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4 arrested, stolen items recovered from house

All of the suspects have been arraigned at the 77th District Court in Reed City.
Credit: Adobe

AETNA, Mich. — The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office has executed a search warrant at a home in Aetna Township, which resulted in the arrest of four people. It came after a tip  that a wanted fugitive was armed and staying there.  It happened on Wednesday afternoon, September 21 at 2:30 p.m. 

Mecosta County requested help from the Newaygo County Emergency Response Team.

Investigators say the wanted fugitive, 43-year-old Aaron Fankhauser, tried to escape from parole and the Michigan Department of Corrections Absconder Recovery Unit and the local MDOC Probation/ Parole Office were notified. 

The suspect fled on foot into a swampy area behind the home, but was eventually caught by K9 officers from both counties.

Deputies also found several others inside the house. They were taken into custody.. 

They then searched the home and recovered two stolen handguns. They also found a stolen snowmobile trailer with two stolen snowmobiles inside. 

All of the individuals arrested have been arraigned at the 77th District Court in Reed City

Aaron Fankhauser is being charged with:

  • 2 counts of Firearms Possession by a Felon, 
  • 2 counts of Felony Firearms
  • Possession of Stolen Property 

He remains in custody on a $75,000 bond. 

37-year-old Shawn Neilson was charged with:

  • 2 counts of Firearms Possession by a Felon, 
  • 2 counts of Felony Firearms
  • Possession of Stolen Property 

She remains in custody on a $35, 000 bond. 

42-year-old Sarah Ballard was charged with Possessions of Methamphetamine and remains in custody on a $35,000 bond.  

51-year-old Walter Geistel was arrested for having three warrants and has a $2,000 bond.

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