Lane Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Photo of visible hazards
Photo of visible hazards
Low Water Level in Fern Ridge Reservoir may Create Hazard for Boaters (Photo) - 07/03/20

Lane County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol deputies are advising boaters of low water levels at Fern Ridge Reservoir that could present a hazard.  There are several partially exposed tree stumps in the water and potentially many more just under the surface that could be dangerous for boaters and skiers, particularly on northwest section of the reservoir.  Boaters are asked to please use caution when boating in the area.  Marine Patrol deputies are working to place markers near known hazards, but boaters towing skiers, wakeboarders, etc. are encouraged to stay in the deeper sections. 

Attached Media Files: Photo of visible hazards
Toyota Truck
Toyota Truck
Update: Deputies arrest suspect in death investigation involving 30 year old female (Photo) - 07/02/20

Update 7/2/2020 at 1:55 p.m.:

The deceased female in the below incident has been identified as 30 year old Kiari Tasha Danielle Holland of Eugene. Lane County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested 31 year old Christopher Samuel Lee in connection with the death of Ms. Holland. Lee was lodged at the Lane County Jail for Manslaughter in the second degree and Hit and Run. Additional charges of Unlawful Possession of Heroin and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine have also been added.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the Oregon State Police, the Eugene Police Department, the University of Oregon Police Department and the Lane County District Attorney's Office investigators for their assistance.  


Update 6/30/20 at 3:55 p.m.:

The pictured truck believed to be involved in an ongoing death investigation has been located.  The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the community for keeping their eyes out for this vehicle and calling in tips.  This investigation is ongoing, and detectives are asking anyone with information about the below described incident to call 541-682-4150 then press 1 and reference case # 20-4280.  


News Release sent 6/29/20:

Lane County Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking for the public’s assistance locating a late 90s or early 2000s gray Toyota Tundra, pictured, and the male driver and passenger who transported an injured female to Sacred Heart University Hospital in Eugene this morning around 4:30 a.m.  Preliminary investigation indicates the woman was picked up in the River Road area and transported to the hospital, but the driver of the truck left before additional information could be obtained.  Injuries indicate the female may have been struck by a vehicle.  The female victim was pronounced deceased at the hospital and Lane County Sheriff's Office is investigating her death with the Lane County Medical Examiner's Office.  Deputies are working to notify the victim's next of kin prior to releasing her name.   

The photo of the truck (attached) was taken in the River Road area where the female was thought to be picked up, and matches the description of the one that dropped the female off at the hospital.   

If you know the identity of the driver and/or passenger of the truck that took the woman to the hospital or have information on the above described incident, please call the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 then press 1, and reference case # 20-4280. 

Attached Media Files: Toyota Truck
Whitewolf jail photo
Whitewolf jail photo
One arrested at riot outside of the Lane County Jail (Photo) - 07/02/20

On 7/1/2020 shortly after 9:00 p.m., over 100 people gathered at the Lane County Jail in an organized protest. Protesters set off fireworks and took over 5th Avenue in downtown Eugene in front of the jail. As the evening progressed, many of the protesters moved to the back of the jail adjacent to the railroad tracks. 

The event quickly became destructive as several people began throwing lit fireworks into the parking area of the jail. Rioters then tore down two separate sections of the chain link fence surrounding the jail which were several hundred feet apart. Rioters entered the secure parking area and broke the windows of several vehicles and spray painted one vehicle. Deputies deployed pepper ball to regain control of the secure area and stop the destruction.

Deputies were able to take 28 year old Noah Whitewolf of Eugene into custody in the secure parking area of the jail for the destruction of multiple vehicles (not all pictured destruction is connected to Whitewolf). Whitewolf is being held on the following charges: Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Criminal Mischief in the first degree and Rioting, all felonies. The Eugene Police are investigating the incident. One of the responding deputies was injured during this event, but the extent of the injury is not yet known.

While deputies were taking Whitewolf into custody and securing the breached sections of the secure parking area, rioters moved to the front of the jail and for the second time this week lit the American flag on fire.

These events are one in a series of vandalism and destruction at the jail in recent days. Several days ago, the sign in front of the jail dedicating the Defendant Offender Management Center to Richard K. Sherman was defaced. Richard Sherman was an advocate for inmates suffering from mental health issues and addiction, and served the inmates at the Lane County Jail as the Health Services Manager until he died at the age of 47 of pancreatic cancer. The sign and the building were a way to honor all that Richard Sherman did for the inmates in our community. 

"We are saddened at the destruction that has occurred, and the danger that this event created. We are absolutely supportive of peaceful protests and having a dialogue about how things can be improved, but that's not what this was.  This was a riot, and it took significant resources away from calls for service from community members (not involved in the riot) needing emergency law enforcement response," said Sheriff Cliff Harrold.   


Creswell burglary suspect arrested after burglary is interrupted by neighbor - 06/25/20

On 6/25/2020 at 7:46 a.m., the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received a report than a man, later identified as 49 year old James Paul Smith of Creswell, had followed a community member home and refused to leave the community member’s porch.  A short time later after the residents left, Smith was found breaking into the home and was interrupted by a neighbor.  Smith and the neighbor were engaged in a physical fight when Creswell deputies arrived.

Smith, who appeared extremely agitated and was speaking incoherently, then turned on deputies.  Smith refused commands and fought with deputies as they attempted to take him into custody.  After several minutes of fighting with Smith, deputies deployed a Taser which only had a slight effect on him.  The fight continued as additional deputies outside of the City of Creswell contract responded.  Deputies were eventually able to secure Smith in handcuffs but he continued to try to fight with deputies.  Smith was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation and was cleared to be taken to jail where he was lodged on multiple charges, listed below.

Responding deputies suffered minor injuries. The neighbor who interrupted the burglary suffered injuries from the altercation with Smith, including a human bite, but he was not transported to the hospital. 

Arrested:  James Paul Smith, 49 years old, Creswell


  • Burglary in the first degree
  • Criminal Mischief in the third degree
  • Assault in the fourth degree
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Assault of a Public Safety Officer

Sheriff's Office Alerts Veneta Community of Cougar Sighting near E Hunter Rd. and Huston Rd. - 06/18/20

Correction:  The location of the sighting has been updated to E Hunter Rd. and Huston Rd. in Veneta

The Lane County Sheriff's Office has received reports of cougar sightings in the Veneta area near East Hunter and Huston Rd. in West Lane County.  Information indicates there may be two, possibly three cougars in the area.  The Lane County Sheriff's Office has notified the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division, who are monitoring the situation. The Lane County Sheriff's Office is posting warning signs in the area of the sightings to increase awareness.

The Sheriff's Office has not received any reports that the cougars have approached anyone, but would like community members to be aware of the sightings. The Lane County Sheriff's Office is asking community members to report cougar sightings in the Veneta area to 541-682-4150 then press 1, or to 9-1-1 if an emergency exists.  While the cougars have only been sighted at night, per ODFW and OSP, cougar sightings during the day this close to residential areas would be unusual and would cause additional concern.

If You Encounter a Cougar - from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website (address below)

  • Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.
  • Back away slowly.
  • Do not run. Running triggers a chase response in cougars, which could lead to an attack.
  • Raise your voice and speak firmly.
  • If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands.
  • If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.

For more information on cougar safety, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website at





Location of search warrant
Location of search warrant
Update: Deputies seize stolen guns, a military smoke canister, a silencer, and a stolen police uniform in June 10th search warrant in West Lane County (Photo) - 06/11/20

Search Warrant Update 6/11/2020: 

Additional charges have been added to Dustin Conn (Felon in Possession of a Weapon) and Miles Smith (Felon in Possession of a Weapon and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine) in connection with the search warrant service on 6/10/2020 at a residence on Poodle Creek and Hwy 126 in West Lane County.  

Multiple guns were seized (see photo), including two stolen guns.  Additionally, a military smoke canister, a homemade silencer, a stolen police uniform, and an ATV stolen out of Lane County were located as part of the search warrant.  The Department of Human Services responded to evaluate the welfare of four children at the location where weapons and narcotics were located. 

Thank you to Lane County Parole and Probation and the Department of Human Services for their assistance!

Release sent 6/10/2020

On June 10th at approximately 7:00 a.m. the Lane County Sheriff's Office, assisted by Lane County Parole and Probation, served a search warrant for evidence related to a felon in possession of a firearm case at a residence on Poodle Creek Road and Hwy 126 in West Lane County.  The location was known to have multiple people residing on the property and reports of multiple weapons. 

Three males at the location were arrested and lodged at the Lane County Jail and one male was arrested and cited in lieu of custody. See arrest details below.  Additionally, multiple firearms were seized and one stolen firearm was recovered. 


Arrested: Dustin Joshua Conn, 37 years old, Veneta (photo attached)

  1. Probation Violation


Arrested: Timothy Bryce Shafer, 20 years old, Noti (no photo available yet)

  1. Theft in the first degree
  2. Possession of a Prohibited Firearm
  3. Firearms Transfer by an Unlicensed Person


Arrested: Miles Patrick Smith, 30 years old, Eugene (photo attached)

  1. Parole Violation


Arrested and Cited in Lieu of Custody: Joseph Dwain Swenson, 58 years old, Eugene (no photo available)

  1. Felon in Possession of a Firearm


Phone Scammers Impersonate Sheriff's Office Employees - 06/04/20

The Lane County Sheriff's Office has received reports that phone scammers are targeting community members again. The scammers have been posing as Sheriff's Office employees and using names of actual employees.  Scammers told one community member recently that they had missed jury duty and could either turn themselves into the Sheriff's Office to serve 12 hours of jail time or pay a sum of money over $1,500.  As with past scams, the victim is asked to stay on the phone.  This is to ensure the victim doesn't try to contact the agency directly, or call a loved one for guidance.  Community members are then sent to one or more places to pay the "fine" until they are finally sent to a retailer that sells gift and cash cards. Scammers then ask for the numbers off the cards to access the funds.  In one case, the scammers recontacted the victim and demanded more money, this time saying they would only accept a debit card.  

These phone calls are SCAMS. 

The Lane County Sheriff's Office will not contact you over the phone for a warrant, we will visit you in person.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office will NEVER ask for payment in the form of gift or cash cards, and we will NEVER ask you to stay on the phone while you obtain funds.  

Scammers play on fear to get you to part with your hard earned money.  If you suspect a call is a scam, HANG UP and call the agency back at their publicly listed number.  

Prevention Partnership with Local Retailers

Several months ago local law enforcement agencies teamed up to create flyers for local retailers to place near gift and cash card displays in stores.  The flyers were designed to provide information to possible victims who may be there to purchase gift/cash cards in response to a scam call.  We have heard from several people who have realized they were being scammed due to the flyers or because a thoughtful employee mentioned the phone scams.  We would like to thank our local retailers for their partnership with law enforcement to stop scammers for good!