Crime - Sacto 911

Shingle Springs tribal chairman’s daughter booked on assault charge in El Dorado County

Holly Fonseca
Holly Fonseca El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office

The daughter of the tribal chairman of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians was arrested this week after allegedly threatening two men with a shotgun in an incident that started when a victim said he declined the woman’s offer to pierce his nose.

Holly Fonseca, 28, daughter of tribal Chairman Nicholas Fonseca, was booked Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats. The Shingle Springs Band, which owns Red Hawk Casino, said Wednesday it was fully cooperating with the investigation.

During a wild series of events that started Sunday during a night of drinking, a man whom she is accused of threatening told police he pretended to call Nicholas Fonseca to get his daughter to go away. The victim’s name was not released.

El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies were called about 7:40 a.m. Monday to a home in the 5100 block of Brush Ridge Road in Shingle Springs on an assault with a deadly weapon call. Deputies spoke with the apparent victim, who said a woman had just sped away from the property in a vehicle. The victim and another man, Mihai “Mike” Popescu, were at the home, where there were numerous broken items and what appeared to be blood.

Several rooms in the house were being used to grow marijuana. The home contained about 350 plants and a suspected honey oil lab, a highly explosive operation that uses butane fuel in the concentration of cannabis, the Sheriff’s Office said. Popescu, 26, was arrested on an outstanding warrant and suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

He and Fonseca have been released on bail and are awaiting formal charges from the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

The victim said the incident started when he was drinking Sunday night with Holly Fonseca at her house on rancheria property. A drunken Fonseca, he alleged, wanted to pierce his nose, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The man refused the piercing. Fonseca allegedly attacked him before fetching a shotgun and threatening the man and his friend, authorities said.

“Because they were on rancheria property, she said the rules are different and she could kill and bury them without anyone caring,” said a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Shingle Springs Rancheria security officers arrived after hearing the disturbance. Fonseca allegedly tried to hide the shotgun but security offers found the weapon.

The victim said he asked security officers to call sheriff’s deputies, but officers said they would contact tribal police.

The officers then transported the man to his friend’s home. Fonseca allegedly followed them and refused to leave, attacking the victim again, according to the news release.

Fonseca then left, but returned and threw rocks at the house and pounded on the doors, according to the victim.

“The victim pretended to call Holly’s father, tribal chairman Nicholas Fonseca, hoping she would leave,” the news release said. “The ruse worked and Holly left.”

The victim then called the Sheriff’s Office to report the assault.

Deputies spoke to rancheria security officers who told them they gave the shotgun allegedly used in the incident to Nicholas Fonseca. Tribal administrator Ernest Vargas helped the deputies to retrieve the shotgun and also locate Holly Fonseca.

She returned to the victim’s house on Monday where she met deputies and was arrested.

The tribe declined to make Holly and Nicholas Fonseca available for interviews. Holly Fonseca does not hold an official position in the tribe.

“It’s not a tribal issue,” said Kim Stoll, a Shingles Springs Band spokeswoman.

“The arrest and marijuana grow happened off tribal land. Essentially, she is an El Dorado resident that was arrested in El Dorado County.”

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.