Sisters man arrested in equipment thefts
Last updated 12/29/2022 at Noon
Detectives arrested a Sisters man on Wednesday, December 28, in connection with a series of thefts of construction equipment.
After receiving several community tips and a report from a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputy, Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) detectives identified Paul Weston, 46, of Sisters, as a suspect in a series of construction and heavy equipment thefts around the Portland , and Vancouver, Washington, areas.
Weston was previously arrested for trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl in November 2022.
According to law enforcement, after a multi-day surveillance operation, CODE Detectives applied for, obtained, and executed a search warrant for Weston’s home on the 16700 block of Peterson Ridge Rd. at approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27. Weston was contacted during a traffic stop on Highway 20 west, near Dayton Rd.
The initial investigation alleges that Weston stole dump trailers, a car trailer, side-by-side ATVs, a skid steer loader, a bucket loader, and a tractor from various locations around the Portland and Vancouver area over a two-month period. Weston then brought the stolen property to his home on Peterson Ridge Road, where he obliterated serial numbers and painted the equipment to disguise it. Law enforcement reports that it appears that he was later selling or renting the equipment for profit.
The estimated value of the recovered equipment is $225,000.
Detectives, with the assistance of the construction equipment manufacturers, were able to locate secondary identifying information, and match the equipment with the victims of the thefts. Detectives are still not able to match three of the dump trailers and a skid steer loader to the victims. Detectives believe these unclaimed items were stolen in the Portland metro area within the last two months.
Detective Jeff Pope may be contacted if you have any information about one of these unclaimed trailers, the skid steer loader or if you have recently purchased anything from Weston. Detective Pope may be reached at 541-388-6655. Reference case number 22-69589.
At the time of Weston’s arrest, CODE Detectives and DCSO deputies reportedly gathered and seized a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of fentanyl. A “commercial quantity” is defined by statute as five grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or any substituted derivative of fentanyl as defined by the rules of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. This is not a separate criminal charge but rather an increase in the sentencing guidelines.
CODE Detectives were assisted by Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit and Deputies, Consolidated Towing, and 5G Equipment Rental.
Mr. Weston was lodged in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Jail on charges of Aggravated Theft I; Possession of Stolen Vehicle (four counts); Trafficking in Vehicles with Destroyed or Altered Identification Numbers (seven counts); Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle (four counts); Unlawful Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl).