FARMINGTON  — A warrant was filed Thursday morning for the arrest of a 29-year-old woman who allegedly stole more than $14,000 from a youth baseball league in Kirtland.

Janelle Poyer, of Kirtland, is wanted on suspicion of embezzling nearly $15,000 from the Lower Valley Amateur Baseball Congress, said San Juan County Sheriff's Office Lt. Cory Tanner. Poyer is expected to be charged with a third-degree felony.

She had not been arrested Thursday night.

“She still has been in communication with us,” Tanner said. “She'll be picked up soon.”
Lower Valley is a youth baseball league for 4- to 14-year-olds in Kirtland. About 200 children are in the league.

According to the affidavit for Poyer's arrest, the league's board members contacted the sheriff's office April 2 and said that Poyer had been writing checks to herself for cash from the league's bank account without permission.

Poyer had a son who played in the league, and she volunteered as the league secretary.

The affidavit stated that Poyer cashed 20 checks from July 2012 to April 2. The checks totaled $14,670.

According to the affidavit, the league also believes that Poyer may have taken registration fees and money from the league's concession stands last year. Poyer was also in charge of operating the concession stands and had access to the league's bank account in order to buy food.

On April 3, San Juan County Sheriff's Office Detective Katie Macsalka asked Poyer about the missing money. Poyer originally denied taking money and said she was a victim of identity theft.

According to the affidavit, Poyer admitted to the embezzlement after Macsalka said that the signatures on the checks matched Poyer's signatures on league registration forms.

Poyer told Macsalka that she used the money to pay for utility and car repair bills, according to the affidavit.

No one answered the door at Poyer's home in Kirtland on Thursday afternoon.

League vice president Ty Vaughan said that opening day was delayed for a week, and the league has a $3,000 unpaid bill for uniforms. The league is also struggling to pay for tournaments and umpires because of the lost money, he said.

“We don't have enough money to do anything,” he said.

To raise money, the league is hosting a camp for youth baseball players from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 4 at Ruth N. Bond Elementary, 5 County Road 6575, in Kirtland.

Vaughan said local sponsors have chipped in to help the cash-strapped baseball teams. Zia Sporting Goods and 7-2-11 Food Stores have each donated $1,800 to the league, he said.

Ryan Boetel can be reached at; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @RBoetel.