News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Beginning Clatskanie Patrols November 1 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 October 2016 18:05

The City of Clatskanie and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office have agreed on a contract for the Sheriff to begin serving the municipal law enforcement needs in the City, effective November 1.

The agreement allows for a part-time chief (fulfilled by the Undersheriff) a part-time supervisor (A current CCSO sergeant) and two patrol deputies.  Deputies will also be able to take calls for service outside the City within the general boundaries of the Clatskanie School District.  The County will subsidize the operation with 15 percent of the costs in order to cover calls outside of City Limits.

"This is a win for the City of Clatskane, which will receive police services at a greatly reduced costs," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson, "but it is also a win for the County, which will see reduced response times throughout the County with these deputies covering North County in a dedicated fashion."

This agreement came about when the City contacted the Sheriff's Office to discuss ways to provide the best scenario for police services with a reduced budget.  The City had previously provided a full-time chief, a full-time sergeant and three patrol officers.  The staffing has been cut in half due to City budget constraints.

The City has also issued the following information for Clatskanie Residents:


Last Updated on Friday, 14 October 2016 18:18
CENT Team Takes Down Clatskanie Drug Dealier PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 October 2016 17:31

After working a 2-week undercover narcotics investigation, the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team (CENT) on Monday executed two search warrants in Clatskanie, arrested three subjects on drug charges  (and a fourth subject on a warrant), and recovered cash and controlled substances in the service of the search warrants.


CENT served consecutive search warrants at the addresses of 428 NW 5th Street #5 and 500 SW Bel Air Drive, both inside the City of Clatskanie.  In the service of the search warrants, investigators found controlled substances,  including methamphetamine and Oxycodone; they also found evidence of drug trafficking and recovered a small amount of cash.


Law enforcement took the following people into custody:  Randy Houle, 27, Clatskanie; Crystal Hansen, 33, Clatskanie; Anthony Campbell, 45, Clatskanie; and, Tashina Herrera, 31, Clatskanie. Houle was charged with: 2 counts each of Manufacture and Delivery of Methamphetamine; 1 Count of Delivery of Methamphetaime within 1,000 feet of a school; 1 Count of Delivery of Oxycodone within 1,000 feet of a school; 3 Counts  of Possession of Methamphetamine;  and, 1 Count of Possession of Oxycodone.  Hansen was charged with: 2 counts each of Manufacture and Delivery of Methamphetamine;  1 Count of Delivery of Methamphetaime within 1,000 feet of a school;  1 Count of Delivery of Oxycodone within 1,000 feet of a school; 1 Count  of Possession of Methamphetamine;  and, 1 Count of Possession of Oxycodone.   Herrera was charged with: 1 count of Possession of Methamphetamine.  Campbell was arrested on an outstanding Multnomah County warrant for failure to appear.


Sheriff Jeff Dickerson credited CENT investigators for the successful two week operation: "With the reinvigorated CENT team in Columbia County, I am pleased to see this multi-agency effort bearing fruit in the North County area. For years, we have not had this kind of ability to reach drug trafficking networks and their associated effect on the livability of our neighborhoods, but thanks to several agencies chipping in to make the team viable again, we've been able to start taking a bigger bite out of drug-related crimes occurring in our County."


The CENT team consists of deputies from the Sheriff's Office, an officer from Scappoose Police and the participation of the local police departments in which the investigation occurs.  This investigation was assisted by the Clatskanie Police Department.

Three Indicted in Hightower Homicide PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 October 2016 11:40
The Columbia County Grand Jury has indicted three suspects in the murder of Apache Hightower.  Following an investigation that spanned three weeks and locations from a rural Columbia County roadway to the Cities of St. Helens, Portland and Santa Barbara, Calif., investigators were able to secure indictments in the case, charging each suspect with aggravated murder,  and numerous other crimes.


Jesse Allen Lane, 28, Medford, is charged with: four counts of Aggravated Murder; one count of Murder, one count of Felony Murder;  two Counts of Kidnapping First Degree;  one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm; one count of Strangulation; and two counts of Hindering Prosecution; 

Charles William Vernon, 29, St. Helens is charged with: three counts of Aggravated Murder; one count of Murder, one count of Felony Murder;  two Counts of Kidnapping First Degree;  one count of Felon in Possession of a firearm; and, one count of Hindering Prosecution. 

Stephanie Toney, 20, St. Helens is charged with: two counts of Aggravated Murder; one count of Murder, one count of Felony Murder;  two Counts of Kidnapping First Degree;  and, two counts of Hindering Prosecution
"This incident is so sad for the needless loss of life and the tremendous sorrow for Ms. Hightower's family," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson, "but I am extremely proud of the way investigators doggedly stayed on top of this case to produce this relatively quick result."

Hundreds of hours of investigation on the part of the small, but determined Columbia County Major Crimes Team brought the case from an unidentified murder victim discarded down an embankment off of Pittsburg Rd to the identification of three suspects involved in the kidnapping, assault and murder of Ms. Hightower. Investigators had the assistance of the Oregon Medical Examiner's Office, the Oregon State Police Forensics Laboratory, the Portland Police Bureau, the United State's Marshal's fugitive task force, the FBI, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Parole Board, the Columbia County  Department of Community Justice,  the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office in bringing this case before the grand jury just three weeks after the discovery of Ms. Hightower's body.

"We had a lot of help that was crucial to the success of this investigation," the sheriff said, "and we had a small number of dedicated members of the Major Crimes Team working daily with the Columbia County District Attorney's Office to build this case."

The three individuals charged in the murder were arraigned in the courtroom located in the Columbia County Jail at 11:30 this morning.  The investigation is still continuing.


The family of Apache Hightower has expressed their desire for no contact from the news media, requesting all media requests for information to come through this office.

Sheriff's Office Identifies Person of Interest in the Murder of Portland Woman PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 September 2016 14:02


The Columbia County Sheriff's Office -- in conjunction with the Columbia County Major Crimes Team -- is seeking the whereabouts of a key individual in a homicide investigation.   Jesse Allen Lane, 28, is named as a person of interest in the murder of Apache Rose Hightower.

Hightower's body was discovered in a rural Columbia County location on  Tuesday September 20. A subsequent autopsy indicated Hightower had been the victim of homicidal violence.

Lane is a white male adult, 6'-1" tall, weighing approximately 145 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his elbow, left arm, neck,  and right forearm.  He also has a tattoo of the letter "B" just below the corner of his right eye that has been added since the last photo we have of him had been taken.

The last known address for Lane is in Jackson County, Oregon, but he has been seen both in Portland and the St. Helens area in recent weeks.

Lane is a convicted felon who currently has an active warrant for his arrest issued by the State Parole Board.

Lane should be considered armed and dangerous.  If anyone knows of Lane's Whereabouts, they are encouraged to call law enforcement and not to take action themselves.

Suspicious Death Ruled a Homicide PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 18:16
The Suspicious Death investigation in Columbia County is now a homicide investigation. Investigators working on the case have identified Apache Rose Hightower, 24, Portland, as the victim of homicidal violence following the autopsy held this afternoon in Portland. 

Hightower's body was discovered yesterday afternoon a little before 4:30 p.m. by a passerby who did not have a cellular telephone with him, but notified other drivers who called 9-1-1. Deputies responding to the scene discovered her body down an embankment off of Pittsburg Rd. in the 30000 block. 

Investigators used fingerprint records to make a positive identification of Hightower's body. Investigators were also able to notify Hightower's next of kin this evening, leading to the release of this information. 

The investigation continues with the help of the Columbia County Major Crimes Team, the State Medical Examiner, and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab.  Investigators are encouraging anyone having information in regard to this case to call our recorded tip line at (503) 366-4698
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