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News Releases
Geovani Barcenas-Ortiz Sentenced in Bias Crime Incident (Photo) - 06/21/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On June 17, 2024, Geovani Barcenas-Ortiz pleaded guilty to Bias Crime in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Judge Theodore Sims sentenced the defendant to 15 months in prison and ordered he serve two years of post-prison supervision. Deputy District Attorney Christina Luedtke prosecuted this case.

On May 18, 2024, the defendant, who was on post-prison supervision for a Felon in Possession of a Firearm conviction, was at the Willow Creek MAX station. A TriMet employee spotted the defendant riding a scooter through the station and asked him to get off his scooter near the MAX platform. The defendant refused, pulled a knife, and threatened to kill the worker. 

Hillsboro police were called and responded to the scene. Officers located the defendant and arrested him. In addition to the physical threats, the defendant also admitted to using derogatory comments against the employee based on his Asian descent.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting all members of our community from hate and bias. This office leads the Washington County Bias Crime Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). The MDT consists of members from law enforcement agencies and community partner organizations from across Washington County. Victims of bias crimes are urged to report incidents to law enforcement so that they can be properly investigated and prosecuted. Victims can also utilize the Bias Response Hotline operated by the Oregon Department of Justice.

This office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Hillsboro Police Department on this case. The defendant will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence. 

Jesus Esteban Flores Sentenced to Prison for Washington Square Mall Robbery (Photo) - 06/14/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On June 6, 2024, a Washington County jury convicted Jesus Esteban Flores of two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Theft in the Second Degree. Judge Brandon Thompson sentenced the defendant to a total of 109 months in prison and ordered he serve three years of post-prison supervision. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman prosecuted this case. 

On September 17, 2023, the defendant entered the Washington Square Mall and committed multiple crimes over a short period of time. The defendant first entered a department store, where he placed a large kitchen knife on the shoe counter and asked for a pair of shoes in his size. After the employee retrieved the shoes, the defendant took them without paying. He then shoplifted a hat from a neighboring store before he briefly stepped outside to put on the stolen shoes.

The defendant reentered the mall and went to a clothing store where he concealed multiple shirts under his clothes. An employee approached Mr. Flores to intervene, but the defendant displayed the knife in his waistband and stepped toward the victim. That employee backed away and watched as the defendant left the store with the blade in hand as he asked this victim if he was “trying to get the knife?” 

A security officer responded and followed the defendant from a distance throughout the mall. The defendant noticed this and turned to confront the officer outside a main mall entrance in front of shoppers. He pointed his knife and made verbal threats to kill the officer. The officer backed away, and additional mall security followed at a distance as they alerted law enforcement. 

Tigard police officers confronted the defendant as he attempted to leave the area on a bike. They identified themselves and ordered him to drop the knife. After the defendant refused multiple orders, they fired 40mm less lethal foam rounds at the defendant. Officers then seized the knife, returned the merchandise, and took the defendant to jail.  

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton recently launched a new campaign aimed at protecting area businesses from shoplifters. The district attorney's office has created shoplifting warning signs and is distributing these signs to area business owners free of charge. Visit our website to learn more about this effort and to request a sign. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Tigard Police Department and Washington Square Mall security officers in protecting other patrons. 

The defendant will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence. 

Washington County District Attorney's Office Hosts Retail Theft Symposium (Photo) - 06/12/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- The Washington County District Attorney’s Office joined with the Columbia Sportswear Company and the Organized Retail Crime Association of Oregon (ORCAOR) to host the first-ever Washington County Retail Theft Symposium on June 10, 2024.  More than 50 people attended the event on the Columbia Sportswear Company’s campus, including loss prevention personnel, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors.

Presenters covered topics including the scope of retail theft in Oregon, how to form and run robust loss prevention teams, how to properly report these cases to law enforcement, and what type of evidence and investigation are necessary for a successful prosecution.  

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton launched the inaugural event to bring loss prevention officials together and to alert potential criminals who target businesses in Washington County. 

“Ensuring our community is safe for businesses, employees, and customers is a priority,” said District Attorney Barton. “We want to send a strong message to businesses that we support them and to criminals that we will prosecute them.”

The Columbia Sportswear Company hosted the symposium. This Oregon company is not immune to retail theft trends and welcomed the opportunity to increase training and facilitate networking opportunities between the various retailers in attendance. 

“Organized retail theft hurts both large and small businesses, so we appreciate all of the help we receive from the Washington County DA’s office and the Organized Retail Crime Association of Oregon,” said Peter Bragdon, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel at the Columbia Sportswear Company.

ORCAOR also played a pivotal role in ensuring the symposium was a success.

“The Organized Retail Crime Association of Oregon (ORCAOR) was honored to present at the inaugural Washington County Retail Theft Symposium. This event marked a significant step towards enhancing our collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies and retailers to address organized retail crime (ORC) across our state,” said Phillip Smith, Vice President at ORCAOR and Organized Retail Crime Investigator at Fred Meyer.

“We are committed to strengthening these partnerships, uniting law enforcement, retailers, and prosecutors in our collective mission to combat crime. By working together, we aim to make a positive impact on our communities, fostering a safer and more secure environment for all. ORCAOR looks forward to continued collaboration and the development of effective strategies to mitigate ORC and to protect our local businesses and residents.”

District Attorney Barton also works closely with the Oregon-based Organized Retail Crime Task Force in an effort to combat retail theft at the statewide level.

Attendees received shoplifting warning signs created by the district attorney’s office that they can display in their businesses. The district attorney’s office is making these signs available to all interested retailers and has received a high volume of requests. For more information and to submit a request for a sign, visit our website.

District Attorney Barton wishes to acknowledge the following organizations for their participation in this effort: the Columbia Sportswear Company, the Organized Retail Crime Association of Oregon, Fred Meyer, and the Beaverton Police Department. 

Gary Douglas Caughey Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison in Public Indecency Case (Photo) - 06/06/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On June 3, 2024, Gary Douglas Caughey, age 83, pleaded guilty to Public Indecency and was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Guptill also denied the defendant any eligibility for a reduction in his sentence, meaning he will serve the full 60 months. Deputy District Attorney Jason Weiner prosecuted this case.

The defendant has a lengthy criminal history dating back to at least 1973. He has been convicted of a multitude of crimes including rape and kidnapping. His crimes show a clear pattern of targeting underage girls both in Oregon and Nebraska. He spent several decades in prison.

On March 9, 2024, the defendant went to a Target in Beaverton, Oregon. He was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood and was following young girls throughout the store while masturbating. Two teenagers eventually noticed the defendant’s actions and alerted a store employee. The employee told a supervisor, and several workers confronted the defendant. He left before they could get his name, but they noted his license plate number and called law enforcement. Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff's Office responded. They used the license plate number to identify the defendant as their suspect and confirmed this by showing his DMV photo to employees.

The defendant was arrested the next day at his home. He was wearing the same sweatshirt and admitted he was in the store the day before. Deputies obtained consent to examine the man’s sweatshirt. They discovered he cut a hole through the interior portion of the center pocket, which allowed him to access his genitalia while concealing his actions under the sweatshirt. 

Deputies are concerned there could be additional victims who have not yet been identified. Anyone with information about additional crimes committed by the defendant should call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2590. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the actions of store employees and the investigative work of the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The defendant will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence. 

Julius Lavant Mitchell Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison in Human Trafficking Case (Photo) - 06/05/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On May 28, 2024, Julius Lavant Mitchell, age 21, pleaded guilty to Unlawful Delivery of Cocaine, Promoting Prostitution, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Tampering with a Witness. On June 5, 2024, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Theodore Sims sentenced Mr. Mitchell to 80 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Bryce Bissinger prosecuted this case. 

On April 30, 2024, Beaverton police conducted a human trafficking sting by posing as interested sex buyers online. The woman detectives communicated with arrived at the agreed-upon location and was observed exiting the defendant’s vehicle. Beaverton police pulled the vehicle over after it left the location. The defendant, who was already a convicted felon at the time and had recently completed a prison sentence in Washington State after being convicted of Robbery in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second Degree, was driving the vehicle. Investigators located a minor in the car, a handgun, significant amounts of cocaine and dexamphetamine, drug dealing paraphernalia, and nearly $2,000 in cash. 

Investigators spoke with the woman and confirmed she had been engaging in prostitution and that the defendant was her pimp. Officers also reviewed digital evidence on the defendant and woman’s phone which proved he was her pimp. 

While in custody at the Washington County Jail, the defendant made several phone calls to various acquaintances in which he urged them to convince the minor to claim the drugs belonged to him rather than the defendant. He also told them to persuade the woman to deny that he was her pimp and made comments suggesting he would commit acts of violence against her if she didn’t comply.

Unfortunately, human trafficking is occurring in Washington County. In 2018, our office helped to launch the Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force to more effectively investigate and prosecute these cases. Our prosecutors work closely with our law enforcement partners to hold offenders accountable and to support victims. If you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1, your local law enforcement agency, or report it to the Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Beaverton Police Department on this case. The defendant will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence.