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Fugitive with California gang ties arrested after traffic stop in North Idaho

A deputy stopped a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Richie W. Michelson, that was allegedly speeding Sunday in Dalton Gardens.

DALTON GARDENS, Idaho — A recent traffic stop resulted in the arrest of a man wanted on a federal warrant for murder, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.

A deputy stopped a vehicle driven by Richie W. Michelson, 39, that was allegedly speeding Sunday in Dalton Gardens. It was discovered that Michelson was wanted on a full extradition warrant related to a murder that occurred in California.

The warrant was entered into the National Crime Information Center database in July, deputies said, but additional details were unavailable Tuesday.

Michelson was also wanted on a separate warrant out of California for violating the terms of his probation.

He waived his right to an extradition hearing Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. That means the U.S. Marshals Service or another law enforcement agency will return him to California.

Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris said the arrest illustrates there is no such thing as a “routine traffic stop.”

“We have to be vigilant and on our toes on every single traffic stop,” he said.

Michelson, also known as “Noodles,” has connections to the Nuestra Familia prison gang, according to court documents.

Court documents also show that Michelson was convicted in 2013 of racketeering conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance with intention to distribute, both felonies. In 2017, he received a sentence of time served with three years of supervised probation.

The charges were originally filed in connection to the deaths of two people who were found in a burning apartment in Oakland, Calif. in September 2011.

The Mercury News reported in 2013 that an autopsy revealed the victims had sustained multiple stab wounds. Authorities said they believed the fire was set to cover up the killings.

Two members of the Nuestra Familia gang were later convicted of using fire to commit a felony, as well as obstruction of justice, and received lengthy prison sentences.

Michelson is reported to have violated the terms of his probation numerous times between 2017 and 2021, according to court documents.

He was arrested several times in California during that period and charged with crimes including felony possession of a stolen vehicle, misdemeanor battery of a spouse, felony stalking and 11 counts of violating a protection order.

Michelson was released from jail in Alameda County, Calif., in May and was ordered to enter a 90-day residential treatment program at an addiction recovery center.

Though he had a Coeur d’Alene address at the time of his arrest, it’s unclear how long Michelson has been in the area or if he completed the court-ordered treatment in California.

He has no criminal history in Kootenai County, police said.

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.

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