Former Washoe County Sheriff’s Sergeant Dennis Carry on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges, including bigamy – being married to two different people at the same time.
Carry is also accused of burglary, forgery, surreptitious intrusion of privacy, giving false evidence and perjury.
The case goes back to 2019 when Reno police started investigating Carry. He is alleged to have broken into the Washoe County courthouse to modify married records in an attempt to cover up his dual marriages.
“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,” Reno Police Detective Trenton Johnson wrote in a criminal affidavit.
Carry is alleged to have tried to cover his tracks by traveling to Las Vegas using his WCSO-issued credit card and under his fake, law-enforcement identity of Dennis James to mail documents from Vegas to Reno.
He was granted the undercover identity by WCSO and the FBI in 2007, 2011 and 2015. The WCSO refused to say how many other officers have undercover identities, but a public records request for payroll to Washoe County in 2021 showed that number to be 42.
Carry, who previously investigated internet crimes for the sheriff’s office, retired from the WCSO while charges against him were pending. At least three people investigated by Carry, and found guilty, have reached out to This Is Reno to say they were falsely accused and faced trumped up charges by Carry.
He remained silent during a morning court hearing with his head bowed as the charges against him were read by Douglas County Judge Thomas Gregory. Carry also waived his right to a speedy trial.
Carry’s attorney Thomas Viloria said there were a number of “search and seizure issues” and sought to delay a jury trial, which is expected to take as long as a month.
Case bounces among courts
The case has been in Reno Justice Court, was moved to Sparks Justice Court and in February was moved to Washoe County’s Second Judicial District Court. That court’s judges were barred from presiding over the case due to the alleged burglaries at the court.
Carry’s attorney Tuesday afternoon filed a motion to disqualify the Washoe County court from holding the trial, even after the Douglas County judge took over the case.
“Disqualification of the entire Second Judicial District Court is proper when the court is a named victim,” Viloria wrote.
He said court employees will be testifying as witnesses, a court divorce decree is alleged to be forged by Carry, jurors will be under the control of a court’s bailiff and jurors will be asked to determine Carry’s guilt or innocence in Washoe County.
Gregory made no ruling on the motion. He instead scheduled hearings for Viloria and Washoe County Chief Deputy District Attorney Luke Prengaman to argue over motions prior to a trial.
Pre-trial motions are scheduled to be heard for four days later this year. Prengaman said the jury trial could take about a month. That is scheduled for February of 2024.
“There’s hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery,” Viloria said.
Nearly two dozen witnesses are named in the complaint against Carry. They include WCSO employees Carry is alleged to have secretly recorded using a device purchased off Amazon.
Carry remains free
Carry has not served time for the alleged crimes he’s facing. He was released from Washoe County jail after being arrested in January of 2021 on his own recognizance without bail.
He was under house arrest and had to wear an ankle monitor. But in August of 2021 the Reno Justice Court removed his house arrest condition provided he kept wearing his GPS ankle monitor. The Sparks Justice Court in February then granted a request to remove the GPS tracker.
He is allowed to travel within the U.S. but his passport is kept by Reno police.
Carry’s attorney on Wednesday said he may need it back to travel to Canada for work.