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Sat, Feb. 22

3 deputy county attorneys honored

PRESCOTT - Three Deputy Yavapai County Attorneys were given awards by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council (APAAC) at its Summer Conference for excellence in performance of their duties.

Scott Blake was honored with the Arizona Outstanding Felony Prosecutor Award for his efforts in the legal battle against synthetic drugs known as "spice" or "bath salts." Because state laws specify chemical compounds, the drug makers would simply change one ingredient and keep selling the product.

Blake instead worked to obtain temporary restraining orders against the sellers of synthetic drugs in the county, and then to make those orders permanent in December 2012.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said, "Scott's outside-the-box approach was absolutely critical. Scott's creativity as a prosecutor made Yavapai County a statewide and national leader in addressing the dangers of synthetic drugs."

She noted that his "ingenuity" led to "tough new controls" on the drugs.

Tanaaz Wheeler was awarded Arizona Outstanding Juvenile Prosecutor by APAAC. She handles about half of the county's juvenile delinquency cases, deals with juvenile appeals, and also prosecutes misdemeanors in Seligman Justice Court.

"Given Tanaaz's dedication, legal skills, and impeccable ethics, I can think of no other juvenile prosecutor more deserving" of the award, Polk said.

Rachel Heintz, who joined the County Attorney's Office in February 2012, was awarded the APAAC Arizona Prosecutor Rising Star Award. In under a year, Heintz moved from prosecuting misdemeanor offenses in justice courts to handling felony cases "It is very clear that Rachel has a bright future," Polk said.

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