News and Press Releases
Police Pursuit leads to Known Felon's Drug House PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 September 2009 22:04

A multi-agency response to an ongoing Columbia County public nuisance involving illegal drugs, guns, assaults and other criminal and civil violations has put two men and one woman in jail, and has sheriff's deputies looking for a fourth subject after a motor vehicle pursuit on Wednesday evening led to two search warrants conducted over the past two days. 

William Matthew Temple, 19, St. Helens, is in custody on unrelated charges from an incident Thursday evening in Saint Helens, but sheriff's deputies believe Temple was the driver in an incident involving an attempt to elude police Wednesday night that lead them to 35718 Hods Ln. near St. Helens. Deputies obtained consent that evening from the resident to conduct a search for the suspect, to no avail at the time, but did find firearms in the residence where at least two known felons reside. 

Temple, who had warrants for his arrest at the time of the incident, is in custody on possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of weapons charges and on warrants for Forgery, Identification Theft and Possession of Methamphetamine out of Clark County, Washington. Pending Columbia County Sheriff's Office charges are for Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving and Possession of Methamphetamine, after deputies conducted a secondary search warrant for the vehicle Temple was driving at the time. 

Charged later with Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession of Methamphetamine is Harley Craig VanDolah, 45, and one of the residents at the Hods Lane address. A third subject at the residence, Audrey Jean Hudson, 43, was also taken into custody on a municipal court detainer. 

All three subjects have been associated with the Hods Lane address where the vehicle involved in the initial pursuit was abandoned. Deputies have probable cause to arrest a fourth subject associated with the residence: Rodney Allen VanDolah, on similar charges. Additional charges from earlier incidents are also pending in Columbia County. 

After locating the Ford Mustang at the Hods Lane residence Wednesday night and obtaining permission to search the premises for the suspect, deputies returned later that night with a search warrant for the residence, turning up guns, items associated methamphetamine use and equipment and substances consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The primary residents of the home, Harley and Rodney VanDolah are each convicted felons and are prohibited from possessing firearms. The second search warrant was served today on the vehicle used by Temple on Wednesday to evade capture. This search turned up more evidence related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.. 

This isn't the first time Sheriff's deputies or other law enforcement has been to the Hods Lane address. 

"The sheriff's office has responded to this residence on more than 50 occasions since July of 2000," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "This residence has been the location of numerous police custody situations, code violation reports and clandestine drug site investigations for a number of years. 

"When the canine track Wednesday night led to this house, it wasn't a big surprise to us," he said. 

Sheriff's deputies became interested again in the residence after a deputy in a marked police vehicle began chasing a red 1990 Ford Mustang on Gable Road near Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens. The deputy attempted to stop the car for a traffic violation, but the Mustang sped off, turning on Columbia Boulevard and speeding past a school and residences. 

The deputy terminated the pursuit at that time for the sake of public safety, but followed the guidance of residents in the area until the Mustang was located, abandoned in a field at the address on Hods Lane. 

A canine officer from the St. Helens Police Department responded to the location and began a track directly to the main house on the property. Temple, the driver of the Mustang was not located, however a resident at the house gave deputies permission to look inside for the suspect. 

"Given the nature of the calls we have received at this location, overtime was authorized to keep out enough deputies to handle the situation," the sheriff said. "We also called two reserve deputies and received help from the St. Helens Police Department and Oregon State Police in the search of the premises and later with the service of the search warrant. 

"With only one deputy and a sergeant working regular hours at the time, other calls for service were put on hold as we concentrated on this ongoing community nuisance." Budget cuts have hampered the sheriff's office's ability to respond to more than one call at a time. In an effort to solve community problems with the resources they have, deputies are focusing concentrated efforts on the most pervasive problems.


Harley Vandolah  Rodney Vandolah 
Harley VanDolah (left) is in custody this evening for Felon in Possession of Firearms and
Possession of Methamphetamine. Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputies have probable cause to
arrest Rodney VanDolah (right) on similar charges after a search warrant served at their residence
following a car chase that led to their residence on Hods Lane in the St. Helens area. Also in
custody on Attempt to Elude Police, Reckless Driving, Possession of Methamphetamine and
other charges is Wililam Temple (below).

 William Temple

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 September 2009 22:14
CCSO Plans Are Ready For The Relay PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 August 2009 07:10
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office will employ enhanced resources to one of the summer's last major events in the county: The 28th Annual Hood to Coast Relay, August 28 and 29.
Teams of walkers, runners, volunteers and the huge influx of motor vehicles that come with them mean increased vigilance for public safety officials, and the sheriff's office is responding with additional manpower for the event.
Working with Columbia River Fire and Rescue, The Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District and the Oregon State Police, sheriff's office deputies, reserve deputies and Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff will be on duty in an effort to manage the disruption to our communities in the most efficient way.
"This is our opportunity to serve the community with extra manpower that we hope will make a huge difference for those we serve," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "We will have commanders on duty throughout the event, with special traffic control available through our volunteers to help the surge of vehicles and event participants work its way safely through our communities."
Additional deputies will be assigned to the event on an overtime basis, to augment the patrols the sheriff will have to take normal calls for service
"This is our opportunity to exercise patience and understanding as this event disrupts our normal routines for a while," the sheriff said. "We will be on duty and monitoring the event to work toward a safe weekend for everyone involved, including our friends and neighbors in our communities.
"We'll be out there throughout the whole event," the sheriff said.
Columbia County Sheriff Website launches "KIDS PAGE" PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:02
As part of the Sheriff's commitment to conserve the peace in Columbia County, the sheriff's office web presence has been enhanced with a "KIDS PAGE" dedicated to public safety topics for young people.
"You need not be a child to review the information on this page," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "It is full of great advice for keeping kids safe -- from what to do in the case of an emergency to how to deal with bullies.  It's a great resource for kids of all ages."
The sheriff's office relies on the creativity and know how of volunteers who have built both the regular web presence of the office and, now, this new edition devoted to children's safety.
"We are committed to doing our part in keeping our young people safe," the sheriff said. "Many, many times tragedy can be avoided by the observance of these common sense methods for enhancing personal safety."
The "KIDS PAGE" can be accessed directly on line at:, or by going to the link on the upper right hand side of the sheriff's office regular web site at
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:03
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 21:36

An explosion aboard a vessel docked at the Scappoose Bay Marina near St. Helens sent one man to the hospital with burns, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Joshua Gifford, 25, Cambridge, Idaho, was taken by Lifeflight helicopter to Emanuel Hospital after an explosion aboard the fishing vessel he was on caused burn injuries to his body.  The extent of those injuries is unknown at this time.
Gifford was in the cabin aboard the 24-foot, Tolly Craft vessel he and others had been using as part of a gillnet  operation on the Columbia River.  The explosion occurred at 5:36 p.m. at the Scappoose Bay Marina, across the Multnomah Channel from the north end of Sauvie Island.
"We don't yet know what caused the explosion," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "As we understand it, Mr. Gifford was working on the vessel as it was idling and tied up to the dock.  The explosion was heard, and several witnesses saw Mr. Gifford leap into the water."
The explosion remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Coast Guard. Columbia River Fire and Rescue also responded and assisted at the scene.

Deputy Randy Bonds and a CRFR Fire Fighter help pull the fire-damaged boat to the boat ramp after it began taking on water.

Deputy Randy Bonds and a CRFR Fire Fighter help pull the fire-damaged boat to the boat ramp after it began taking on water.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009 06:27

Two children missing for approximately 2 hours on Sauvie Island were found this evening after emergency responders conducted an extensive search for them. The mother of one of the children has been charged with two counts of Child Neglect.

"This is a case of someone going to the river for recreation, but neglecting her responsibility to make sure the children with her were safe," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "

Booked and released for Child Neglect is Washington County resident Diana Bedrosian, 46. Bedrosian took her child and a fellow 6-year-old friend to Collins Beach on the Columbia County side of Sauvie Island, adjacent to the "Stair Number 3" access to the beach. Investigators believe Ms. Bedrosian fell asleep on the beach, neglecting to attend to the welfare of the young children in her care, one of whom was her own child.

The boy and girl disappeared for at least two hours, but were located during the extensive search effort. Sauvie Island volunteer firefighters and a Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy delivered the children safely back to the area from which they had walked away. They were found on a gravel road adjacent to the beach, nearly a half mile away from where Ms. Bedrosian had reportedly fallen asleep as the children wandered off through the crowds on a hot afternoon.

The call came in to Columbia 911 dispatch at 6:20 p.m. The children were located at 7:37 p.m.

"Calls like this send shivers down your spine," Sheriff Dickerson said. "In those tense hours when children go missing, you press hard to find them early. I am grateful for the help we received from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Coast Guard, the Sauvie Island Volunteer Fire District and the Oregon State Police. This was truly a group effort that was rewarded with success."

This case will be forwarded to the Columbia County District Attorney for charges on Ms. Bedrosian. It has also been forwarded on to the Oregon Department of Human Services for follow up.

Diana Bedrosian
Diana Bedrosian



Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 07:06
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