A faux divorce
Former Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Sergeant Dennis Carry began dating a federal prosecutor while he was still married to his first wife. Court records show that Carry and the prosecutor were married in May of 2018, but he had never divorced his first wife. That’s according to Reno Police (RPD) investigators.
The case RPD outlined against Carry appeared to be motivated primarily by one thing: creating the illusion for his new wife that he was divorced from his first wife.
To do that, investigators said, Carry went to extraordinary lengths to create a ruse about being divorced from his first wife.
“Dennis used his work to excuse his absence from both women for large periods of time to conduct after hours investigations and travel for training and teaching while he was actually staying with the other woman,” RPD Detective Trenton Johnson wrote in a criminal affidavit.
The ruse, he said, went back as far as 2015 when Carry rented an apartment on South Virginia Street.
“Only [the second wife] knew about this and stated that it was further evidence to her that Dennis was indeed in the process of divorcing his wife and no longer in an intimate relationship with [the first wife],” Johnson wrote.
The couple started planning a wedding and bought a home together in 2017.
“[The new bride] described Dennis telling her that he was still working on the divorce documents through this period; however, [the first wife] was making excuses to not sign the documents,” the affidavit states. “Throughout the process of them purchasing a home, emails (obtained through search warrants) indicated the lenders and real estate agents were requiring documentation as evidence to qualify for the home loan and repeatedly asked for Dennis’ divorce paperwork.”
Carry was further questioned about his marital status and why his name was still on his house with his first wife.
“Dennis responded that he was in the process of divorcing [his first wife] and would provide them with the correct documentation in time for closing of the new home,” the RPD detective noted.
His first wife was reportedly unaware. According to the affidavit, she “provided several examples of text messaging between her and Dennis that depicted a healthy and loving relationship void of any discord. Further the texts indicated that she had no reason to believe that he did not live with her, as they depicted expectations for his return home after shifts and work-related trips, intimacy in the relationship, planning meals together, and discussing their son.”
But autopay notices in bank statements tipped off the first wife that Carry had been paying a Charter bill at two homes — theirs and the apartment on South Virginia Street.
“Why are you paying the Charter bill there every month?” she asked him.
“Positive I’m not living there,” he responded. He would later tell detectives he was using the apartment “to run a bitcoin mining operation.” A limited liability company listing Carry as its only member, called Soteria Shield, was created in April of 2019, according to records on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.
In March of 2018, detectives said Carry applied for an E-Flex account at Washoe County’s Second Judicial Court. That account gives applicants access to court files. Image files of his first wife’s signature also appeared in Carry’s Dropbox, an online cloud file storage service.
“At 5:55 p.m. Dennis’ iPhone Cellular Connection was resumed. His GPS location showed to be at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.”
“Dennis later stated to me that he created this account to check on the status of his purported submitted divorce documents which he could not find on the court’s website,” Johnson wrote. “This statement is contradicted by the purported divorce initiating documents that were purportedly marked as filed with the courts after the date he opened this account.”
Detectives also noted that, using his undercover detective identity, Carry created a profile with the National Notary Association.
“Emails additionally showed that Dennis purchased a bond to become a notary in the name of Dennis James on the same day,” Johnson wrote. That was to create a property document for his first wife to sign.
It became clear by 2018 something with Carry was amiss. The women had already caught on to inconsistencies in Carry’s statements. Detectives interviewed them both.
“[Carry’s first wife] found a wedding registry on theknot.com which depicted that Dennis and [his new bride] were due to be married on May 24, 2018,” Johnson reported.
His first wife ultimately issued a statement to a local court indicating the revelation of the alleged scam. She wanted a divorce.
“It appears [Carry] created documents … in a fraudulent manner to convince [wife number two] and others that he was divorced from [wife number one], although husband remains married to Plaintiff Wife,” his first wife, through attorneys, wrote in a court document.
A trip to Las Vegas
By early 2019, it was clear Carry was now under investigation for bigamy, but detectives said he was still trying to cover his tracks. He is alleged to have used his WCSO credit card to fly on Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas in order to mail a document from Las Vegas to Reno.
“On February 28, 2019 … after the argument with [his second wife] where she confronted him about the lack of evidence that he had provided regarding the communication between himself and the purported suspect company DSPNV (Divorce Services Paralegals Nevada), Dennis’ iPhone launched the Southwest application… (His heart rate was at 107 beats per minute per his iPhone and iWatch),” Johnson reported.
A round trip ticket to Las Vegas was purchased for March 1, 2019 with a return back to Reno that afternoon. Using his undercover identity of Dennis James, Carry flew to Vegas, but not before doing internet searches for U.S. Postal Service locations in Las Vegas. Johnson said Carry printed 30 pages on a WCSO printer prior to the flight, Johnson noted.
“The divorce decree and initiating documents are 15 pages each,” Johnson wrote. “Of note is that the divorce documents purportedly received by Dennis and presented to me on March 8, 2019 were in black and white, unlike the other purported certified copies which were in color.”
Carry arrived in Vegas March 1 just before 1 p.m., Johnson wrote. His iPhone connected to the McCarran International Airport Wi-Fi at 12:55 p.m. Manilla envelopes with divorce documents, using the DPSNV return address, were sent the same day from Las Vegas.
“At 5:55 p.m. Dennis’ iPhone Cellular Connection was resumed. His GPS location showed to be at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. At 5:59 p.m., Flight #572 arrived at the gate at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport,” Johnson documented.
The second wife was proceeding in court to separate from Carry in 2019, after details of the investigation started coming to light.
“Prior to the Petitioners’ marriage…Carry was married to [a first wife],” a statement to the court indicated. “[Wife number two] has been informed that [Carry] hired a document filing company, now believed to be known as ‘DSPNV,’ which allegedly stands for Divorce Services Paralegals Nevada, in order [to] file the documents related to his divorce from [wife number one].”
The second wife said she was informed no divorce records could be found at the Second Judicial District Court.
“It appears [Carry] may not have been validly divorced on the date of the Petitioners’ wedding,” she wrote. “[Wife number two] believed that [Carry] was validly divorced at the time of the marriage, but it appears that he may not have been, based on the current information…”
By mid-2019, though, both divorces were proceeding through court. A divorce decree from Carry’s first wife was entered into in September of 2019. A month later, the court declared the marriage to the second wife null.
“The initial [divorce] decree cannot be located in the files and records of the Second Judicial District Court,” a judge wrote.
That’s because, RPD claimed, Carry forged the document he provided to his then second wife.
The criminal complaint against Carry stated the bigamy charge like this:
“Defendant DENNIS BRYAN CARRY, on, about, or between May 24, 2018, and March 1, 2019, within the County of Washoe, State of Nevada, did willfully have two spouses at one time, knowing that the former spouse was still alive, and did cohabitate with the second spouse in the State of Nevada after having been married to the second spouse outside of this State,” Johnson wrote.
To do that, Johnson wrote, Carry broke into the courthouse after hours under the guise of investigating a child pornographer.
Read part three tomorrow: The break-ins.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.