Thursday, October 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Records tie Vacaville pastor to meth probe

By
From page A1 | January 23, 2014 |

The Rev. Mark W. Lewis

The Rev. Mark W. Lewis

FAIRFIELD — The church pastor being investigated for a possible role in the Jan. 9 firebombing of the Vacaville home of his ex-girlfriend was under police investigation for the past two years for possible methamphetamine dealing, according to court records obtained Wednesday.

The Rev. Mark W. Lewis, 39, of the Fellowship Baptist Church, was arrested the day after the fire but he quickly posted $500,000 bail. Prosecutors have not filed any criminal charges against him but say the case is still being investigated.

Lewis has previously said he had no involvement with the arson and is being framed by three homeless people who were arrested near the scene of the fire. The trio, Anthony Newbolt, 33, of Sacramento; Richerd Wright, 28, of Sacramento; and Kristen Broyles, 30, of Citrus Heights are scheduled to be in court Thursday. They have pleaded not guilty to arson and other felony charges.

Authorities say a search of the church and Lewis’ adjacent home north of Vacaville after the arson attack turned up methamphetamine, an illegal handgun and evidence police say links Lewis to the crime.

Court records filed this week by an undercover Vacaville police narcotics investigator report he has been told by at least three informants in the past two years that Lewis has possessed and distributed methamphetamine and has conspired in burglaries, vandalism and witness intimidation. The informants talked to police “to get Lewis from ruining the lives of his constituents.”

Lewis did not attend a Wednesday hearing in which his ex-girlfriend was issued a three-year extension to a recently issued restraining order that bars Lewis from having any contact with her.

Police say Newbolt, Wright and Broyles, two of them ex-cons, independently said Lewis paid them to throw a Molotov cocktail through a living room window of the ex-girlfriend’s Chateau Circle home late at night where six people, including three children, were staying. Newbolt told police Lewis had an ounce of methamphetamine with him on Jan. 7 when they went to a casino and that they shared methamphetamine the next day, just hours before the arson, according to court records.

Police are reviewing cellphone records to confirm claims by the trio that they had communicated with Lewis shortly before and immediately after the arson attack.

The ex-girlfriend told reporters that Lewis used his role as a pastor to manipulate and use people. Her claims are echoed by three different people who in the last two years have told police that Lewis would gain the trust of vulnerable people by providing them food, shelter and comfort – things like cars and cellphones. Then he would pressure them to do his bidding, which included things like getting him methamphetamine and vandalizing and victimizing the property of people who wandered away from his sphere of influence, according to court records.

On Christmas morning, the ex-girlfriend discovered the windshield of her car, which was in her driveway, had been shattered. She reported the vandalism to police and blamed Lewis, who told police he had nothing to do with the incident.

The next day the ex-girlfriend received text messages from a blocked phone number that read: “Keep the police away from the church and Mark,” “Simple – no more cops, more peace,” “Sometimes people do things they wish they didn’t, don’t be one of those people,” “What are cops involved for” and “Get cops off his back.”

On New Year’s Day, the ex-girlfriend found her car had been vandalized again. Lewis once again told police he had nothing to do with it. A few days later, another window of her car was smashed and a small fire burned some bushes in the front yard of her home.

Efforts to contact Lewis were not successful. The church’s telephone has been disconnected.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 10 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Skeptic ScroogeJanuary 23, 2014 - 3:17 am

    Wonder how many other area churches are involved in the meth ring... While most are legit, I have my doubts about the recent "new church" groups. Groups... Or possible gangs funneling money, like the mafia and pizza places in the days of Capone. The police May want to keep an eye on those on the payrole especially at these new churches over the last two to three years.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • archieJanuary 23, 2014 - 3:42 am

    Goes to show you that even churches are no longer respectable institutions. Guys like this thrive on being in position resembling power and use it to manipulate. But I guess meth isn't as bad as some of the perverted Catholic priests.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 23, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Archie, seems like you could say the same thing about government... they are no longer respectable institutions because the guys in government thrive on being in a position resembling power and use it to manipulate. Perhaps you could say the same thing about Wall Street. I suspect what you are saying is that followers of Christ are no longer respectable because of Mark Lewis. Is that what you're saying?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • archieJanuary 23, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    The Mister,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, not just Lewis who makes religion look ridiculous. Religion doesn't seem as relevant or believable as it once was to us sheeple. Logic pretty much makes religion seem silly and these guys are helping people "see the light".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 23, 2014 - 7:13 am

    This guy is little different than all those before him. Take advantage of the timid and weak, abuse the power of the almighty hoax. Many would probably be surprised to learn about the practices and lifestyles of the Televangelists (too many to list), PTL and 700 clubs of years past and everyone that has taken the same path. Shameful.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 23, 2014 - 10:42 am

    CD, there have been many who have perverted the meaning of Christ and the Gospel to their own end. Very much like many who have perverted science for their own ends. Why don't we just stipulate that a majority of people are liars, crooks, fraudsters... sinners. Seems like there would be something to be done with sinners. Any idea?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 23, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    The Mister, I answer to a Constitutional law and "sinning" means nothing to me in those terms. I do not recognize "sinning" because that is part of a dogma I deny exists. I think religion is a terrible hoax. These "copy-cat" scam-artists are nothing new and if I were in the clergy, I would be very worried. People are tired of the lies and deceit, they are waking up. That has been my goal so for me to suggest a "sinner" be punished, I'd have to say no. The real law breakers are actually running the very institutions that created the myth in the first place they are the ones needing punishment. Bad juju, Karma dude.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-curse-of-juju-that-drives-sex-slaves-to-europe-2264337.htmlJanuary 23, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Google....The curse of 'juju' that drives sex slaves to Europe By Jenny Kleeman Thursday 07 April 2011

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ENEDINA GARCIAJanuary 23, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    WOW NOW EVEN THE MEN OF CLOTH ARE IN THE DRUG BUSSINESS AND WE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE ABLE TO CONFIDED IN AND NOW WHO CAN WE TRUST IN?SO WE NEED TO REALLY THINK BEFORE WE TRUST SOMEONE EVEN THOSE OF THE CHURCH.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SMJanuary 23, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    you said it! Someone once told me "always question authority" and I always try to keep my ears and eyes open. Trust your instincts and trust God, but do not trust people so easily anymore. Desperate times call for desperate measures? Maybe, but drugs, guns, bombs in church, really scary stuff.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Head-on crash sends 2 to trauma centers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Vacaville man earns Carnegie heroism medal

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Mundy fifth-graders share their thoughts

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Veterans meet set in November

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots meet next week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Bevy of vintage warbirds expected at Nut Tree air show

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
 
Weather for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

Fairfield police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California Catholics challenge abortion order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

San Francisco expands free public Wi-Fi access

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Man convicted of murder in killing over loud music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Poll: Divided voters still focus on economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Respiratory virus seen in 4 deaths; role unclear

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

920 California chickens killed with golf club

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Liberia short on ambulances for Ebola patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Wife of slain Los Angeles-area mayor released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ebola patient told hospital he was from Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Caltrans: Bay Bridge tower rods exposed to water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Secret Service chief quits due to security lapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

2 children in Los Angeles County have enterovirus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Infant’s body found in California trash facility

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Mexico’s probe of army slayings raises doubts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

John Wayne’s heirs lose ‘Duke’ legal brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

App teaches kindergartners basic computer coding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
2 white Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoon: Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Crazy? Violent? Lose your guns

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
It’s time to teach history

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

Read this column ASAP or immediately

By Reg Henry | From Page: A11

 
Real reasons neighborhoods are in trouble

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 2, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Our son’s suicide has made us feel like outcasts in our community

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Steinem: Domestic violence discussion a positive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Orange is the New Black’ author talks Season 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tony Bennett sets mark as oldest act with No. 1 LP

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lena Dunham launches tour for book of adult essays

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Interstellar’ to be released 2 days early on film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Bumgarner, Giants silence Pirates 8-0 to advance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s part ways a day after 12-inning loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

49ers prepare for familiar face in Chiefs Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders leave for bye after meeting with new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

College notebook: Former Falcon Williams tearing it up as Torero

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Prep cross country: Armijo rolls to sweep at MEL center meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Drivers fear next round of NASCAR’s Chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
JC volleyball: Solano wins twice in Falcons Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

JC women’s soccer: Sjoberg nets 2 goals as Solano ties Chabot

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prep water polo: Rodriguez boys swim to 11-1 win over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep girls tennis: Stybnarova earns victory at No. 1 singles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Tigers hope starters can outdo Orioles bullpen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Wambach, players file lawsuit over World Cup turf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oslo latest city to drop out of 2022 Olympic race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Cardinals re-sign Fairfield High graduate Bishop

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

 
LeBron warmly welcomed ‘home’ by Cleveland fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Trout makes playoff debut when Angels host Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Stocks start October with a drop

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
GM looks to new vehicles, China to boost profit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why the bond market is more fragile than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Laura M. Gerdes-Lemmons

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9