Madras Man Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison for Bank Robbery and Role in Meth Distribution Conspiracy

A Madras man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for his role in a Central Oregon methamphetamine distribution conspiracy and for robbing a Madras bank, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Eugene.

According to court documents, 30-year-old Tyler Wayne Fuller is the son of career criminal and known drug dealer Ronald Wayne Thrasher, 49, also of Madras.

By age 28, Fuller had his own extensive criminal history and had spent the majority of his adulthood incarcerated. In December 2016, after Fuller was released from federal prison, Thrasher began giving his son methamphetamine to sell. Within a month, Thrasher was supplying and Fuller was distributing quarter and half-pound quantities of methamphetamine throughout Central Oregon.

The US Attorney’s office said in February 2017, Fuller’s volatile relationship with his father led to a confrontation. Armed with a pistol, Fuller unsuccessfully attempted to rob his father of his methamphetamine supply. The resulting estrangement left Fuller without a supplier and illicit income. Now homeless, he continued selling drugs obtained from his father’s customers.

In August 2017 – during the total solar eclipse – Fuller robbed a U.S. Bank in Madras, collecting $517 in cash.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane ordered Fuller to pay $517 in restitution to U.S. Bank and forfeit any property or proceeds derived from his drug trafficking activities.

On April 25, 2018, Fuller pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fifty or more grams of methamphetamine and bank robbery.

Thrasher was convicted at trial in August 2019 for purchasing and transporting methamphetamine for distribution and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced on February 4.

Fuller is the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced for their involvement in his father’s drug trafficking conspiracy. One defendant, Russell Marvin Jones, 53, of Gresham, Oregon, was convicted at trial alongside his father. Nine others pleaded guilty. All are scheduled to be sentenced in the next six months before Judge McShane.

This case was investigated by Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted Frank R. Papagni Jr. and Judi Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon, with the assistance of the Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes County District Attorney’s Offices.

Taste This! – Eating as a Family Made Simple

September is national family meals month. So, for this week’s Taste This! culinary adventure, Donna Britt shows us how easy it can be to pull together a delicious family meal and why it’s important.

See the September “What’s for Dinner Tuesday” menu online at newportavemarket.com

A special thanks to our sponsor, Newport Avenue Market, for giving us the time and resources to bring you this delightful culinary feature each week. Life is short. Eat good food. And have fun doing it.

Transient Man Arrested After Threatening Security Officer With Hatchet

A 23-year-old hatchet-wielding transient was arrested Monday after chasing a security guard into the Bend JC Penny store, prompting a brief lockdown with customers inside.

According to Bend Police Sgt. Rob Emerson, officers were dispatched at 6:35 p.m. to a weapons offense in the Cascade Village Shopping Center.

A security officer with the shopping center was contacted by employees of Trader Joe’s about a man who was yelling at customers and causing a disturbance.

This man was later identified as Jeffrey J. Ebel. When the security officer arrived in the area, he spotted Ebel in Food 4 Less and asked him to not go back to Trader Joe’s, Emerson said.

During the interaction, Ebel indicated he was waiting for the bus. Security gave Ebel directions to the bus stop and followed Ebel from a distance as he walked towards the stop location.

Emerson said while Ebel was walking to the north, he turned around and saw the security officer following him from a distance. Ebel unlatched a hatchet he was carrying and displayed it over his head and began yelling at the security officer and threatening to harm him.

The security officer contacted 911 and kept eyes on Ebel and provided updates as he walked to the northwest, just west of JC Penny.

While the security officer was on 911, Ebel suddenly turned back around and charged at him with the hatchet over his head. The security officer was able to run into the store and hide as Ebel entered the store looking for him.

When Ebel could not find the security officer, Ebel then ran from the store and was last seen running to the northwest and JC Penny was put on lockdown for a short time.

Bend Police arrived in the area and found Ebel behind a business in the area of Hunnel Rd and Robal Rd.  He was arrested without incident and the hatchet was seized.

Ebel was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and charged with menacing, second-degree disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a weapon.

▶️ Bend Conference Focuses on Cannabis Industry Safety

There are more than 100 cannabis extraction facilities in Oregon.

With the recent boom in industrial hemp production, there will probably be more such facilities, including here in Central Oregon.

“First would be a cold extraction using ethanol, or grain alcohol as most of us know it. That’s generally used for what’s known as a full-spectrum oil extraction,” said Jeff Jackson, OSHA Industrial Hygiene Consultant.  “There are two primary extraction processes for THC which would be liquified butane or propane or butane hash oil extraction would be the common name for it in the trade. And then supercritical carbon dioxide extraction which is a safer operation because you are not using a flammable liquid.”

The Deschutes County Farm Bureau, the Oregon Farm Bureau Health & Safety Committee and the state Occupational Safety & Health Division hosted a cannabis safety workshop at the RiverHouse conference center in Bend on Monday.

“If you’ve got a comfortable glove the worker is more likely to keep that glove on. If it’s itchy or too hot, they are going to pull it off and that’s when accidents are more likely to happen,” said Chris Niehaus with the Superior Glove Company. “So if we can get you into a comfortable glove that’s still going to protect you at the same level, that’s a win-win for everybody.”

Oregon OSHA offers free consultations to help the cannabis industry improve worker safety.

“We provide a detailed report for actions they should take and then we rate things as serious or not whether they could result in an injury to the worker,” Jackson said. “They generally get a deferral for up to 60 days after the report.”

 

▶️ OSU-Cascades Unveils Plans for New Academic Building

Oregon State University-Cascades has unveiled plans for a new 50,000-square-foot academic building to bolster its expanding Bend campus.

Academic Building 2, as it’s now known, will be across the campus roadway from Tykeson Hall and serve the STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

It’ll include four levels of learning space featuring labs and engineering teaching spaces, maker spaces for art, computer science, engineering and outdoor product programs, collaborative spaces for faculty and students and office space.

 “It takes about a year for an academic building to go through the design process,” said Kelly Sparks, Associate VP of Finance and Strategic Planning. “We’re very engaged with our faculty, what are their needs? How are they going to teach? What do their office layouts look like? As well as our students, how do they learn? What will make them most successful as they move through their college career?”

Inside, students and staff can expect nine classrooms, three flex labs, and a Capstone teaching space.

As well as plenty of hands-on equipment to be used during and outside of class time.

It will also host one a new doctorate of physical therapy program.

“To teach physical therapy, to teach arts, media and technology, to teach outdoor products, we have to have these specialized lab spaces that allow students to have that hands-on experiential opportunity in the classroom and we just don’t have that today,” Sparks said. “It allows new programs, as well as incremental enrollment.”

The new building is part of a larger expansion project that broke ground earlier this summer.

Crews have started preparing the land at the former pumice mine and landfill adjacent to the current campus on Bend’s west side. Once it’s ready for development, work will begin on the new academic building.

It was made possible thanks to a $5 million anonymous gift, $1 million from Charles McGrath, founder and president of Grace-Bio Labs, and other donors who contributed $9 million to match state funding.

The university currently is at capacity with just over 1,250 students. As the campus expands it expects to be able to increase enrollment to 3,000 to 5,000 students.

The first phase of the project also includes plans to improve campus infrastructure, add an amphitheater and oval green, as well as city infrastructure investments including a new roundabout at SW Colorado Ave. and Columbia St, and a new pedestrian/bike path from the future campus entrance on SW Simpson Ave. to SW Century Dr.

University officials said construction could finish by summer 2021.

 

GoFundMe Fees

Hurricane Dorian swept through the Bahamas and the East Coast leaving devastation in its wake, now many people and non-profits are trying to raise money to help repair some of the damage. Some people are turning to the popular fund-raising platform GoFundMe but while you might be donating to a non-profit, GoFundMe is making money off that donation.

▶️ No2Plastic Student Campaign Launches in Bend

By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Daily

A worldwide campaign to empower students to reduce use of plastics launched today in Bend and Denver.

Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely reports on a pledge drive conceived by a Bend resident with the goal of reducing plastic pollution around the world.

“The idea is to empower young people, to give them a platform to make a difference,” said Brown Cannon, Founder No2Plastic.org. “Single-use plastics have become a significant problem and I find that the voices of our youth are the most energizing voices of all.”

Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado and Bend High School are dueling today in the launch of the “No 2 Plastics campaign.” The schools are competing for student pledges to stop using single-use plastic products.

“There’s 3 boxes you can check. There’s ‘I will reduce single use plastic bottles, single use plastic straws and single use plastic cutlery.’ And you can check one, two or all three of them,” said Kira Gilbert, Bend High School Environmental Club

“We have a great group of students here at Bend High School that are concerned about environmental issues. This is an organization, No2Plastic, that we can work with where we can empower ourselves,” said Paul Hutter, a science teacher at Bend High. “The kids are able to take individual action. They can pledge to reduce use of single use plastic and actually make a difference today.”

No2Plastic founder Brown Cannon sees today’s students as tomorrow’s decision makers who will address plastic pollution if current leaders don’t.

Anyone can participate in the No2plastic challenge. Details are available at No2Plastic.org

▶️ Cycle Oregon Rolls Into Central Oregon For First Time in 12 Years

By Meghan Glova
Central Oregon Daily

Lots of tents and plenty of sore muscles out in Tumalo Monday night at Cycle Oregon rolls through for the first time in a dozen years.

More than 1,500 cyclists took a two-wheeled adventure to Tumalo on Monday – just a small portion of a nearly 500-mile ride.

“Cycle Oregon is a non-profit organization, we were started about 32 years ago,” said Steve Schultz, executive director of Cycle Oregon. “We were started to provide economic benefit to rural Oregon by riding your bicycle.”

Monday marked day two of a week long journey.

Riders took off early Monday morning from Rainbow, Oregon, rode on Highway 126 and the Old McKenzie Highway to Sisters, then finished their 67-mile day at Tumalo State Park.

For cyclist Mishell Goodman, Central Oregon is one of the most special…and scenic parts of the state-wide trip.

“I just love the adventure and seeing a part of Oregon that I don’t take the time, any time other than on my bike to go see,” Goodman said. 

After cycling for twelve years, Goodman says there is no better way to experience Central Oregon than on two wheels.

“I always say the bike is the best tool to have because running takes too long, walking you’d never make it, a car you’re going to drive too fast and go off of the main roads,” she said. “A bike is the one tool that you can travel and see things that I would never take the time in a car or walk there to go enjoy that.”

Cycle Oregon is a family friendly event, both on and off the road.

Goodman has been riding alongside her brother Jeff this week and he is letting nothing hold him back during his first Cycle Oregon experience.

“Cycle Oregon has been on my bucket list for a number of years and my friend and sister Mishell said, you can do it and age is not a factor,” said Jeff Anderson.

Whether they know it or not, cyclists will be pedaling for a purpose this week.

As  proceeds from Cycle Oregon will help preserve and protect various parts of Oregon and support community development projects.