and their teacher are behind his new hand. Two-year old ZaxtonMore >>
Thanks to a new prosthetic hand a young boy in Texas will get a chance to do things just like other children his age. A team of teens and their teacher are behind his new hand.
Thursday, April 10 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-04-10 16:18:24 GMT
(CBS/CNN) - Can 140 characters ruin your relationship? One new study thinks so and says that tweeting may lead to infidelity and divorce. The University of Missouri just released a study that found, theMore >>
Can 140 characters ruin your relationship? One new study thinks so and says that tweeting may lead to infidelity and divorce.More >>
Wednesday, April 9 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-04-09 14:12:31 GMT
(CBS) - The deadline to file your federal income taxes for 2013 is just about a week away. It might be a bit late to get an appointment with a tax preparer, but it's not too late to download a handy taxMore >>
The deadline to file your federal income taxes for 2013 is just about a week away. It might be a bit late to get an appointment with a tax preparer, but it's not too late to download a handy tax preparing app onto your smartphone or tablet.More >>
Tuesday, April 8 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-04-08 14:45:56 GMT
(CBS/CNN) - Starting today, Microsoft will no longer support its popular "Windows XP." Microsoft says it wants to concentrate on maintaining its newer operating systems. Experts say if you don't upgradeMore >>
Starting today, Microsoft will no longer support its popular "Windows XP." Experts say if you don't upgrade your computer, you're more susceptible to hackers. And, an Israeli start up says it has developed a new battery pack that can fully charge your phone in just 30 seconds, even if is nearly empty.More >>
Monday, April 7 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-04-07 14:14:25 GMT
(CNN/KUSA) - The race for mayor of divide, Colorado, is turning into a real zoo. Even with 11 candidates running for office, not a single one of them is like you or me. A group of animals are runningMore >>
The race for mayor of divide, Colorado, is turning into a real zoo. Even with 11 candidates running for office, not a single one of them is like you or me. A group of animals are running for mayor, but they are doing it for a good cause.More >>
Thursday, April 3 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-04-03 15:52:20 GMT
(CNN/WFAA) - As the Final Four comes to Texas, residents in Arlington are offering up their homes to March Madness fans and hoping to make a little money in the process. A quick search of Craigslist turnsMore >>
As the Final Four comes to Texas, residents in Arlington are offering up their homes to March Madness fans and hoping to make a little money in the process.More >>
Wednesday, April 2 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-04-02 14:22:19 GMT
(CNN/WSB) - A naked cowboy made himself way too comfortable in one neighborhood in the Atlanta area. Now he faces nearly a dozen charges. "He was completely naked. He had a cowboy hat on," says CoriMore >>
A naked cowboy made himself way too comfortable in one neighborhood in the Atlanta area. Now he faces nearly a dozen charges.More >>
(CNN) -- Two Northern California men are due in
federal court Wednesday in what began as another big pot-growing drug
bust but what has become a horrifying story of one teenager's alleged
torment, captivity and sexual abuse.
The criminal complaint
against the two men -- Ryan Balletto, 30, and Patrick Pearmain, 24 --
outlines the allegations of a 15-year-old girl's ordeal of being held in
a coffin-like box for hours on end at a marijuana-growing "farm" where
she worked trimming plants.
Balletto and Pearmain
were criminally charged in federal court earlier this month -- and are
in custody without bail -- with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute
more than 1,000 marijuana plants and with using a minor in a drug
operation. Additionally Pearmain faces state charges of kidnapping to
commit robbery or rape and unlawful sex with a minor. Balletto faces
state charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
Efforts Tuesday to reach attorneys for the two men were not successful.
The girl sometimes was
held in a metal toolbox 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet high,
authorities said. According to the criminal complaint, she told
authorities that the men "put her in the box to 'teach' her because they
had a 'point to prove.'"
The girl referred to the
marijuana operation as a "mission" and said the men locked her in the
box to protect the operation, according to the complaint.
"Specifically, they did
not want (the girl) to 'ruin the mission' or 'go off and say something
about the mission,'" the complaint stated.
The box was hoisted at an
angle to allow a hose to be inserted "to wash her off and rinse human
waste from the inside of the box without letting her out," the complaint
Federal authorities declined to comment Tuesday on the whereabouts or current condition of the girl.
But a psychologist who
had read about the case told CNN that he was shocked by the details and
that he believes the girl will suffer from post-traumatic stress
"She is so different
from, say, a POW ... She was in a box. She's going to need a lot of
therapeutic treatment," said California-based clinical psychologist Mark
Burdick, who is not involved in the case.
"This is obviously a
very traumatic situation for her...It is cruel, cruel and unusual
punishment for a 15-year-old girl, and she will undoubtedly need a
structured therapeutic environment for what could be years," Burdick
According to the
criminal complaint, federal agents began a suspected narcotics
investigation in late 2011, and Balletto was one of the individuals
suspected. Last August, agents identified land that he had bought in
Lake County, California, north of San Francisco.
During a surveillance
flyover of that land in April, a Lake County detective spotted two
greenhouses that appeared to be full of marijuana plants.
Meanwhile, also in
April, the Los Angeles Police Department "requested urgent assistance of
the Lake County Sheriff's Department regarding a missing juvenile from
the Los Angeles area," the complaint stated.
The minor was traced
from a cell phone call to a hotel in Sacramento, where she was found
with Pearmain on April 30, the complaint said. He was immediately taken
into custody, and the girl was placed in protective custody.
Authorities said they
also found a black notebook in Pearmain's possession with a script
apparently for the girl to read from if confronted by police.
Balletto was taken into custody on May 1 when he was found in a trailer on the property that had been under surveillance.
According to the
complaint, the minor said she worked for Balletto by trimming the
marijuana plants on what she referred to as the "farm."
The girl then went on to
describe an ordeal of being held in the box twice "for a total of
approximately three days," according to the complaint. She said both men
"engaged in multiple sex acts with her," and Balletto "told her she was
a 'trooper' because she didn't scream in the box," the complaint said.
"A poem signed by (the
girl) found in Balletto's trailer described her life as being locked
inside a box with holes in it," the complaint added.
At the property,
authorities found the two greenhouses with 970 individually potted and
irrigated marijuana plants, according to the complaint. Authorities
later found a third greenhouse with an additional 346 plants.
uncovered a stash of weapons including, assault rifles, pistols,
shotguns, loaded magazines, night-vision scopes, ballistic face masks
and gas masks, body armor and a large cache of assorted ammunition,
according to the complaint.
The Northern District of
California U.S. attorney's office said a search of Balletto's residence
uncovered even more weapons, including several sniper rifles and
additional assault rifles.
Lake County Sheriff's
Department Lt. Chris Chwialkowski said the stash was one of the largest
collection of weapons seized in his department's history.
Tatum King, acting
special agent in charge of investigations for the Homeland Security
office in San Francisco, which mounted the federal narcotics
investigation, said, "The criminal groups involved in growing and
trafficking marijuana have repeatedly shown they have no qualms about
using violence and intimidation against those who get in their way.
"In this case the alleged victim was only 15 years old."
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:21:57 GMT
ALTO (KYTX) - Cherokee County authorities are on the scene of a break in. It happened overnight at the B & B Foods store in Alto. Our crew on the scene tells us 2 people were arrested. Right now, weMore >>
UPDATE: ALTO (KYTX) - Two arrest have been made in the overnight burglary of the B&B Store on Highway 69 in Alto.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:03:26 GMT
MARSHALL (KYTX) - A man wanted on murder charges has been arrested in Talluhala, Louisiana, Corey Johnson was taken into custody around 8:30 this evening for his alleged involvement in a shooting thatMore >>
A man wanted on murder charges has been arrested in Talluhala, Louisiana,
Corey Johnson was taken into custody around 8:30 Tuesday for his alleged involvement in a shooting that happened last month at the rumors arcade.
Monday, April 14 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-04-15 03:31:53 GMT
SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -- DPS says a woman is dead after a crash Monday afternoon. It happened just before 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Mixon Road and Yarborough Lane in Smith County. At this pointMore >>
A Jacksonville Police communications officer has died after a crash Monday afternoon. More >>
Thursday, April 3 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-04-04 02:35:25 GMT
EFFINGHAM (WCIA) -- One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham. Owens'More >>
One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:03 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:03:27 GMT
Released by Kilgore CollegeKILGORE (KYTX) - The Flare, the student newspaper at Kilgore College, won top honors in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition. The awards were announced atMore >>
For the 24th time in 28 years, The Flare won sweepstakes for garnering the most points in its division.More >>