News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters man pleads guilty to drug charge

Paul David Weston, 47, of Sisters, pleaded guilty in Deschutes County Circuit Court to a single felony count of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, but has already served 11, and so will not serve any additional time.

A second larger and more serious case involving drugs and equipment theft is still pending. Judge Beth Bagley reset the trial date for that case to July 22, but both prosecutor and defense anticipate that the case will be resolved before trial.

The case that was resolved January 30 stemmed from Weston’s arrest in November of 2022, after a brief Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team investigation that found Weston in possession of “commercial quantities” of fentanyl — defined as five grams or more.

The second case developed from Weston’s December 28, 2022, arrest 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, CODE detectives identified Weston as a suspect in a series of construction and heavy equipment thefts around the Portland and Vancouver, Washington areas.

The initial investigation alleged 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 near Sisters, where he obliterated serial numbers and painted the equipment to disguise it. Law enforcement reports that it appears he was later selling or renting the equipment for profit.

Estimated value of recovered equipment was $225,000.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Doyle indicated at the January 30 hearing that he plans to resolve the second case before trial. That resolution may not include jail time.

Doyle noted that Weston has no prior convictions, and will now have a felony conviction.

“The collateral consequences from that are quite severe,” he said. “He will now be a convicted felon for the rest of his life.”

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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