A Columbus woman with a felony record accused of recently leading law enforcement on a high-speed vehicle chase through residential areas in town is scheduled to appear in Platte County Court before Judge Frank Skorupa in mid-January.
Andrea J. Castillo, 20, faces five felony charges stemming from the Dec. 14 incident that led police to discover an assortment of narcotics and contraband inside of a stolen vehicle, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.
The woman, represented by Public Defender Tim Matas, is charged with theft/receiving stolen property in the amount of $5,000-plus, a Class IIA felony; being in possession of a deadly weapon while committing a felony, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, both Class III felonies; operating a motor vehicle while avoiding arrest, being in possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, both Class IV felonies; carrying a concealed weapon first offense, a Class I misdemeanor; and willful reckless driving, a Class III misdemeanor.
Class III felonies carry a maximum sentence of serving up to four years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both; Class IIA felony a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, Class IV felony a maximum of two years in prison, $10,000 fine or both; Class I misdemeanor not more than a year in prison, $1,000 fine or both; and Class III misdemeanor a maximum of three months incarceration.
Castillo was arrested on Dec. 15. Columbus Police Officer Lauren Polak at approximately 11:24 p.m. on Dec. 14 conducted a traffic stop after observing a blue Honda CR-V bearing a Nebraska license plate traveling south on Third Avenue with a broken tail light, court records show.
Conducting a traffic stop in the 300 block of 19th Street, Polak was advised by Columbus Dispatch prior to approaching the vehicle that the plate number had been reported stolen. Police said that multiple verbal commands were given to the driver and that (she) failed to comply and proceeded to vacate the area at rapid speed.
While driving through residential areas, Castillo is accused of traveling at speeds in excess of 60 mph and failing to stop at multiple stop signs and traffic lights within city limits. The pursuit continued westbound on U.S. Highway 81 before turning south on Nebraska Highway 22, court records show. The vehicle ultimately came to a rest in a ditch in the area of 308th Avenue and Highway 22.
Court records show Castillo – later identified through her driver’s license -- was placed under arrest. While on the scene, Polak was able to identify the car's VIN and confirm that it was stolen out of Omaha, according to the affidavit she compiled. The vehicle was estimated to be $6,000.
Completing a vehicle search, the officer allegedly located two small baggies in the glove box containing a white crystal-like substance which field tested positive as being meth. She also located another bag containing multiple small baggies similar to the baggies containing the methamphetamine, court records show. Next to the baggies the officer subsequently located a digital scale.
Also allegedly located was a large Bowie knife wedged between the driver seat and center console and a box of 9mm handgun ammunition on the passenger floor. A Ruger Security-9, 9mm semi-automatic handgun was found underneath the passenger side of the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Castillo, who was transported to the Platte County Detention Center, is currently still being detained on a $100,000 bond with a 10-percent option. She is scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2019, in county court for a hearing.
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.