Former Dinosaur marshal arrested

District attorney to file felony charges

The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed criminal charges early Thursday evening against former Dinosaur town marshal Russell "Wayne" Eller.

In a press release issued Wednesday, District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said her office was preparing to file three counts of attempting to influence a public servant, a class 4 felony, against Eller.

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The charges stem from Eller allegedly falsifying his application and resume, and misleading the Dinosaur town council in an attempt to sway votes for personal gain, according to the arrest warrant.

Messages left for Eller on his home and cellular telephones were not returned Thursday. His attorney, Charles Feldman, of Steamboat Springs, had no comment.

Eller, 56, was Dinosaur's town marshal from March to June 2006, when town officials fired him.

Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Eller Wednesday night at his Steamboat Springs home on a Moffat County warrant. He was booked into Routt County Jail at 11 p.m.

The jail reported Eller posted $10,000 bond early Thursday morning and was released.

The district attorney's office began an investigation into Eller in June, shortly after Dinosaur fired him. DA investigator Joe DeAngelo conducted the investigation, which concluded in March, and prepared the 30-page arrest warrant.

Eller's resume indicates he worked 12 years with the Rowan County Sheriff's Dep-artment in North Carolina. Two of those years were as a reserve deputy, and 10 years were spent in a special division, according to the resume.

It also boasts of a 100-percent conviction rate.

His resume also indicates that, with the North Carolina Department of Insurance, he investigated arson, fraud and bonded securities, again with a 100-percent conviction rate.

He is credited with successfully investigating and convicting doctors, lawyers and a police officer in the largest insurance fraud case in North Carolina history, according to the resume.

Eller also claimed to have graduated with a professional law enforcement degree from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina.

However, DeAngelo's arrest warrant takes issue with several aspects of Eller's resume, his service with Dinosaur and educational background.

According to the warrant, Eller worked four years and 10 months for the Rowan County Sheriff's Office as a reserve deputy, a position utilized "almost exclusively for special details such as the county fair."

Reserve deputies' work "is very limited in scope and time commitment," according to the warrant.

DeAngelo said the department of insurance portion of Eller's resume still is under investigation.

Through an administrator at Pfeiffer College, DeAngelo reported Eller earned 97.5 hours toward a criminal justice degree, but did not complete the program. None of those courses were graduate level, as Eller's resume states.

The arrest warrant goes on to report other discrepancies between what Eller allegedly told Dinosaur town officials regarding his resume, hours of work and investigations, and what was found during DeAngelo's probe.

Deputy District Attorney Ed Veronda is handling the case for the prosecution.

He said negotiations to resolve the case between the district attorney's office and Eller and Feldman were unsuccessful.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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