Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
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Dallas Woman Arrested In Connection With Hit and Run Death In Yamhill County (Photo) - 11/20/20

On Thursday, November 19th, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Investigators arrested a Dallas woman on charges related to the death of a pedestrian who was struck in a hit and run crash.  That incident occurred on November 7th on SW Durham Lane near Highway 18, approximately one mile west of the City of McMinnville.

Kari Lin Smith, 47 years of age of Dallas, OR, is believed to have been the driver of the Ram pickup, which struck and killed 58-year-old Ricardo Morales Avila of Salem.  Smith was taken into custody by deputies in the City of Amity at approximately 3:00 p.m.

On November 10th, Investigators seized a 2008 Ram 1500 pickup in connection with the case and investigation and evidence pointed to Smith having been the driver at the time of the crash.

Smith was lodged into the Yamhill County Correctional Facility on charges of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver to an Injured Person and Criminally Negligent Homicide.  Her bail is currently set at $160,000.  She will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

“Our hearts go out to Mr. Morales Avila’s family and friends.” said Sheriff Tim Svenson.  “I understand it is a small consolation, but we hope our investigators have helped in some closure for the family that may not have occurred otherwise.” 

 

Attached Media Files: Smith_Kari_-11192020.jpg
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Lafayette Man Arrested for the 56th Time (Photo) - 11/19/20

During the early morning hours of November 19, 2020 Deputy Carson Bartlett stopped a vehicle in the city of Lafayette.  The driver, Ronald Gordon Griffin, age 38 of Lafayette, OR was arrested on outstanding warrants for Parole Violation and Failure to Appear on Driving While Revoked.  He was also charged with Driving While Revoked-Misdemeanor.  Mr. Griffin has been arrested 5 times by Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office in the last 2 months for Driving While Revoked-Misdemeanor.  In addition he has been arrested on warrants previously on September 15, 2020 and on November 6, 2020 he was issued criminal citations for Unlawful Delivery of Heroin and Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine based on evidence found when a search warrant was served on a vehicle he had been driving. 

 

Additional charges are pending review from the District Attorney based on drugs found in a vehicle searched on November 11, 2020 that Mr. Griffin had been driving.  Mr. Griffin is currently on Post-Prison Supervision through Yamhill County.  His arrest this morning is his 56th arrest.  Mr. Griffin is lodged in the Yamhill County Correctional Facility.

Attached Media Files: Griffin_R.jpg
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YCSO To Participate in Border to Border Event As Kickoff To Click It Or Ticket Campaign (Photo) - 11/13/20

On November 16, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office will be teaming up with law enforcement agencies nationwide for a Border to Border (B2B) law enforcement event to kick off the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign which runs through November 29. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking all states to participate in B2B, a 1-day national seat belt awareness event coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. The B2B initiative aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and providing seat belt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints. 

According to NHTSA, in 2018, there were 9,778 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign and the B2B kickoff event is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Oregon, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $250.

“Seat belts are not optional." said Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson. "The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday tends to be one of the busiest times on Oregon roadways.  The Border to Border component of the Click It or Ticket campaign raises awareness about seat belt safety and reminds people of the importance of utilizing seatbelts and child car seats.  They save lives.  Please buckle up-every trip, every time.”

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

 

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Search Warrant Served in Amity (Photo) - 11/12/20

On November 11, 2020 at approximately 6:00 am the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 413 S. Trade Street in the city of Amity.  The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office provides policing services to the city of Amity under contract.  The search warrant was the result of a lengthy investigation conducted by deputies assigned to the city of Amity contract and the Crime Response Team regarding drug activity, disturbances, stolen property, and neighborhood complaints.  Over roughly the last 18 months deputies assigned to the city of Amity have fielded numerous complaints about drug activity, short stay vehicle and foot traffic, subjects with warrants, and stolen vehicles and property at the residence.

 

Three individuals were arrested during the execution of the search warrant.  Tyler J. Lehman, a transient, age 25 was arrested on an outstanding Clackamas County warrant.  Adam J. Jevning of Amity, age 42, was arrested for Unlawful Distribution of Methamphetamine Within 1000’ of a School, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine (Felony), and Endangering the Welfare of Minor.  Kerry L. Justen of Amity, age 34 was arrested for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine (Misdemeanor), Unlawful Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.  A minor child was at the residence and was placed in the care of a relative after consultation with the Department of Human Services.

 

The search warrant yielded evidence of drug distribution including a small quantity of methamphetamine, Xanax, and controlled pharmaceuticals as well as scales, packaging material, and paraphernalia including hypodermic needles and pipes. 

 

“This is a prime example of the work done in our contract cities on a daily basis by the deputies assigned there.” said Sheriff Tim Svenson.  “These deputies used proactive investigation, supplemented with personnel from our Special Investigations Unit and Crime Response Team, to impact a neighborhood that had been facing ongoing issues from a particular residence. We are committed to enhancing the livability in these communities.”

 

Additional charges are likely after the case is presented to the Yamhill County District Attorney’s office.

Attached Media Files: SheriffPatchNEW.jpg
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Two Arrested on Drug Offenses and Warrants (Photo) - 11/10/20

On October 29, 2020 Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Response Team (CRT) team members observed a vehicle being driven by Casey Carnahan, age 38 of McMinnville, OR in the city of Lafayette.  Carnahan was known to have a warrant for his arrest and a criminally suspended driver’s license.  The vehicle was stopped, and a female passenger attempted to run away from the traffic stop.  Deputies recognized her as Ashley Dixon, age 31 of Lafayette, OR who also had warrants for her arrest.  Both Carnahan and Dixon were arrested.

 

CRT continued their investigation and developed probable cause to believe evidence related to drug crimes was in the vehicle.  Later that day a search warrant was served on the car and approximately 1.25 oz of heroin and ½ oz of methamphetamine were located along with evidence of drug distribution. 

 

Both Carnahan and Dixon were indicted by a Yamhill County Grand Jury for Unlawful Distribution of Heroin, Unlawful Distribution of Meth, and Possession of Controlled Substances.  Carnahan is lodged in the Yamhill County Correctional Facility with No Bail due to a Parole Violation.  Dixon was lodged in the Washington County Correctional Facility as her warrants were issued in Washington County.

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Vehicle in Hit and Run Death Located and No Longer of Interest- Yamhill County Sheriff's Office (Photo) - 11/10/20

The vehicle associated with the hit and run death of an adult male on Durham Lane near Highway 18 in rural McMinnville has been identified and seized by Yamhill County Sheriff's Deputies.  

The deceased male, who was believed to have been struck and killed on November 7th, has been identified as Ricardo Morales Avila, 56 years of age of Salem.  Mr. Morales Avila had been employed as a groundskeeper at a business near the location he was found.

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office wishes to thank the members of the public who provided tips and information to assist in the furtherance of this case.  

The investigation by the Yamhill County Multi-Agency Traffic Team is continuing and additional information will be released when appropriate.

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Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Asking For Public's Help In Hit and Run Investgation - 11/08/20

Today, at about 11:00 a.m. Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a call of a deceased adult male in the ditch in Durham Lane near Highway 18. The caller was a passerby. This location is approximately one mile west of the City of McMinnville. The initial investigation led law enforcement to believe that the male had been struck by a vehicle sometime the day prior (Saturday, November 7th) between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. 

Evidence left at the scene indicates the suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on Durham Lane toward Highway 18 at the time of the crash. Vehicle pieces located at the crime scene are consistent with parts from a 2006-2008 full-size Dodge Ram pickup.  The color is likely a dark metallic blue, and the pickup will have significant damage on the front, passenger-side headlight area.

The Yamhill County Multi-Agency Traffic Team was activated and continues to work the case.  Anyone with information about the crash or the suspect vehicle is urged to contact Deputy Steve Wilkinson or Sgt. Don Stackpole at 503-434-7506. The case number to reference is 20-3147.

At this time no further information is being released about the victim until notification can be made to family members. 

Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Asking For Public's Help In Hit and Run Investgation - 11/08/20

Today, at about 11:00 a.m. Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a call of a deceased adult male in the ditch in Durham Road near Highway 18. The caller was a passerby. This location is approximately one mile west of the City of McMinnville. The initial investigation led law enforcement to believe that the male had been struck by a vehicle sometime the day prior (Saturday, November 7th) between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. 

Evidence left at the scene indicates the suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on Durham Land toward Highway 18 at the time of the crash. Vehicle pieces located at the crime scene are consistent with parts from a 2006-2008 full-size Dodge Ram pickup.  The color is likely a dark metallic blue, and the pickup will have significant damage on the front, passenger-side headlight area.

The Yamhill County Multi-Agency Traffic Team was activated and continues to work the case.  Anyone with information about the crash or the suspect vehicle is urged to contact Deputy Steve Wilkinson or Sgt. Don Stackpole at 503-434-7506. The case number to reference is 20-3147.

At this time no further information is being released about the victim until notification can be made to family members. 

Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Asking For Public's Help In Hit and Run Investgation - 11/08/20

Today, at about 11:00 a.m. Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a call of a deceased adult male in the ditch in Durham Road near Highway 18. The caller was a passerby. This location is approximately one mile west of the City of McMinnville. The initial investigation led law enforcement to believe that the male had been struck by a vehicle sometime the day prior (Saturday, November 7th) between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. 

Evidence left at the scene indicates the suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on Durham Land toward Highway 18 at the time of the crash. Vehicle pieces located at the crime scene are consistent with parts from a 2006-2008 full-size Dodge Ram pickup.  The color is likely a dark metallic blue, and the pickup will have significant damage on the front, passenger-side headlight area.

The Yamhill County Multi-Agency Traffic Team was activated and continues to work the case.  Anyone with information about the crash or the suspect vehicle is urged to contact Deputy Steve Wilkinson or Sgt. Don Stackpole at 503-434-7506. The case number to reference is 20-3147.

At this time no further information is being released about the victim until notification can be made to family members. 

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Fugitive Arrested in Dayton (Photo) - 11/05/20

On November 4, 2020 at about 8:45 pm, Deputy Richard Broyles with the Yamhill County Sheriff Office, who is currently assigned to the City of Dayton, along with other deputies contacted and arrested Sotero Jose Garcia Garcia, age 51, at the Country View Manor at 1005 Ferry Street in the City of Dayton.

Information was received from the US Marshals Service regarding a wanted fugitive in the City of Dayton.  Deputies located Mr. Garcia and he was taken into custody on a US Marshals warrant that originated in San Diego County, CA.  The warrant was issued for 5 counts of violation of California penal code 288.5(A) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with Minor Child under age 14.  Mr. Garcia was lodged in the Yamhill County Jail on with a $1,000,000 bail.