Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Investigation takes down drug trafficking ring with international ties (Photo) - 12/08/23

A months-long investigation by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Dangerous Drugs Team resulted in one of the largest illegal fentanyl seizures in state history, and the largest seizure in agency history.

The Dangerous Drugs Team (DDT), a grant-funded narcotics task force (more information below), executed an early morning search warrant on December 7, 2023, culminating an investigation into a drug trafficking organization selling fentanyl in the tri-county area.

During the investigation, DDT identified several suspects and their co-conspirators, as well as cars and houses believed to be involved. Search warrants were executed at locations in Portland and Oregon City. At the Portland location, law enforcement located more than 52 pounds of fentanyl powder. At the Oregon City location, more than one pound of fentanyl powder and over 8,000 fentanyl pills were discovered. 

In addition to the drugs, over $30,000 in cash and multiple firearms were seized. The weapons found included two firearms that were broken down and concealed in packages addressed for locations outside the United States. 

DDT estimates that the more than 50 pounds of fentanyl powder seized would have yielded 11 million individual doses, which would have otherwise been sold in the Portland-area. 

Due to the excessive amount of fentanyl powder being processed, detectives used personal protective equipment and had NARCAN (Naloxone nasal spray) available in case of accidental exposure. The bulk fentanyl, over 50 pounds, was found open in a cardboard box lined with a trash bag.

Three people were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center: 23-year-old Luis Funez, 21-year-old Gerson Isaac Hernandez Betancurt, and 37-year-old Dezirae Ann Torset. The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The Dangerous Drugs Team is a narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts, and dismantles local, multi-state, and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency, prosecutor-supported approach. MCDDT is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) which is composed of members from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police, FBI, Parole and Probation, and U.S. Marshals. 

Special thanks the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI and Clackamas County Inter-Agency Task Force (CCITF) for their assistance in executing the warrants.

MCSO wants to remind the public that one pill can kill. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that it only takes 2 milligrams of fentanyl — about the weight of a few grains of salt — to cause a fatal overdose. Today, six out of ten DEA-tested pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. To learn more about the scope of the fentanyl crisis, visit the DEA’s  Fentanyl Awareness page. Information about addiction services and recovery support in Multnomah County can be found here.

Sheriff's Office statement regarding misconduct investigations (Photo) - 12/07/23

On Wednesday, December 6, 2023, a Multnomah County Grand Jury indicted Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Corrections Deputies James Brauckmiller and Michael Mersereau on a single count, each, of official misconduct in the first degree, related to two adult in custody deaths in 2023.

In the course of the respective adult in custody death investigations, MCSO detectives learned that Brauckmiller and Mersereau may not have performed their job duties as required. MCSO detectives opened separate investigations into their alleged conduct and referred their investigation to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

While an indictment is an accusation of a crime, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) takes all allegations of misconduct seriously, and we will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office to ensure a thorough investigation into these matters.

As a result of the Grand Jury’s decision, both employees remain on administrative leave, which is standard practice. In order to maintain the integrity of the criminal case, the Sheriff’s Office will not be commenting further on these particular criminal proceedings at this time.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office STOP data released - 12/01/23

Today, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) published STOP data for all agencies in the state of Oregon, including the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). The purpose of the Statistical Transparency of Policing Program (STOP) is to identify racial and ethnic disparities through self-initiated traffic and pedestrian stops. Passed by the state legislature in 2017, STOP adds transparency and accountability to policing.

CJC analyses disparities between white and Asian/PI, Black, Latinx, Native American, and Middle Eastern populations, using data collected between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. The state’s analysis found that no statistically significant disparity was identified in traffic or pedestrian stops made by MCSO sheriff’s deputies, and found that minority populations received equitable treatment as their white counterparts in many categories, including stops, searches and citations.

“This is the third consecutive year in which the data showed no statistical disparities in traffic and pedestrian stops performed by our sheriff’s deputies,” said Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell. “It reflects the values of our deputy sheriffs’ and our agency standards. While I am encouraged by the results, equity work is ongoing. I am committed to continuous improvement and creating safe and thriving communities for everyone.”

During the same time period, MCSO deputies performed 9,700 self-initiated traffic and pedestrian stops. The majority of stops, 98.6%, were of a vehicle, while 1.4% involved a pedestrian.

STOP requires all public safety agencies in the state to submit this data on an annual basis. To view the full report, click here.

Sheriff's office warns of phone scam impersonating members - 11/22/23

Link to video of a voicemail a scammer left a victim and a message from a deputy who is the real person scammers often pose as.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is asking for the public’s continued vigilance about a phone scam impersonating our members. Recently, we’ve taken reports totaling more than $9,000 in losses. 

Most commonly, the scam calls are from someone posing as a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office sergeant or deputy. It’s been reported that the scammer claims the recipient has a warrant, unpaid court fines, or has missed jury duty and must pay a fine with a gift card or cash app immediately or be arrested. 

Often, a tactic of the scammers is to keep the person on the phone during the entire process and tell the person they are not allowed to contact family or friends for advice. Once the scammer receives payment, they may tell the person they can come to an MCSO office for reimbursement. New tactics reported to us include, scammers using fake badge numbers, case numbers to try to legitimize their claims, and texting fraudulent warrants.

We want to remind the public that we NEVER conduct matters concerning warrant service, missed jury duty, missed court dates or payment of fines over the phone. We urge you to be aware of these ongoing and evolving scams.

•If you are called by a person claiming to be a member of the Sheriff’s Office and they are requesting payment in any capacity, DO NOT SEND MONEY or engage with these individuals. They do not represent the Sheriff’s Office.

•If you have been a victim of this scam, please file a police report by calling 503-823-3333 and select the option for non-emergency police reporting in the jurisdiction that reflects your residence.

Information from the Oregon Department of Justice

Just Hang Up - Oregon Department of Justice

Six Signs It Is A Scam - Oregon Department of Justice

Fill the Cruiser: Holiday Toy Drive - 11/21/23

Join the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), in partnership with the cities of Wood Village and Troutdale, for a Holiday Toy Drive this Saturday, November 25. Help us fill our cruisers with gifts for East County kids.

Community members can drop off new, unwrapped gifts with deputies from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at these Wood Village locations:

Fred Meyer
22855 NE Park Lane
Wood Village, Oregon

23500 NE Sandy Blvd
Wood Village, Oregon

22557 NE Park Lane
Wood Village, Oregon

We hope to see you there!

Explore new career opportunities with Multnomah County Sheriff's Office - 11/16/23

Explore career opportunities in corrections, law enforcement, facility security and professional support roles at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

A career at MCSO offers highly competitive compensation, great medical coverage, retirement pension options, generous paid time off, and a variety of other exceptional benefits

At MCSO, we strive for continuous improvement. We serve everyone with dignity and respect, and we have the courage to do what is right. Come join the more than 750 dedicated employees who are creating a safe and thriving community for all.

Learn more about our current job openings, including positions as a Corrections Deputy and Deputy Sheriff, and review frequently asked questions about our application process on our website.

Join our team – Agency video