Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office
Emergency Messages as of 8:02 am, Thu. Jan. 18
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
News Releases
Wes Ammer DMV photo
Wes Ammer DMV photo
Update: Missing Man Found Safe (Photo) - 01/15/18

Update 1/15/18 at 6:30 pm - Mr. Ammer has been found safe in Douglas County. Thank you for keeping an eye out.
Original release:
SHADY COVE, Ore. - Jackson County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) teams are looking for a missing man with dementia. On January 15, 2018, at 11:45 a.m., Wesley "Wes" Ammer, 76, of Shady Cove left his home on Bond Road in a light gray 2012 Subaru Outback wagon with Oregon license plate 741HLV. He was reported missing by family at 3:12 p.m.

Ammer is described as a white male, bald with a gray beard, and brown eyes. He is five feet, eight inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. Ammer was last seen wearing a black long sleeve pullover shirt with a picture of an elk, and blue Wrangler jeans.

Anyone with information about Ammer's whereabouts should call dispatch at (541) 776-7206.

Case #18-001087

Campos mug
Campos mug
Sex Abuse Suspect in Jail, Detectives Seek Additional Victims (Photo) - 01/15/18

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Capping a four-month investigation, Jackson County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested an 18-year-old Medford man for having sexual contact with middle school-aged girls. Detectives believe there are likely more victims who have not yet come forward.

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Joshua Thomas Campos, of the 1500-block of Hancock Avenue was lodged in jail. He is being held on charges of sexual abuse in the first degree, sexual abuse in the second degree, rape in the second degree, unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree, sodomy in the third degree, and two counts of rape in the third degree. A circuit court judge set bail at $250,000.

The charges involve three separate victims, ages 13 and 14, in incidents that occurred in 2017. Detectives say Campos contacted the victims through friends, at parties, and online.

Detectives would like to hear from additional victims and anyone who has information to share about the case. Those with information can call Detective Steve Bohn at (541) 774-6168.

Case #17-18920

Attached Media Files: Campos mug
18-00736 4
18-00736 4
Widespread Mail Theft Reported (Photo) - 01/11/18

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- Deputies spent hours Thursday investigating numerous cases of mail theft across southern Jackson County. On January 11, 2018, victims reported thefts in the following general areas: Dead Indian Memorial Road, South Pacific Highway (ORE 99), West Glenwood Avenue, South Stage Road, Griffin Creek Road, West Griffin Creek Road, Dark Hollow Road.

Deputies say the thieves targeted banks of mailboxes, especially those with flags up, indicating outgoing mail. They have recovered a large volume of stolen mail found dumped, much of which was opened with items removed. It was processed for evidence and turned over to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to be forwarded to the proper recipients.

Deputies believe vehicle break-ins reported in the same areas overnight are related. The thefts may also be related to similar crimes reported recently in other jurisdictions within Jackson County.

If you witnessed suspicious activity or have evidence that may assist in the investigation -- including surveillance footage -- please contact deputies at (541) 774-6800. Refer to the case number below.

Deputies will continue to collaborate with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on the investigation. They make the following suggestions and requests for concerned citizens:

* If you were expecting a particular piece of mail and you believe it is missing, contact your local post office directly.

* If you believe you may be a victim of stolen credit cards, checks, or other financial information, contact the appropriate financial institution immediately to stop payment on checks and issue a fraud alert.

* If you need to send a payment or documents that contain identifying information, such as your Social Security number, take your outgoing mail to a post office or hand it to your mail carrier; do not leave mail in your mailbox with the flag up.

* If you find discarded mail that you believe to be stolen, take it to your local post office.

* Check your mail daily; do not leave it in the box overnight.

* If you will be out of town, notify your local post office to hold your mail until you return.

Additional information on mail theft prevention can be found on the USPS website: https://www.usps.com/help/. The USPS has a free online program called Informed Delivery that allows customers to receive daily notifications with images of incoming mail. It helps people to know when to expect a delivery. You can learn more and register at https://informeddelivery.usps.com.

Case #17-00736

Attached Media Files: 18-00736 4 , 18-00736 3 , 18-00736 2 , 18-00736 1
17-19087 Rardin mug
17-19087 Rardin mug
Sex Abuse Suspect Lodged in Jail (Photo) - 01/08/18

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- A man is lodged in the Jackson County Jail on sexual abuse charges involving two children in incidents three years apart. Detectives believe there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.

Michael James Rardin, 36, is currently lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of sexual abuse in the first degree, attempted sexual abuse in the first degree, and private indecency. The investigation began with a report that Rardin sexually abused a 10-year-old girl in September 2017. Detectives received an additional report that Rardin attempted to abuse another girl in 2014.

Rardin reportedly left the area during the investigation. A judge issued a warrant for Rardin's arrest on November 22, 2017, for charges related to both incidents. Rardin returned and was arrested at Jackson County Circuit Court on January 5, 2018.

Rardin is transient and is known to have stayed in several different homes in Jackson County, California, and Iowa in recent years. Based on information obtained during the investigation, detectives are concerned Rardin may have more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Steve Bohn at (541) 774-6168.

Case #17-19087

Attached Media Files: 17-19087 Rardin mug
Mortar Round photo
Mortar Round photo
Mortar Round Removed from Gold Hill Property (Photo) - 01/06/18

GOLD HILL, Ore. -- Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies are warning people to be wary of old military souvenirs tucked away in storage. On Thursday, January 4, 2018, a Gold Hill woman reported finding a World War II-style mortar shell in a shed on her property in the 400-block of Chavner Street. It had been stored there as long as she'd been in the residence -- more than 30 years. She took the mortar out to her yard and set it on the ground before calling dispatch.

Deputies responded and requested assistance from the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit. A military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit was then sent from the Portland area to collect the device. In the meantime, deputies notified neighbors and blocked off the area. The EOD team took the mortar to a safe location for detonation. Nobody was injured during the incident.

Deputies say these cases happen from time to time; usually the item turns out to be an inert shell kept as a souvenir. In this case, it turned out to be a live device and the homeowner was unaware of the potential danger.

If you find a suspicious device on your property - military-type or otherwise - please do not handle it or move it to another location. Leave the item in place and call authorities so an expert can examine it safely.

Case 18-00250

Attached Media Files: Mortar Round photo
Hazard Mitigation graphic
Hazard Mitigation graphic
Public Input Requested for Update to Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (Photo) - 01/02/18

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Jackson County is in the process of updating its existing Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP). This work is being performed in cooperation with the University of Oregon Community Service Center-Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience and the Oregon Military Department's Office of Emergency Management. The project utilizes funds obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.

With the re-adoption of this plan, Jackson County will maintain its eligibility to apply for federal funding toward natural hazard mitigation projects. The local planning process includes a wide range of representatives from city and county government, emergency management personnel, and outreach to members of the public in the form of an electronic survey. This NHMP also affects the cities of Ashland, (Town of) Butte Falls, Eagle Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Rogue River, Shady Cove and Talent.

A Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP) provides communities with a set of goals, action items, and resources designed to reduce risk from future natural disaster events. Engaging in mitigation activities provides jurisdictions with a number of benefits, including: reduced loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities, and economic hardship; reduced short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs; increased cooperation and communication within the community through the planning process; and increased potential for state and federal funding for recovery and reconstruction projects.

An electronic version of the updated draft Jackson County NHMP will be available for public comment beginning January 2, 2018. To view the draft please visit: http://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/County-Plans/NHMP

If you would like to provide input on this plan, or if you have questions regarding the Jackson County NHMP or the update process, please contact: Sara Rubrecht, Jackson County Emergency Manager at (541) 774-6790 or rubrecsn@jacksoncounty.org; or Michael Howard, Assistant Program Director for the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience at (541) 346-8413 or mrhoward@uoregon.edu.

Graphic credit: FEMA News Photo

Attached Media Files: Hazard Mitigation graphic
Natural Bridge file photo
Natural Bridge file photo
SAR Seeks Complainant from 12/31 Report (Photo) - 01/02/18

PROSPECT, Ore. -- Jackson County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) officials are trying to locate a person who made a report of suspicious circumstances on New Year's Eve. On the afternoon of December 31, 2017, SAR received a secondhand report via Prospect Fire from a woman who saw a suspicious item in the Rogue River near Natural Bridge. The item was reported to possibly be a human body.

SAR teams searched the general area on January 1, 2018, but found nothing suspicious. JCSO has not received reports of any missing persons in the area recently.

SAR officials have limited details about the location of the sighting and no contact information for the woman -- reportedly a woman named "Mara" who was passing through the area. They would like to speak with her in order to obtain more information. Phone calls can be directed to Sergeant Shawn Richards through dispatch at (541) 776-7206.

Case #17-27166

Attached Media Files: Natural Bridge file photo
17-27053 roadway
17-27053 roadway
Pedestrian Dies in Early Morning Crash *UPDATE* (Photo) - 01/01/18

Update 1/1/18 at 9:33am -- Deputies have released the names of the people involved in the fatal crash on Meadows Road on the morning of December 30. The investigation revealed that Sarah Marie Prinslow, 25, of the 6200-block of Sweet Lane, White City, was walking in the southbound lane of Meadows Road. Prinslow was struck by a southbound 2005 Volkswagen Beetle driven by Karen Dianne Beck, 51, of the 16600-block of Ramsey Road, White City.

Beck and others at the scene performed CPR on Prinslow until medics arrived. Crews with Jackson County Fire District #3 and Mercy Flights responded to the crash. Prinslow was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies noted poor visibility at the crash scene; weather conditions included fog and light mist, the incident occurred approximately two hours before sunrise, and the roadway was unlit. Deputies say criminal charges are not being considered.

Original release, 12/30/17 at 10:12am:

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Deputies are investigating a fatal crash that occurred early Saturday morning. On December 30, 2017, at 5:39 a.m., deputies responded to the 3-mile marker of Meadows Road for a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a female pedestrian. The pedestrian died at the scene.

Deputies say a silver 2005 Volkswagen Beetle was traveling southbound on Meadows Road when it struck the woman, who was standing in the middle of the lane of travel. A northbound driver also witnessed the incident.

The crash occurred before sunrise on an unlit roadway. Deputies do not believe excessive speed or driver impairment contributed to the crash. The driver is cooperating with the investigation.

Further information, including the names of the involved parties, will be released at a later date. The family of the pedestrian has been notified of her death.

Case #17-27053

Attached Media Files: 17-27053 roadway
Jerry Lodge mug
Jerry Lodge mug
Classroom Volunteer Charged for Second Victim (Photo) - 12/29/17

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Detectives have identified a second victim in the case of a former classroom volunteer charged with sexually abusing a kindergarten student. Jerry Duane Lodge, 72, of the 700-block of Crater Lake Avenue, has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail since detectives arrested him on December 8, 2017.

A grand jury indicted Lodge on two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree for abusing a 5-year-old student at Lower Table Rock Elementary School in White City. During the investigation, detectives identified a second victim from the same kindergarten classroom. On Friday, December 29, detectives added one new count of first degree sexual abuse to Lodge's charges at the jail.

Lodge was in the classroom through the Foster Grandparent Program facilitated by Community Volunteer Network, a division of Pacific Retirement Services (PRS). The program places senior volunteers in classrooms throughout the Rogue Valley. Participants must pass a criminal background check. Detectives say once the abuse allegations surfaced on December 6, officials with Jackson County School District #9 and PRS cooperated fully with the criminal investigation and prevented Lodge from having further contact with students. School officials and JCSO detectives held a meeting with parents in the classroom following Lodge's arrest.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the case can call Detective Jason Penn at (541) 770-8925.

Case #17-25514

Initial media release, 12/11/17 -

Attached Media Files: Jerry Lodge mug
KDS Trailers homepage
KDS Trailers homepage
Deputies Warn of Fake Website (Photo) - 12/28/17

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Deputies are warning online consumers to beware of a business that claims to be located in Medford. On December 28, 2017, a woman from Ohio called the Jackson County Sheriff's Office to report a potential scam involving an online company located at 3491 South Pacific Highway. The caller was about to wire money to "KSD Trailers LLC" to purchase a horse trailer; but, her bank warned her the funds were destined for an account in Spain. Upon further investigation, the woman realized the business was likely a fraud.

The website (www.ksdtrailers.online) lists numerous horse trailers for sale, valued at thousands of dollars each. A deputy checked the listed business address and found the location does not exist. The website claims KSD has additional locations in Europe and lists no local phone number. The company does not appear in local business directories.

A similar report surfaced in the Roseburg area in September. The website in that case (dks-trailers.com) was nearly identical, with the letters in the company name transposed ("DKS Trailers LLC"). The DKS website is no longer available. A complaint was made to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on September 22, 2017, earning the company an "F" rating for deceptive business practices. The BBB confirmed the business was not located at the listed address in Roseburg, nor was it registered with the Oregon Secretary of State.

News reports warning consumers about "DKS Trailers LLC" were published in October. An update to the company's BBB listing shows a subsequent complaint about "KSD Trailers LLC" of Medford on November 28, 2017.

Deputies warn potential consumers locally and beyond. Because the business claims to be "online only" with international shipping available, the apparent scam could potentially affect consumers around the world. Reports of online fraud can be made to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips when considering an online purchase:
* Protect personal information. Read a site's privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If a site doesn't have a privacy policy, that's a big red flag that it may be a scam.
* Think before clicking. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don't measure up to the promotional hype.
* Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer free or very low prices on hard-to-find items. There may be hidden costs, or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge. Look for and read the fine print.
* Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It's easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer's website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Consumers should check out retailers at bbb.org/northwest before they shop.

Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org/northwest/business-reviews/trailer-sales/dks-trailers-llc-in-roseburg-or-1000046857/Alerts-and-Actions
KPIC-TV: http://kpic.com/news/local/better-business-bureau-warns-of-fake-online-business-in-roseburg
KTVZ-TV: http://www.ktvz.com/news/ore-online-horse-trailer-dealer-gets-f-from-better-business-bureau/640394413

Attached Media Files: KDS Trailers homepage
John Martin Phelan
John Martin Phelan
Deputies Seek Wanted Man (Photo) - 12/27/17

WHITE CITY, Ore. - Deputies are asking for the public's help in locating a man with a felony arrest warrant. On December 8, 2017, John Martin Phelan, 64, was convicted of assault in the second degree for beating his girlfriend in their White City home in August. His sentence included time served in jail plus four days, and five years of supervised probation. He was released from jail on December 11.

Deputies were called to the victim's home on Saturday, December 16, at 11:30 a.m. and on Monday, December 18, at 2:00 am to investigate vandalism to windows of the residence. After the second incident, Phelan was found on the ground nearby, intoxicated and injured. He was transported to the hospital for medical treatment and was cited and released for causing property damage. Due to a clerical error, deputies on scene were unable to confirm the terms of Phelan's probation, which prohibit him from contacting the victim. The district attorney's office has since filed a motion to revoke Phelan's probation; a judge has signed a felony arrest warrant.

Phelan is known to frequent the White City area. He is 5'11" tall and weighs 220 lbs. He has gray hair and green eyes. Anyone who sees Phelan or has information about his whereabouts is asked to call dispatch at (541) 776-7206.

Attached Media Files: John Martin Phelan
17-26776 Vehicle
17-26776 Vehicle
Woman Dies in Rollover Crash (Photo) - 12/26/17

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred early Tuesday morning. On December 26, 2017, at 1:42 am, a Nissan Pathfinder traveling northbound in the 14000-block of Antioch Road left the roadway and rolled. The driver and lone occupant, Amber Rochelle Abshier, 24, of the 6100-block of Beagle Road, died at the scene.

Several deputies were in the general area conducting focused patrols due to recent reports of property crimes. One deputy witnessed the crash and was able to respond to the scene within seconds. The deputy found Abshier had been ejected from the vehicle and was deceased. Abshier's family was notified of her death.

The vehicle had been traveling at a high rate of speed and sustained significant damage from the impact and rollover. The crash also caused damage to the fencing and landscaping of a residential property.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office will determine whether intoxicants contributed to the crash. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks.

Case #17-26776

Attached Media Files: 17-26776 Vehicle