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Friday, May 9, 2003

Man charged with felony DUI A man involved in a three-vehicle wreck last weekend was charged with felony driving under the influence Thursday.

The charge is the first felony DUI for David Michael Boyd, 45, Deputy Attorney Christopher Morris said, but he was convicted of DUI twice in 1996, in 1992, 1988 and 1986. Boyd was also charged with misdemeanor driving while his license was suspended. Judge Pedro Hernandez said he believes Boyd is a danger to the community and ordered him held in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Boyd was arrested by the Montana Highway Patrol on May 3 while officers were investigating a three-vehicle crash at Fourth Avenue North and Main Street. No one was seriously injured and vehicle damage was minor, according to the MHP.

MHP Officer Rick Starks said he walked up to the green Chevy Blazer Boyd had been driving and when Boyd, who had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, turned to look at Starks, Boyd almost fell down, according to court records. Boyd refused to perform sobriety tests and would not submit a breath sample.

Boyd is to appear Monday in District Court.

2 released in hay arson Two co-defendants in an arson fire were released on their own recognizance this week.

Kelly Jo Weaver and Drew John Lehfedlt, both 19, are charged in connection with a June 22, 2002, fire on the West End that destroyed hay worth more than $65,000. Both were released without bond after voluntarily appearing in Justice Court. They are scheduled to appear in District Court where they will enter pleas. An attorney was in Justice Court with Lehfedlt; Weaver asked that a public defender be appointed to defend her.

Weaver, of 206 Fairpark Drive, is charged with felony arson by accountability. Lehfedlt, of 2232 Yellowstone Ave., is charged with felony arson. Also charged with felony arson are Dustin James Jensen, 20, of 1806 Greystone Drive, and Nathan Scribner, 22, of 1117 12th St. W. Lehfedlt pleaded not guilty in District Court and was released on $2,500 bond. Scribner, who posted $50,000 bond, also pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said Weaver drove the three men to the corner of 64th Street West and Grand Avenue last June where the men are accused of using a lighter and fireworks to start 1,100 bales of hay on fire.

IRS warns of 2 new tax scams The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday warned of two tax scams by people who represent themselves as IRS employees.

In one scheme, a caller posing as an IRS employee tells a taxpayer he is entitled to a $4,000 refund because his relative is in the armed forces. The caller requests a credit card number to cover a $42 postage fee.

The scammer provides an actual toll-free IRS number as the call-back number to make the pitch seem legitimate. However, the scammer then makes numerous unauthorized purchases with the victim's credit card number.

IRS employees who call taxpayers do not ask for credit card numbers or request fees for payment of a refund, the IRS said.

In another scam, victims receive an e-mail that appears to be from the IRS. The e-mail contains links to a non-IRS Web site that asks for personal and financial information. Such information could be used to steal a person's identity and get access to financial data or accounts.

The IRS does not request sensitive personal or financial information by e-mail.

Taxpayers on the receiving end of one of these scams should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling the toll-free fraud referral hot line at 1-800-366-4484, faxing a complaint to (202) 927-7018 or writing to the TIGTA Hotline, P.O. Box 589, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044-0589.