On Sunday, December 18, 2022, at approximately 2:15 AM, the Oregon State Police Responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 199, near milepost 5, in Josephine County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a Toyota Prius, operated by Karlee Ann Hawley (22) of Grants Pass, was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Hwy 199, near milepost 5, when it struck a southbound Kia Sedona, operated by Kai He (51) of Kerby, head on. The operators of both vehicles died as a result of the collision. A passenger in the Kia, Yuhao Li (26) of Kerby, was transported to the Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
OSP was assisted by the Josephine County Sheriffs’ Office, Rural Metro Fire, AMR, and ODOT.
On Saturday, December 17, 2022, at approximately 5:56 PM, the Oregon State Police responded to single vehicle crash on Hwy 18, near milepost 15, in Polk County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a 2016 gray Toyota Avalon, operated by Brandy D. Terry (51) of Lincoln City, was traveling westbound on Hwy 18, near MP15, when it failed to negotiate a curve, left the highway for unknown reasons, and collided with a tree. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness reported the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it went left the highway. Speed is being considered as a contributing factor to the collision.
OSP was assisted by Grand Ronde Fire, the Polk County DA, the Polk County Medical Examiner, and ODOT.
On Friday, December 16, 2022, at approximately 4:00 PM, the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on HWY 234, near milepost 11, in Jackson County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a red Nissan Frontier, operated by James Robertson (81) of Central Point, was traveling westbound on Hwy 234, near Table Rock Rd. For unknown reasons the vehicle drifted onto the shoulder and struck a driveway embankment. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel.
OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriffs’ Office and ODOT.
OSP Central Point participating in a Saturation Patrol with Medford PD and Jackson County SO-Jackson County (Photo) – 12/20/22
Holiday Travel is upon us & the Oregon State Police is encouraging safe travel this holiday season. Our Area Commands consider locations, days of the week, and times of day when serious injury/fatal crashes occur around the state while conducting focused Saturation Patrols.
The Oregon State Police’s Central Point Office, alongside the Medford Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, is participating in a Saturation Patrol on December 23, 2023, between the hours of 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. The coverage area, will be primarily Highway 62 from the Big X intersection (Hwy 62, Hwy 238, Hwy 99), within the city limits of Medford to White City, including the Rogue Valley Expressway and Highway 62B (Crater Lake Highway).
This joint operation will focus on the enforcement of OSP’s Fatal 5- Speed, Occupant Safety, Lane Usage, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Driving. These categories of traffic violations have been proven to be the primary contributors to serious injury/fatal crashes.
With this and all saturation patrols, our goal is the public’s safety!
OSP knows our presence will alert drivers to stop the dangerous driving behaviors they might be engaging in.
The Oregon State Police will have extra patrols, continuing through the new year, focusing on the Fatal 5 with a specific emphasis on impaired driving.
Update- OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help to identify the person(s) responsible for the unlawful killing of three young Blacktail Deer bucks – Coos County (Photo) – 12/19/22
After a lengthy investigation into this case, Troopers were able to develop a suspect.
On December 5, 2022, OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers interviewed and ultimately charged Macen M. West (21) of North Bend, Oregon with the following crimes:
Take Game Mammal Closed Season (x3)
Waste of a Game Mammal (x3)
Hunting with the aid of Artificial Light
The rifle that is believed to have been used in the crimes was also seized during the investigation.
On March 23, 2021, three young Blacktail bucks were found by a citizen alongside a sand road on the North Spit of Coos Bay. All three deer were shot in the head from a relatively close range and were likely taken using artificial light at night. These deer were shot and left to waste. OSP Troopers estimate that the deer were killed sometime between March 19 – March 21, 2021. It is currently closed season for Blacktail Deer.
The Oregon State Police is requesting that any person with information about this incident contact the TIP line and leave information for Trooper John Cooper. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may also contact the Oregon State Police through the Turn in Poachers line at; TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (677).
** Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators**
The TIP program offers preference point rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals.
Preference Point Rewards:
* 5 Points-Bighorn Sheep
* 5 Points-Rocky Mountain Goat
* 5 Points-Moose
* 5 Points-Wolf
* 4 Points-Elk
* 4 Points-Deer
* 4 Points-Antelope
* 4 Points-Bear
* 4 Points-Cougar
Or the Oregon Hunters Association TIP reward fund also offers cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat, Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Cougar, Wolf, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Furbearers. Cash rewards can also be awarded for the unlawful take of Game Fish and Shellfish and for Habitat Destruction.
* $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat and Moose
* $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope
* $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf
* $300 Habitat Destruction
* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl
* $100 Furbearers
* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish
How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity:
TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (677)
TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us
On Friday, December 16, 2022, at approximately 6:33 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on HWY 99, near the 1900 block or mile post 1.75, in Josephine County.
The preliminary investigation indicated two pedestrians, Deverne Jacobsen (91) and Gwen Jacobsen (85) of Grants Pass were crossing Hwy 99 to attend a Christmas Party when they were stuck by a Toyota Tacoma traveling northbound on Hwy 99. Both pedestrians died as a result of injuries from the collision. The driver of the truck did not stop and fled the scene. The vehicle operator, Skylar Fucci (25) of Grants Pass, was contacted at approximately 9:15 P.M. and cooperated with the investigators.
Fucci was arrested lodged in the Josephine County Jail for two counts of Felony Hit and Run. The investigation is on-going and additional charges may be applied at a later time.
OSP was assisted by the Grants Pass Police Department and ODOT.
On Monday, December 12, 2022, at approximately 10:13 PM, the Oregon State Police Responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 99E, near mile post 34, in Marion County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a gray 2011 Lexus, operated by Moises Llamas Fernandez (27), of Salem, was traveling southbound on Hwy 99E when it left the roadway for an unknown reason and collided with a tree. The operator, Fernandez, and passenger, Pedro R Leon-Cueto (25), of Gervais, suffered fatal injuries during the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Speed and alcohol appear to be a contributing factor in the cause of the crash.
OSP was assisted by the Woodburn Fire Department, Woodburn Police Department, and ODOT.
OSP is seeking the public’s assistance on the 2nd anniversary of the fatal shooting of Kurt Krauss- Josephine County (Photo) – 12/14/22
Today marks the second anniversary of the tragic death of Kurt Krauss. On the morning of December 14, 2020, Kurt Krauss was found deceased outside his place of business on Corporate Way in Merlin, Oregon.
Investigators continue to work diligently to follow up on every tip received and investigate all possible scenarios. Additionally, advancements in forensic analysis have opened up additional investigative avenues.
The Oregon State Police believes there are people who have information regarding the circumstances of Kurt’s death. Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be or if OSP might already be aware of it, we want to hear from you.
The Oregon State Police along with Mr. Krauss’s family is urging anyone with information about this incident to call the Oregon State Police Southern Command Center at 800-442-2068 or *OSP from a mobile device and reference OSP Case #SP20-347133.
Think back to December 2020.
Did you notice anyone who had unexplained injuries?
Do you know someone who suddenly departed from the area after the offense?
Do you know someone who showed intense interest in or avoidance of this case?
If so, we urge you to contact the Oregon State Police and help bring some closure to the Krauss family.
Link to original release https://flashalert.net/id/OSPOre/140865
OSP is seeking public assistance with an attempt to locate 2 suspects in a murder case- in Jefferson County (Photo) – 12/13/22
On October 31, 2022, at approximately 7:45 P.M., a shooting occurred in the Strawberry Heights neighborhood of Madras, Oregon. A male, Edgar Miguel Torres-Aguilera (24) was shot multiple times. Torres-Aguilera was life-flighted to St. Charles in Bend where he later was pronounced deceased.
Investigators with the Tri-County Major Incident Team have developed information on two individuals in the case and are seeking the public’s assistance with information about their location:
- Chance Corey Lee Stwyer is a 22-year-old, male described as 220 lbs. and 5’9” tall. Stwyer is believed to be in the Warm Springs/Madras area but has ties to the Burns, Oregon community.
- Andre Sterling James Spino is a 18-year-old male described as 120 lbs. and 5’5” tall. Spino is believed to be in the Warms Springs/Madras area. There is an active warrant for his arrest and should be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS.
Members of the public who have information on the location of either subject or information on the case should contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 800-442-0776 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone. Reference case number SP22-293699.
On Saturday, December 10th, 2022, at approximately 6:28 PM, the Oregon State Police responded to a vehicle vs pedestrian collision at the intersection of Hwy 39 and Fargo St, in Klamath County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a white GMC Sierra, operated by Christina Mueller (22), of Klamath Falls, was traveling eastbound in the fast lane when it struck a pedestrian, Jerri Vaughn (53), of Klamath Falls. Vaughn was wearing a green jacket and jeans, was not in a crosswalk and was struck in the eastbound fast Lane. The visibility on the roadway was poor due to it raining and being dark at the time of the collision. Vaughn was pronounced deceased at the scene due to injuries sustained in the crash.
Highway 39 was open during the investigation with the westbound lanes being reduced to two-way traffic while the eastbound lanes were shut down for approximately 3 hours.
OSP was assisted by the Klamath County Sheriffs’ Office, Klamath County Fire District 1, and ODOT.
On Thursday, December 8th, 2022, at approximately 12:48 PM, the Oregon State Police Responded to two vehicle collision on HWY 101, near mile post 259.5 (Bullards Bridge).
The preliminary investigation indicated a red Dodge Caravan, operated by Michael John Bevington (46) of Coos Bay, was traveling southbound on HWY 101, near mile post 259.5, mid-span on the Bullards Bridge over the Coquille River, when the driver crossed the double yellow centerline and entered into the northbound lane. The Caravan crossed into the northbound lane and collided into a northbound blue Ford F-250 Superduty pickup, operated by Waylon James Somers (39) of Gold Beach. The Caravan rotated and came to an uncontrolled rest blocking the northbound lane and a portion of the the southbound lane. The Ford pickup came to an uncontrolled rest against the northbound curb. Michael John Bevington received fatal injuries as a result of the collision. Waylon James Somers and Jordan Paul Green (29), of Gold Beach, occupants of the Ford pickup, were transported by Bay Cities Ambulance to Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision.
OSP was assisted by the Coos County Sheriffs’ Department, the Bandon Police Department, the Myrtle Point Police Department, the Coos Bay Police Department, the Bandon Fire Department, Bay Cities Ambulance, the Coos County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Coos County District Attorney’s Office, and ODOT.
There is an active forensic investigation underway and efforts are being made to identify this person. Ancestry has not been determined, nor has the length of time that elapsed prior to the discovery. Analysis and examination is ongoing, including possible genetic testing.
Human remains will never be released to a museum or historical society. Once the investigation is concluded, and based on those conclusions, this individual’s remains will be respectfully returned to the appropriate party (ies).
On Monday, November 21, 2022 at approximately 9:18 AM, Oregon State Police Troopers responded to a suspicious object found by Oregon Department of Corrections cleanup crew on northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 260.
OSP Troopers with the Salem Area Command took possession of a small backpack that contained a human skull.
The skull was transported to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office who will continue to investigate the identity of the skull. The skull had no identifiable features, but was most likely that of a female in her late 30’s to 40’s.
No further information is available at this time.
On Sunday, December 4th, 2022, at approximately 10:59 AM, the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on HWY 540, near mile post 12.9, in Coos County.
The preliminary investigation indicated, on an unknown date and time, a single vehicle crash occurred when an eastbound Honda Civic, operated by Wendy Haumea Smith (45), crossed the westbound lane of travel onto the earthen shoulder and plummeted down a cliff of more than 100ft before coming to an uncontrolled rest against a tree near milepost 12.9 on Hwy 540 (Cape Arago Highway)(Cape Arago State Park). The operator, Wendy Haumea Smith, was located a short distance from the vehicle deceased.
Smith was reported missing to the Coos County Sheriffs’ Office on Nov 6th 2022.
Scene evidence indicates Smith survived the crash, extricated herself from the vehicle, collected some belongings and moved a short distance from the vehicle. It is currently undetermined if Smith died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the crash or other causes.
State Parks closed access to the last section of park during the investigation and recovery efforts were underway.
OSP was assisted by the Coos County Sheriffs’ Office, Charleston Fire, North Bend Fire, and Oregon State Parks.
An injunction has delayed the implementation of Ballot Measure 114. With that new information, we wanted to give you an update on what it means here at the Oregon State Police.
The OSP’s Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) unit will continue to work to process and resolve the pended/delayed FICS transactions. This delay of implementation will allow firearm sales to continue being processed under the current law.
OSP continues to work with our partners to set up the Oregon Permit to Purchase program with our partners at the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (OSSA) and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP). OSSA and OACP are still working through the training requirement portion of the application process.
At this time, Permit Agents are not able to accept or start processing Permit to Purchase applications. On December 8, 2022, OSP will be launching a “Permit to Purchase” webpage with preliminary information such as the Permit to Purchase Application, a description of the steps for acquiring a permit, as well as other information including answers to questions that we are anticipating.
The Oregon State Police recognizes the impact this measure will have and is working diligently through this very complex measure to provide everyone with the most up-to-date information.
On Thursday, December 1st, 2022, at approximately 5:26 AM, the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle collision on the northbound lanes of Interstate 5, near milepost 270.
The preliminary investigation indicated a white 2010 Chrysler Town & Country Mini-Van, operated by Dale S Heggem (76), of Salem, veered off of the highway at a high rate of speed, driving onto the shoulder of the roadway and then striking a tree, head-on, on the driver side of the mini-van. Heggem was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.
Interstate 5 was open during the investigation with the slow lane being shut down for about 4 hours.
OSP was assisted by the Woodburn Fire Department, the Marion County Medical Examiner, the Cornwell Funeral Home, and ODOT.
Update on the status of FICS transactions in the Pended/Delayed Queue – Oregon (Photo) – 12/02/22
BM114 becomes law on December 8, 2022. Since November 8, 2022, the FICS unit has experienced unprecedented volumes of firearms transactions never seen before in the program’s 26-year history. OSP continues to work diligently to process and resolve as many of the pended/delayed FICS transactions as possible.
FICS transactions that are not completed with an approval number by midnight on December 7, 2022, will require the purchaser to initiate their permit application to obtain a Permit-to-Purchase before their FICS transaction can resume. This means your FICS transaction will not be canceled on December 8th. Once the purchaser has an approved permit, the FICS transaction will resume.
It is important to note that many times pended/delayed FICS transactions are due to missing, incomplete, or incorrect information. When there is missing or incomplete information on a person’s Computerized Criminal History (CCH), OSP must contact the agency that is the owner of that information to obtain official records so that OSP can determine whether the person is approved for the firearm purchase. The agencies contacted most for missing or incomplete information are the Courts or District Attorneys’ offices throughout the United States. There are no required timelines for the agencies to respond to our requests for missing or incomplete information. By statute, the information within the FICS transaction database can only be held for five years.
Oregon State Police has worked with Permit Agents regarding the application form for the Permit-to-Purchase. The draft application is in the final review with permitting agencies and will be posted to the Oregon State Police’s website and available to those wishing to apply for a Permit-to-Purchase on December 8, 2022.
With BM114 becoming law on December 8, 2022, this gives Oregon State Police a very short window to develop a program and have technology available for use on day 1 of the new law. Because of this, the Permit-to-Purchase program at Oregon State Police will be a manual paper process until new technical systems can be designed and implemented.
**UPDATE-Driver arrested in Fatal Crash**
The on-going investigation into the November 20, 2022 crash that caused the death of a 5-year-old female on Hwy 58 has resulted in the arrest of the driver, Amber Gonzalez-Riddle.
On Thursday, December 1, 2022, Oregon State Police Troopers arrested Amber Gonzalez Riddle and lodged her in the Lane County Jail on charges of Manslaughter II, Reckless Endangering-2 counts, Assault III-2 counts and DUII.
On Sunday, November 20, 2022 at approximately 6:09 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 58, 25 miles east of Oakridge at milepost 61.
Preliminary investigation revealed a westbound Honda Accord, operated by Amber Shaleene Gonzalez Riddle (26) of Portland, crossed into the oncoming eastbound lane and collided with a Toyota Rav 4, operated by Debra Diane Baker (66) of Sunriver. The Toyota caught fire and became fully engulfed after the occupants were removed.
Gonzalez Riddle and passengers, Geavony Amor Ferreira (23) of Portland and a 3-year-old female were transported to an area hospital with injuries. An additional passenger, a 5-year-old female sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Baker and her passenger, John Baker (67) of Sunriver, were transported to an area hospital with injuries.
Hwy 58 was affected for approximately 6 hours while the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. This is an active investigation and updates will be provided when available.
OSP was assisted by Oakridge Fire Department, Central Cascade Fire Department, Oakridge Police Department and ODOT.
OSP Trooper stops a driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 5- Marion County (Photo) – 12/01/22
On November 30, 2022, at approximately 10:20 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers were in a short pursuit of an SUV that was driving recklessly on Interstate 5 southbound at milepost 253 around Jefferson, Oregon. The SUV made an erratic U-turn and began to travel northbound in the southbound lane before intentionally ramming an OSP Patrol car.
The driver identified as Garrett W. Hall (50) from Portland was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. He was subsequently arrested and lodged in jail for Reckless Driving, Felony Elude, and the Assault of a Public Safety Officer.
The OSP Trooper was also transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
The interstate was closed for over an hour for the investigation and to clear the scene. OSP was assisted at the scene by Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department, and Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
We are grateful that the Oregon State Police Troopers were in the right place at the right time to intervene for the public’s safety.
OSP is seeking the public’s assistance with a death investigation- Douglas County (Photo) – 11/30/22
The Oregon State Police is asking for #publicassistance with a death investigation that occurred on November 30, 2021. OSP is hoping with the 1st anniversary of this incident that someone will come forward with new information.
On November 30, 2021, at approximately 1:00 P.M., Larry Mell was traveling westbound in his red 2003 Dodge Ram truck on Hwy 38 near Putnam Valley Rd, just west of Drain, Oregon, when he was shot. Mr. Mell later died as a result of his injuries. The Oregon State Police’s preliminary investigation suggests this incident appears to be accidental.
Mr. Mell was 72 at the time of his death. He had 8 children, several grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Mr. Mell’s family described him as a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. Mr. Mell loved fishing and crabbing and is greatly missed. Mr. Mell’s family said he was a strong survivor who had overcome heart surgery, a brain injury, and cancer.
The Oregon State Police along with Mr. Mell’s family is requesting if anyone was shooting or who knows of someone who was shooting in the area of Hwy 38 and Putnam Valley Rd on November 30, 2021, call us.
Help provide some closure to this family who is desperately seeking answers to what happened. If you think you might have some information on this incident, we urge you to call the Oregon State Police at 800-442-2068 or *OSP from your mobile phone. Reference case # SP21-335049.
On Tuesday, November 29th, at approximately 7:11 PM, the Oregon State Police responded to a reported vehicle versus pedestrian collision on Interstate 5, near mile post 27, in Jackson County.
The preliminary investigation indicated Gabriel Escobar (39), of Medford, had recently fled on foot from a nearby Fred Meyer after allegedly shoplifting. Escobar attempted to run across the freeway when he was struck and killed by a commercial motor vehicle traveling northbound in the slow lane.
The slow lane was closed for approximately 3 hours while the crash investigation was conducted.
OSP was assisted by the Jackson County STAR Team, Medford PD, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and ODOT.
On Tuesday, November 29th, at approximately 3:15 PM, the Oregon State Police responded to a two vehicle motor vehicle collision on HWY 26, near mile post 54, in Washington County.
The initial investigation indicated a 2000 Hyundai Sonata, operated by Dalton Stevens (31), of Timber, was driving eastbound (wrong way) on the westbound side of Hwy 26 near milepost 54. The vehicle missed several other vehicles that were headed eastbound before hitting a Toyota Rav4, operated by Yvette Drolette (53), of Seaside, head on. Dalton Stevens was pronounced deceased on scene and Yvette Drolette was transported by Life Flight to a local hospital. The
OSP was assisted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Tualatin Valley Fire Rescue, the Banks Fire Department, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, and the Washington County Medical Examiner.
OSP Traffic Stop Leads Arrests for Commercial Drug Offenses -Malheur County (Photo) – 11/29/22
On Thursday, November 24, 2022, at approximately 12:04 A.M. an Oregon State Police Trooper from the Ontario Area Command stopped an SUV for dangerous and erratic driving behavior on U.S. Highway 95 near milepost 1. While the Trooper was in contact with the driver, the driver showed signs of impairment and the Trooper observed signs of other criminal activity. The driver consented to field sobriety tests and further indicators of impairment were observed. The driver was subsequently taken into custody without incident for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. A vehicle search was conducted incident to the DUII arrest. The vehicle search revealed a loaded firearm and approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine. The passenger of the vehicle was then taken into custody without incident.
The vehicle was then seized, and a search warrant application was made. After the search warrant was granted by a Malheur County Circuit Court Judge, a second more in-depth search of the vehicle revealed other controlled substances, two additional firearms t, a firearms silencer, and $151,910. The other notable controlled substances seized included approximately 23.8 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 18 grams of suspected ketamine.
The driver was identified as Scott Anderson (49) from Costa Mesa, California and the passenger was identified as Jacob Flora (46) from Huntington Beach, California. Both subjects were lodged in the Malheur County Jail for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Money Laundering, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, and Cocaine – Commercial Drug offenses.
OSP Troopers were assisted during the investigation by Detectives from the OSP-Criminal Investigations Division-Drug Enforcement Section (Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative) and Special Agents with the Homeland Security Investigations – Medford Office.
The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.
Today, November 29, 2022, the Oregon Department of Justice announced the Clackamas County Grand Jury ruling on the use of deadly force by an Oregon State Trooper and Clackamas County Detective on Saturday, June 18, 2022. The panel of jurors deemed that their use of force was justified.
The use of deadly force profoundly affects everyone involved, their families, and the entire community. We would like to thank everyone for their patience during this process and the Grand Jury members for their comprehensive review of the facts.
We have asked the Oregon Department of Justice to make a public release of the facts presented to the grand jury because we believe it is important for our community to better understand the circumstances when deadly force is used.
Additionally, we are grateful for the investigative work of the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team and the Oregon Department of Justice who conducted an independent investigation.
Link to Oregon Department of Justice press release:
Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division Troopers investigate unlawful take of big game animals – Umatilla County (Photo) – 11/28/22
The Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Troopers from the Pendleton Area Command received information on several individuals who were unlawfully taking big game animals. In the summer of 2020 Troopers began gathering information and evidence over the following year, which led to the service of a search warrant at a Pendleton residence in December of 2021. Evidence seized from the search warrant included 6 sets of deer antlers, and 3 sets of elk antlers, including a 7×7 trophy bull elk, a rifle, a bow, and meat. The investigation and search warrant led to the indictment of Walker Erickson, (28) of Pendleton, Oregon, and Hunter Wagner, (23) of Pilot Rock, Oregon.
In October of 2022, Walker Erickson was indicted on the following:
-3 Counts of Unlawful Take of a Cow Elk
-4 Counts of Unlawful Take of a Whitetail Buck
-2 Counts of Unlawful Take of a Mule Deer Buck
-4 Counts of Unlawful Take of Bull Elk
-3 Counts of Waste of Game
-1 Count of Unlawful Possession of Big Game
-1 Count of Hunting While Criminally Trespassing
-1 Count of Hunting on Another’s Cultivated or Enclosed Land
-1 Count of Hunting from a Motor Vehicle
-2 Counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence
In October of 2022, Hunter Wagner was indicted on the following:
-7 Counts of Counseling, Aiding, or Assisting in Another’s Unlawful Take of a Big Game Animal
The Oregon State Police would like to thank the public for the tips regarding this large and extensive investigation. This case is being prosecuted by the Anti-Poaching Prosecutor with the Department of Justice in coordination with the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office.
***Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators***
The Turn in Poachers (TIP) program offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation, to a suspect, for the unlawful killing of wildlife, and or waste of big game. Cash rewards can also be awarded for turning in people who destroy habitat, illegally obtain licenses/tags, and for unlawful lending/borrowing of big game tags. Learn more: https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/fw/Pages/tip.aspx
The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration among state agencies, sportsmen, and other conservationists, landowners, and recreationists to engage the public in combatting Oregon’s poaching problem. Our goal is to: Incentivize reporting on wildlife crimes through the TIP Line; Strengthen enforcement by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers, and Support prosecution in becoming an effective deterrent. The campaign helps to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
Campaign Sponsors include Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Wildlife Coalition, and Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association.
Report a Wildlife or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity
Dial 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone or via email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov
Original Article: Source