Man charged in Woodburn homicide

A man has been charged by a Marion County Grand Jury indictment in the Aug. 4 stabbing of a man in Woodburn.

According to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Woodburn Police found Pedro Bravo-Luna on James Street in Woodburn after he was stabbed. Bravo-Luna was taken to the hospital but he died later of his injuries.

Four people were arrested on Aug. 7 and taken into Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement on unrelated charges.

After an investigation by Woodburn Police and the Marion County Homicide Assault Response Team, a Marion County Grand Jury convened and issued an indictment against one of the men arrested on Aug. 7, Mateo Torres Morales, for the murder of Bravo-Luna.

On Monday, detectives brought Torres from ICE custody to the Marion County Jail where he was arraigned on the indictment and held without bail, the district attorney said in a press release.

The same Grand Jury issued an indictment against Juan Torre-Santizo for attempted murder, attempted assault and unlawful use of a weapon against Antonio Segundo, a friend to Bravo-Luna.

  Read more about Man charged in Woodburn homicide

Marion County: Husband charged with murder, abuse of wife's corpse

A man accused of killing his wife and hiding her remains in remote Marion County was formally charged Friday with murder and abuse of a corpse.

The charges against Gustavo Villanueva Gutierrez stem from a September 2012 incident in which human remains were discovered by a Mill City hunter while he was hunting adjacent to Niagara Heights Road, about four miles east of Gates.

The remains were identified as those of Gutierrez’s wife, Maribel Gutierrez-Salinas, 39. They lived in Tualatin.

Gutierrez-Salinas was last seen in February 2011, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website.

Gutierrez, 42, was arrested in Laredo, Texas, on Aug. 26 after a Marion County grand jury handed up a secret indictment with his charges.

The Laredo Morning Times described him as a truck driver who was operating an 18-wheeler when local authorities pulled him over near Interstate 35 in North Laredo.

He was extradited to Oregon to stand trial. He is lodged in the Marion County jail without bail and is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 29.

Gustavo Villanueva Gutierrez - ICE HOLD

  Read more about Marion County: Husband charged with murder, abuse of wife's corpse

Police catch suspect in Medford murder case

An anonymous tip led to the capture of homicide suspect Jose Valencia-Gaona, who was spotted Wednesday near the railroad tracks running through central Medford.

"We received word that this individual was seen in the area of Clark Street near the railroad tracks," Medford police Chief Tim George said. "We were able to get out there in a short time and arrested the suspect without incident."

And so ended a three-day hunt for Valencia-Gaona, 45, who was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on a murder charge and $1 million bail.

George hinted that Valencia-Gaona could face additional charges for his alleged actions at the murder scene after the Jackson County District Attorney's Office has reviewed the case.

"There could be charges such as menacing, as he did threaten some witnesses with a knife that night," George said.

Investigators are still piecing together the events leading up to the murder of Maria Guadalupe Rodriguez, 38, who was brutally stabbed outside her apartment Sunday night.

"There are no happy endings to a homicide," George said. "This is a very sad case."

Police allege Valencia-Gaona of Medford jumped from a hiding spot in the bushes outside Rodriguez's apartment at 1990 Table Rock Road at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday and stabbed her several times. He also swiped at witnesses who tried to intervene and ran away before authorities arrived, police say.

George said Valencia-Gaona and Rodriguez knew each other but declined to elaborate.

"They were known to each other, but we won't go into the motive at this point," George said.

Witnesses have reported that Valencia-Gaona was seen at Rodriguez's apartment in the weeks before the murder.

Having a suspected killer on the loose prompted the Medford Police Department to call in extra manpower working overtime to comb through leads.

Officers spent hours chasing down faulty tips that had to be cleared, George said.

"We appreciate that the public was so willing to talk to us," George said. "We took every tip seriously and were fortunate that we got the one that led to this dangerous individual."

In all, the department had 30 extra people on board for the 72-hour search effort. The agency's SWAT team was scheduled for training on Tuesday and was diverted to a search team, George said.

Investigators will look into whether Valencia-Gaona had an accomplice helping him allegedly hide out from police in the days after the murder.

"We want to know what he's been doing since the murder happened," George said.

Homicide detectives were interviewing Valencia-Gaona at police headquarters Wednesday in the hours after his arrest. Following the interview, he was shipped to jail, where he will wait until his first court appearance.

A murder charge carries a minimum 25-year prison sentence upon conviction under Oregon law.

George previously said Valencia-Gaona has lived in the area for the past four or five years. Court records don't show any criminal history for him in Oregon.

Rodriguez left behind two children, a son who lives in Alaska and a daughter living in Eugene. The son is in Medford and has been in contact with police during the search for Valencia-Gaona.

"Our thoughts are with these family members," George said.


Jose Valencia-Gaona - ICE HOLD
  Read more about Police catch suspect in Medford murder case

Kingpin of mid-valley drug operation gets 18 years

Rogelio Gonzalez-Martinez bragged to his cohorts that he was an elk, and when it came to catching drug dealers, cops could only snare the deer.

During testimony at Gonzalez-Martinez’s sentencing in Benton County Circuit Court on Friday, Special Agent Mike Wells of the Oregon Department of Justice described the defendant’s two wire-tapped phone calls on Feb. 22, 2012.

“During the conversation, he’s laughing; he’s referring to himself as the elk and that he always gets away,” Wells said.

Less than a month later, Gonzalez-Martinez and 26 others were arrested after investigators served more than three dozen search warrants in Benton, Linn and Marion counties and seized cash, firearms and drugs. Pounds of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine were discovered buried at rural sites and in homes — including Gonzalez-Martinez’s — in what local and state investigating agencies referred to as “Operation Icebreaker 2.”

Characterized as the leader of the sophisticated operation, which imported drugs from Mexico and distributed them throughout the mid-valley, Gonzalez-Martinez was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison and three years’ post-prison supervision.

In his testimony, Wells said that intercepted phone calls revealed that Gonzalez-Martinez was at the top of the drug network. He worked closely with his brother Abel Gonzalez-Martinez, who worked mostly with Juventino Santibanez-Castro. Identified as the second and third in command, the two each were sentenced last December to 10 years in prison.

The months-long investigation revealed that Rogelio Gonzalez-Martinez knew where the drugs were hidden and that he was alerted whenever drugs were running low or related problems were encountered, Wells said.

“There were 604 drug-related conversations that Rogelio had with other individuals (during the investigation),” Wells said.

Investigators listened to calls in real time, as the drug deals were unfolding.

‘More sophisticated’

Gonzalez-Martinez used code when he referred to business, he and others changed out their phones, and they performed counter-surveillance, such as driving in loops to make sure no one was following them. They hid drugs in rural locations, in some cases burying them in Linn and Benton county locations.

“They were better and more sophisticated than other cases that we investigated,” Wells said. “… Rogelio was very disciplined in what he did.”

Under the direction of Icebreaker 2 investigators, Oregon State Police pulled over and arrested Gonzalez-Martinez in March 2012 as he was driving north on Interstate 5 in Josephine County, Wells recounted. Based on intercepted phone calls, investigators suspected that he was running drugs — but they couldn’t find them, even after towing, dismantling and X-raying his vehicle.

Finally, after authorities agreed to release his wife — who was in custody in Linn County — Gonzalez-Martinez agreed to tell them where the drugs were. Heroin was stashed inside hollowed-out wooden legs of a wicker laundry basket in the trunk of his vehicle.

However, Gonzalez-Martinez’s attorney, Paul Ferder, argued that the drug operation was no more sophisticated than other drug rings, noting that the use of code words, stashing drugs in safe houses, changing out phones and other methods used in the operation are common practice in the drug-dealing business.

Ferder also questioned the investigators’ method of performing controlled drug purchases, which increased in quantity each time. The practice, he said, developed a position of trust that made a person sell more than he normally would.

“Then you use that substantial quantity to justify (a higher sentence),” he said. “I refer to that as sentencing entrapment.“

Ferder added that his client had no prior criminal history, and that that he was not being accused of carrying out violence related to drug dealing.

Prosecuting attorney Shannon Kmetic of the Department of Justice said that the defendant didn’t deserve a break.

“Mr. Gonzalez — he doesn’t use; he’s not an addict that we should feel sorry for,” she said. “He is a businessman who gets other people to become addicts that take a toll on this community.”

Gonzalez-Martinez didn’t speak during the proceeding. Members of his family were among the few who attended.

Judge Matthew Donohue gave Gonzalez-Martinez 10 years for a racketeering charge and eight years for the additional five charges related to dealing methamphetamine and heroin.

“This was an extensive organization that moved an exceptionally large quantity of drugs — both heroin and meth and cocaine, highly addictive drugs — into our community,” Donohue said as he delivered the sentence. “The defendant was basically the instrument. Without the defendant, I don’t see this organization being as successful as it could be because he was the main supplier.”

Woman sentenced for role in drug ring

A woman arrested last year in connection with the Icebreaker 2 drug bust was sentenced in Benton County Circuit Court on Friday to 31 months in prison and three years’ post-prison supervision for her part in the mid-valley drug operation.

Kim Cheryl Zib, 54, entered a no-contest plea to one count of racketeering as part of the agreement with prosecutors.

Zib had seven prior felony convictions and was recorded through a wiretap “accepting large amounts of drugs,” Benton County Chief Deputy District Attorney Christian Stringer said at her arraignment hearing last year.

Zib, who has a mailing address in Philomath, was arrested in July 2012 at her family’s residence in the Waterloo area outside of Lebanon, four months after a warrant for her arrest was issued.

Dozens of people were arrested in Benton, Linn and Marion counties as part of the drug bust. With Friday’s sentencing of Zib and the kingpin of the large-scale drug operation, Rogelio Gonzalez-Martinez, out of the way, the Benton County District Attorney’s Office has only one Icebreaker 2 case left to prosecute, Stringer said.

Stringer didn’t know the status of cases in Linn and Marion counties.

Rogelio Gonzalez-Martinez - ICE HOLD

  Read more about Kingpin of mid-valley drug operation gets 18 years

A novel approach to get petition signatures: the drive-through

A group dedicated to overturning a new Oregon law that grants driver-privilege cards to people without conventional documentation has come up with a quick way to gather petition signatures.

It’s encouraging motorists to participate in drive-through democracy.

“You don’t even need to get out of your car,” said Jim Ludwick, the group’s communications director. “Just drive up, sign the petition and drive away.”

From noon to 8 p.m. today, Oregonians for Immigration Reform will set up cones and signs in a parking lot near its billboard at Market Street and Savage Road NE, which is west of Interstate 5 in Salem.

Volunteers will be ready with petitions for motorists to sign as well as supplies for those who want to gather additional signatures among their friends, neighbors and family, Ludwick said.

The group is trying to overturn Oregon Senate Bill 833, which Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in May in front of thousands of cheering supporters at the Capitol. The bill authorized driver’s cards for those lacking documents to obtain a regular driver’s license.

OFIR contends that the law gives driver privilege cards to people who are in the country illegally.

Kitzhaber said at the time that SB-833 ensured that thousands of Oregonians could drive to and from work, school, church and errands.

Ludwick said his group needs to collect 58,142 valid signatures to submit to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office by the Oct. 4 deadline.

“We are very optimistic we’ll meet the number,” Ludwick said. “We have had an amazing number (121) of unsolicited requests for these petitions from cities across the state.”

Jan Flowers, a compliance specialist with the elections division of the Secretary of State’s office, said she wasn’t aware of other groups collecting signatures via a drive-up queue, but she said it was a legal signature-gathering technique.

“As long as they witness the signature, it’s no different than if someone walked up and signed,” Flowers said.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform also will staff a booth outside of the southeast corner of the Columbia Exhibit Hall at the Oregon State Fair, which opens today.

Petition drive

What: Drive-through signature gathering
Where: [West of I-5 Exit 256] Market Street and Savage Road NE
When: noon to 8 p.m. today
Why: To qualify ballot measure to overturn Senate Bill 833 Read more about A novel approach to get petition signatures: the drive-through

Rep. Bonamici schedules town halls


We encourage you to attend Town Hall meetings in your district and throughout your state.

Your elected officials will be hosting the following events:

Topic: Clatskanie Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/21/2013
Starts: 09:30 AM
Until: 10:30 AM
Where: Clatskanie Middle
High School Gymnasium
471 SW Bel Air Drive
Clatskanie, OR 97016

Topic: Astoria Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/21/2013
Starts: 11:30 AM
Until: 12:30 PM
Where: Astoria Public Library
Flag Room
450 10th Street
Astoria, OR 97103

Topic: Tualatin Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/22/2013
Starts: 01:30 PM
Until: 02:30 PM
Where: Tualatin Public Library
Community Room
18878 SW Martinazzi Ave
Tualatin, OR 97062

Topic: Hillsboro Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/22/2013
Starts: 03:30 PM
Until: 04:30 PM
Where: Hillsboro Civic Center
C117 Auditorium
150 E. Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Topic: Banks Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/28/2013
Starts: 11:00 AM
Until: 12:00 PM
Where: Banks Fire Station
Training Room
300 S Main Street
Banks, OR 97106

Topic: Yamhill Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/28/2013
Starts: 01:00 PM
Until: 02:00 PM
Where: Yamhill-Carlton High School
120 North Larch Place
Yamhill, OR 97148

Topic: Beaverton Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/29/2013
Starts: 12:00 PM
Until: 01:00 PM
Where: Beaverton Interpretive Center
Beaver Den Room, Nature Park Interpretive Center
15655 SW Millikan Way
Beaverton, OR 97006

Topic: Sauvie Island Town Hall Meeting
Official: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1st)
When: 09/29/2013
Starts: 02:00 PM
Until: 03:00 PM
Where: Sauvie Island Academy Gym
14445 NW Charlton Road
Portland, OR 97231

We urge you to attend the upcoming Town Hall meeting to share your concerns about the Senate "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill.

Click here for helpful resources to help you lobby your Senator about this bill.

Please call your elected official's district office to verify the date/location of the Town Hall event. We use our best efforts to obtain reliable information, but schedules change frequently.

We all know that politicians are famous for talking one way at home, and then voting another way when they get back to Washington, D.C. We'd love to hear about the meetings that you attend and we would appreciate any feedback that you could give us.

Please forward this message to your family and friends.

  Read more about Rep. Bonamici schedules town halls

Tigard police arrest nine in prostitute sting

Tigard police arrested nine men in a prostitution sting Thursday.

The Criminal Investigations Unit placed online advertisements for paid sex earlier this month and undercover officers answered responses electronically and by phone, said Captain Robert Rogers.

Read the full article.
  Read more about Tigard police arrest nine in prostitute sting

Woodburn man sentenced to 18 years after fatal Polk County crash in January

A Woodburn man is now in the Department of Corrections after being sentenced to 18 years for a Polk County car crash in January that killed one man and injured three others.

Marcos Antonio-Luz, 42, was admitted to Coffee Creek Correctional Facility on Aug. 20 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, three counts of assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was sentenced Aug. 5 in Polk County Circuit Court.

An indictment against Antonio-Luz included 10 charges but a plea agreement with the Polk County District Attorney led to five of them being dropped.

The three-vehicle crash on Jan. 19 took place on Highway 22 south of Highway 18. It resulted in the death of Clifford Fagaly, 69, of Silverton. His wife and passenger, Kerttu Fagaly, 85, of Silverton, was critically injured and taken to Salem Hospital.

Lt. Gregg Hastings of Oregon State Police said that around 6:30 p.m. a westbound 2003 Ford van crossed the center line and collided with an eastbound 2000 Toyota four-door driven by Fagaly. The Toyota came to rest in a ditch and the van stopped in the westbound lane, where it was hit by a westbound Dodge pickup and skidded off the highway.

Antonio-Luz was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the pickup, Lonny Bryant, 51, and passenger Ruthann Bryant, 49, both of Willamina, had minor injuries.

Deputy district attorney Keir Boettcher said there were a multitude of reasons to go with the plea agreement – the first being judicial economy.

“There was a lot of evidence in favor of the state,” Boettcher said.

The case was less of an issue of guilty versus not guilty, and more about what the appropriate sentence would be, he said.

The victims were another consideration. Boettcher said victims and their family members were present throughout the case, some traveling from as far as Missouri.

Marcos Antonio-Luz - ICE hold Read more about Woodburn man sentenced to 18 years after fatal Polk County crash in January

Salem Police arrest five in prostitution sting

The Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit arrested five suspects during a prostitution sting operation conducted on the evening of August 29.

Street Crimes Detectives worked with undercover officers to establish contact with both prostitutes and "Johns" via the Internet site "" then arrested the suspects when they arrived at designated locations.

Arrested in the sting operation were:
29-year old Andrew J Fitzpatrick of Monmouth. Charged with Prostitution and Delivery of Marijuana
37-year old Alison E Hall of Portland. Charged with Prostitution
59-year old Jeremy T Davis of Salem. Charged with Prostitution
51-year old Patrick J Duda of Salem. Charged with Prostitution
29-year old Ismael Mendez of Salem. Charged with Prostitution

Salem Deputy Police Chief James Ferraris, who commands the Investigations Division of the Salem Police Department, stated that "Prostitution and crimes associated with prostitution affect every part of our community. We will continue to be proactive in combating this issue and make our community an unwelcome place for those who partake in these activities." Prostitution exploits a vulnerable part of our society and is also frequently linked to human trafficking, which is becoming more frequent throughout our communities. Women, juveniles and undocumented individuals are being victimized by human traffickers for forced labor as well as for sexual exploitation. Victims of human trafficking often feel as though they have no alternative but to obey those who take advantage of them.

Anyone who has information about human trafficking is urged to contact your local law enforcement agency. Victims of human trafficking can also contact their local Women's Crisis Center for assistance with safety and shelter. The Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service can be reached at their 24-hour crisis line at 503-399-7722.

Prostitution related crimes often utilize the Internet to facilitate activities. Parents should watch for unfamiliar Internet site names on their computer browser histories and further investigate those sites as a way to monitor the computer activities of their children.

Ismael Mendez - ICE hold
  Read more about Salem Police arrest five in prostitution sting

Senator Wyden just popped up for Eugene Townhall meeting

Alert date: 
August 27, 2013
Alert body: 

Hurry and perhaps you can still make it:

August 27, 2013 12:00 PM

Eugene Hilton

66 E. 6th Street

Eugene, OR





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