Tigard Police
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News Releases
Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit Shuts Down Counterfeit Check Cashing Scheme - 04/13/18

On April 11, detectives assigned to the Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit arrested three suspects who appeared to be part of a counterfeit check-cashing operation stemming from Georgia. The investigation began the day prior when a Tigard Umpqua Bank employee contacted Tigard Police to advise that a subject currently inside the bank was attempting to cash a counterfeit check. A Tigard Police officer quickly arrived at the bank and arrested the suspect

 

Investigators were able to determine that the suspect arrested was involved in a more elaborate counterfeit check-cashing scheme being conducted in the metro area. The following day, investigators identified three additional suspects allegedly involved. The trio was arrested as they attempted to leave the area, likely back enroute to Georgia. Police followed two suspects as they departed from a Wilsonville motel in a rental vehicle and ultimately stopped them on Interstate-84 near Multnomah Falls. The third suspect was taken into custody at Portland International Airport just prior to boarding a flight to Atlanta. Police seized over $30,000 in cash from amongst the suspects. All three  were lodged in the Washington County Jail in Hillsboro.

 

Marcus R. Eppinger, 22, and Brittane D. Robinson, 20, both from Atlanta, Georgia, were charged with seven counts each of Theft I, Forgery I and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. Rodrickus S. Robinson, 25, of Atlanta, is charged with Forgery I. As the investigation continues, additional charges may be forthcoming.

 

Investigators learned that the trio allegedly scouted out transients in downtown Portland, who were then driven to pre-determined banks in the area and instructed to cash the counterfeit checks.  The recruited transients turned over the money collected from the banks and were then paid a nominal fee for each check successfully cashed. Investigators from the Beaverton and Port of Portland Police Departments assisted with the investigation.

Prostitution Crackdown in Tigard - 03/28/18

On March 22, the Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit conducted an operation to target and arrest prostitution customers or “johns.” As a result, four adult males were taken into custody and charged with Commercial Sexual Solicitation. The arrested included: Richard Imel, 45, of Milwaukie; Roman Lara-Jacome, 43, of Tigard; Cordell Lee, 27, of Beaverton and Benjamin Wagner, 32, of Portland.  During the course of the operation, detectives received over 70 contacts drawn from various ads placed by investigators that which led to the four arrests. Tigard Police was assisted by the Lake Oswego Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County District Attorney.

The operation took place throughout the day at a Tigard hotel where several Tigard Police detectives set-up. Frequently, police are contacted by businesses expressing frustration and concerns about suspected prostitution operating out of their business outlet. In response to their needs, Tigard Police began to place focus on the crimes of prostitution that now operates significantly through use of technology, along with many other criminal ventures.

The criminal acts of prostitution are mostly arranged beforehand using telephone, websites and social media. In the past, Tigard investigators have conducted probes into such advertising, which resulted in numerous arrests. Another key driving force behind the operation is reinforcing the fact that prostitution is not a victimless crime. The numbers are staggering regarding victims compelled into prostitution; now more likely to be connected to human trafficking. Maintaining a zero tolerance policy in Tigard is one way to help draw attention to this criminal venture and possibly prevent the vulnerable from entering into this enterprise.

A previous operation conducted last winter with the express intent for education yielded 40 contacts. Although detectives had sufficient probable cause to arrest the suspects –all were provided a verbal warning with notice of a likely arrest in the event they were again identified in a future operation connected to commercial sexual solicitation. Tigard Police plan to continue similar missions during the year.