weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Laughlin deputies serve court order on Las Vegas gas station

They demanded all of the money in the cash register.

It was $3,516.

They would need to collect on the credit card transactions, too.

A handful of armed deputies from the Laughlin Township constable’s office executed a District Court order Saturday to seize $40,000 in assets from the University Sinclair gas station on Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway. The station is facing financial troubles, and its owners are waging a public relations campaign against Bank of Nevada by allowing protesters with the Occupy Las Vegas movement to camp on their property at the busy intersection.

The execution of the court order also has caused infighting among Clark County constables about how the job of peace officer should be done, and the district attorney’s office is being asked to clarify things.

Laughlin Township Constable Jordan Ross, whose office now has a Las Vegas bureau, said his department has picked up work serving court papers in Las Vegas Township because of the large workload. Laughlin is about 100 miles south of Las Vegas. This was the first time the department had worked in Las Vegas, Ross said.

"We’re happy to pick up the slack," Ross said. "The Las Vegas Township constable’s office is large and backed up."

Ross’ office gets a cut of the fees and is paid for mileage each time deputies serve papers. It’s 2 percent for the first $3,500 collected, and any sum over that is half a percent. So, Ross’ office made about $275 from serving the gas station.


But Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura was never notified by Ross about his serving papers in the area — a gentlemen’s agreement all constables are supposed to abide by, he said. His office has been fielding calls from media outlets since the court order was executed although his office is not involved.

"They’re causing all of this ruckus," Bonaventura said of Ross and his deputies. "We’re getting the backlash from it. We have nothing to do with this. … They’re looking around at their own townships and saying, ‘Gee, there’s no work around here.’ They’re trying to get more fees and drumming up business in Las Vegas."

Bonaventura has asked the district attorney’s office for an opinion about county constables taking business away in his township. Nevada Revised Statutes reads, "Each constable shall be a peace officer in his or her township."

"They’re supposed to be in their own townships," Bonaventura said. "They’re broke, and they’re trying to make money."

Ross disputed the contention that constables have limited jurisdictions, saying each constable is a recognized peace officer throughout the state. Court papers determine who has power and where the department can execute an order.

"The NRS is a grant of power, not a restriction of power," he said.

One of the deputies executing the order at the Las Vegas gas station was from Goodsprings Township. Constable Gary Rogers said he had no knowledge that anyone from his department was involved in the matter and that he is conducting his own internal investigation.

Ross said the deputy is with the Goodsprings Township constable’s office but was sworn in as a Laughlin Township deputy constable on Veterans Day. The paperwork hasn’t been submitted to the county clerk’s office yet, Ross added. The clerk then will forward the information to the recorder’s office.


More than a dozen protesters with the Occupy Las Vegas movement stayed in tents on the street corner outside the gas station Monday. Owners Katja Crosby and Ali Moghadam asked the occupiers for help in drawing attention to their financially strapped business.

Occupy Las Vegas is a chapter of the national Occupy Wall Street movement protesting corporate greed and influence in politics. The local group has staged several protests in Las Vegas over the last few weeks and plans to continue to do so until a nationwide protest period ends on Nov. 21.

"It’s a little rougher sleeping here," protester Collin Williams said. "There’s been this complaint that Occupy Las Vegas hasn’t accomplished anything. Meanwhile, it’s quite possible that while we’re sitting here we’ll have flushed out a corrupt constable and helped to defer the seizure of assets of a business."

The group is seeking out homeowners facing foreclosure, too, he added. The group intends to occupy foreclosed homes, although it has not indicated when that will happen.


Michael Mazur is the attorney representing Bank of Nevada in the court order. Mazur also is a deputy for the Goodsprings Township constable’s office but was not present when the court order was executed.

As for a potential conflict of interest with his legal representation of the bank and his outside duties as a constable deputy, Mazur said there is none.

"There must be some confusion," Mazur said. "This was an entirely different branch. It was sent to Laughlin. We work with all constables in the state. … My office handles the paperwork, and we forward it out. I don’t have active involvement on a constable level with these cases."

Mazur said his clients are just trying to get paid.

"We’re seizing personal property and cash on debts that weren’t paid. They borrowed the $40,000 from my client. They took the money and sold the goods," Mazur said.

Moghadam, the manager of the gas station and Crosby’s husband, said he offered to make $200 monthly payments two years ago. Since then the family has offered to make $420 payments. The bank refused the offer because it would hardly make a dent in the loan’s interest.

"We’re not denying we owe the money," Moghadam said. "We tried to pay, we just want a lower payment. All of our other creditors have worked with us."

But Mazur said that never came up in negotiations and that the defendants refused to return phone calls or attend arbitration meetings and never delivered a settlement proposal.

Crosby said she tried to represent herself at arbitration meetings because she couldn’t afford an attorney but was dismissed by Mazur.

"I’m in shock over the whole thing," Crosby said. "I was struck by everything when they came in. They were big men with guns. I told them I wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t lying when I told them I wasn’t doing well."

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Crime Videos
CCSD police on the arrest of Deamonte Warren - VIDEO
CCSD police arrested Chaparral High School custodian Deamonte Warren on Friday on three counts of a school employee having sex with a student and an additional count of providing alcohol to a minor. (Courtesy CCSD Police)
Woman charged with sex trafficking an 11-year-old girl on the Strip (Michael Quine)
Gigi Mitchell faces seven felony charges including sex trafficking and child abuse for bringing an 11-year-old girl to the Las Vegas Strip to work as a prostitute.
Bel Air Drive Officer Involved Shooting Presser - Video
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly goes over the officer-involved shooting on Bel Air Drive.
Former Las Vegas police officer get 25 life sentences for sexually abusing child
Former Las Vegas Police officer Bret Theil was sentences to 25 consecutive life sentences at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, May 15, 2019, for sexually abusing a child over a decade. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Man pushed off bus in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Las Vegas police arrested 25-year-old Cadesha Bishop on May 6, after she allegedly pushed Serge Fournier, 74, off of a parked bus near Fremont Street and 13th Street about 4:50 p.m. March 21.(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
$1 million bail set for mother charged with drowning 2-year-old daughter
The 44-year-old mother who police say drowned her 2-year-old daughter in a bathtub in a northeast Las Vegas apartment on Saturday made her first court appearance on Tuesday, May 14th.
Officer arrested on suspicion of lewdness with a child appears in court
Matthew James Terry, a Las Vegas police officer arrested on suspicion of lewdness with a child, appears in court Monday morning, May 13, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police seek hit-and-run driver
A motorcycle officer pulled over a Mercedes SUV, and after the officer came to a stop, it shifted into reverse, intentionally hitting the officer.
Thedrick Andres becomes Henderson Police Department acting chief
Henderson Police Department Acting Chief Thedrick Andres speaks about his goals in his new position at the Henderson Police headquarters, Monday, April 29, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2 dead, 1 wounded after east valley neighborhood shooting
One man and one woman are dead and another man wounded after a shooting Thursday afternoon in an east valley neighborhood.
Bail denied for former police detective charged with murder
Bail was denied Tuesday for former Metropolitan Police Department detective, Pamela Rene Bordeaux who is accused of fatally shooting her daughter’s ex-husband during supervised visitation with his child.
Third suspect in death of California doctor appears in court
The third and final suspect in the killing of a California doctor, Jon Kennison, 27, appears in court Friday, April 19, 2019. Kennison, Kelsey Nichole Turner, a former model, and Diana Pena, face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Richard Cleaves of Pahrump arrested in burglary on former Binion property
Updated press release regarding burglary on a former Binion property: Richard Cleaves, 56 of Pahrump, has been arrested on a warrant for burglary, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, and destruction of property. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Judge denies bail for suspect charged in the killing of California doctor
Diana Pena, one of three people charged in the killing of a California doctor, is being held without bail after her fingerprints were found on the car where Dr. Thomas Burchard's body was discovered.
Ex-NFL player and girlfriend held without bail in child’s death
Former professional football player Cierre Wood and his girlfriend, Amy Taylor, face charges of murder and child abuse in the death of Taylor's 5-year-old daughter. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP identifies man who was shot by trooper on Mount Charleston
Nevada Highway Patrol updates the media on the April 2, 2019 officer involved shooting on Mount Charleston. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas court grants '90 Day Fiancé' defendant continuance
"90 Day Fiance" stars Colt Johnson and his mother Debra left the Las Vegas Justice Center Thursday, after the court granted Larissa dos Santos Lima a continuance in her misdemeanor case, in which she is accused of domestic violence against Colt. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Details released on in-custody death
Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank addresses media about details of an in-custody death at Clark County Detention Center on March 31. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Man hurt in shooting with Nevada troopers at Mount Charleston
A man was injured in a shooting involving Nevada Highway Patrol troopers Tuesday afternoon at Mount Charleston on state Route 157 near Echo Trail. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Officer wounds inmate during escape attempt
An officer fired on an inmate who stole a vehicle and tried to flee, ramming several cars and leading officers on a chase until he ran out of gas.
Man fatally shot during a 'beer skip'
A store clerk is being questioned after a man was fatally shot during a robbery at a gas station Friday. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Las Vegas police give details on fatal shooting
Metro homicide Lt. Ray Spencer gives a briefing on a fatal shooting near downtown Las Vegas that occurred on March 27, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas community pays tribute to boy killed by car
The community joined friends and family at Wilbur & Theresa Faiss Park, Wednesday evening, to remember the boy who was struck and killed by a car crossing South Fort Apache Road from Faiss Park, near West Maule Avenue, on Monday. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Person of Interest Found For Downtown Las Vegas Bar - Video
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is seeking help to find a person of interest in a potential homicide case at a bar in downtown Las Vegas.
Metro briefs media on OIS near downtown Las Vegas
Police address media about officer-involved shooting that started on Maryland and Vegas Valley, and concluded downtown, near the Golden Nugget.
Update on OIS at Vegas Valley and Maryland
The incident began at the Steinberg Diagnostic Medical parking lot and ended downtown.
Amy And Spencer Powell Recount Hit And Run
Amy Powell and her son Spencer recount the day Spencer was hit by a truck while riding his bike. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jeremy Burch of Tonopah arrested in Amarillo, TX
Jeremy Burch of Tonopah was arrested in Amarillo, TX on a Nye County warrant for open murder, burglary, obtaining money under false pretense, use of credit card w/o owner consent, and destruction of evidence. (Nye County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Metro Presser For OIS 6 (Full)
Metro police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 19, 2019.
Metro Presser For OIS 6
Metro police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 19, 2019.
Domestic disturbance call ends in suicide
A man died by suicide after police tried negotiating with him outside of his ex-girlfriend’s home on March 13. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by Las Vegas police
A 20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by a Las Vegas officer on Saturday night is also accused of burglarizing a Boys & Girls Club minutes before the shooting.
Commercial Robbery On 3000 Block Of North Las Vegas Blvd - VIDEO
On February 19th, 2019, at approximately 10:23 am, a robbery occurred to a business located on the 3000 block of North Las Vegas Boulevard. The pictured suspect entered the business, approached the counter and pointed a firearm at the victim demanding money. The victim complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported.
DEA Launches New Program To Combat Opioid Epidemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching a new effort in Nevada to combat the opioid epidemic.