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OKANOGAN - A Granite Falls man was charged Nov. 20 in Okanogan County Superior Court with several drug and theft-related charges.

Alden Mitchel Buchholz, 36, was arrested Nov. 16 in Winthrop. He was charged four days later with possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana (heroin), use of drug paraphernalia, second-degree vehicle prowling, theft of mail-accomplice liability, making or having burglar tools and unlawful factoring of credit card or payment card transactions,

The Okanogan County contract public defender was appointed to represent him.

A report by the Winthrop Marshal’s Office was filed with the charging document as a probable cause statement.

According to the report, the marshal’s office was contacted Nov. 10 by Don Carlson, who said his wife’s purse was missing from their vehicle. They had parked in town and she left her purse in the vehicle when they left.

Christina Carlson allegedly told the deputy her purse contained her driver’s license, two Visa cards and a cellphone.

Don Carlson later called the marshal’s office and said he’d been notified by one of the Visa issuers of six fraudulent transactions on the card for a total of $368.12 for three transactions that went through and $615.44 for two transactions that were denied, the report said. The amount for the sixth attempted transaction was not included in the report.

Some of the transactions were in Twisp and some in Omak.

Charges on the second card totaled $277.49, according to the report. Those charges were incurred in Everett, Arlington and through a video rental service based in Illinois, the report said.

Through surveillance video, investigators were able to identify Buchholz as the suspect. Brown residue suspected to be heroin allegedly was found on a rolled-up dollar bill in his possession when he was arrested.

A second Winthrop Marshal’s Office report alleged the vehicle in which Buchholz had been riding was searched and a syringe with brown liquid substance, several pill bottles and pills, digital scale, reloadable debit cards, a professional credit card stamping machine and various other items were located.

Mail and other items from all over Washington also were in the vehicle, the second report said.

Buchholz posted bond of $25,000. Bond was forfeited when Buchholz did not show up for arraignment on Nov. 25. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued.

A review hearing is set for Feb. 24, 2020.

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