DSCO deploy new GPS dart to stop pursuit, track down wanted Sisters man


A Sisters man was arrested on reckless driving and attempt to elude charges Sunday after Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputies were able to track his SUV using a new GPS dart system.

After deputies were able to track down the SUV driven by 39-year-old Justin D. Merritt, it took nearly an hour of negotiations before he ultimately got out of the car, said Sgt. Jayson Janes.

The incident started around 11:15 a.m. when a deputy driving near Hwy 20 and S. Pine Steet in Sisters saw a 2004 GMC Yukon with expired registration tags.

Janes said the deputy also knew the SUV was associated with someone who was wanted on a pending criminal charge.

▶️ Right out of the movies, DCSO tracking device aims to end suspect pursuits

The deputy tried to stop the Yukon and it immediately turned onto a dirt road and continued driving in an attempt to elude the deputy.

Janes said the deputy pursued the vehicle for a short distance until it turned back toward Sisters. The pursuit was discontinued due to safety concerns.

A deputy later saw the vehicle driving on Fryrear Rd. toward Hwy 126.

The deputy followed the Yukon from a distance, advising other deputies of their location.

Another deputy saw the SUV near Buckhorn Rd. and Hwy 126.

Janes said that deputy was able to successfully tag the vehicle with a Star Chase GPS dart. Deputies stopped following the vehicle, and began tracking it remotely.

The GPS tracker showed the vehicle was parked on BLM land off of Buckhorn Rd.

Deputies tracked down the Yukon and made contact with the driver, later identified as Merritt.

Janes said he refused to come out of the SUV and deputies negotiated with him for close to an hour before he agreed to exit the vehicle.

Merritt was arrested without incident and lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.


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