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The original item was published from 3/19/2019 1:39:29 PM to 3/29/2019 3:09:06 PM.



Posted on: March 19, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Street Crimes Unit Busy During First Week of Operations



During the first week of operations, the Street Crimes Unit started strong with their March 12 operation at 2566 Willona, assisting Code Enforcement. That residence had had 93 calls for service since 2010,  including 81 calls  since the owners moved in. At least 13 people were contacted and arrested this year associated with the residence. Two people were arrested during the March 12, 2019, operation.  The Willona house had been a frequent location for calls and a drain on police resources. This house would not have been able to have been abated without all the hard work from patrol, investigations, a community service officer, and personnel from City of Eugene’s Code Enforcement.


After working the Willona case, they assisted Special Investigations detectives working a sting regarding child prostitution. A man, later identified as Steven Pajela Deleon-Guerrero age 34, of Springfield, responded to a posting made by the detective and the “girl” identified herself as age 12. On the morning of March 13, investigations set up a date to meet the ‘girl’ near a designated location in the Eugene area, and when Deleon-Guerrero arrived, he was contacted by detectives with the assistance of the Eugene Police Street Crime Unit and placed under arrest for Online Sexual Corruption of a Child and Possession of a Firearm (handgun), which was located at the time of arrest.


On March 12, an SCU member followed up on a drug dealing complaint at an apartment in Eugene. He investigated and found the suspect also had online escort ads and she had warrants for her arrest. On March 13, with the assistance of a detective, the SCU officer  worked to arrest the suspect on her warrants after developing probable cause for prostitution. In addition to the pending prostitution charge, she is facing charges for felon in possession of a restricted weapon, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule IV and Possession of a Controlled Substance Heroin. 


On March 15 at 8:51 p.m., two SCU officers conducted a traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle and contacted David Charles Miner, age 38, of Eugene, who a detective was seeking regarding the 2018 burglary of a home under construction. While taking Miner into custody officers spotted a meth pipe in plain view inside his vehicle.  A search of the vehicle was conducted and an amount of methamphetamine was located under the driver's seat. He was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree and Theft in the First Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (felony), Driving While Suspended, and Driving Uninsured. 


The SCU also made a handful of warrant arrests during the week, gathered information on future problem areas to address, and recovered an unoccupied stolen vehicle. 


The SCU will focus on prolific offenders, who are identified through intelligence-based policing, public tips and other sources. They will proactively respond across the city to quality of life issues as they arise, using all available resources and partners such as community groups, neighborhood associations and city services.


The unit currently consists of a lieutenant, a sergeant and four officers. The team will expand to include another sergeant and four additional officers as staffing allows. 


The SCU and its activities are made possible by the Eugene City Council’s endorsement of an 18-month bridge-strategy of $8.6 million to address immediate community safety system needs, while it looks for longer-term solutions. This one-time funding was provided in December 2018 via the supplemental budget. 


Eugene Police and other community safety partners including police, fire, 911, municipal court, homelessness, and related social services, have begun applying the bridge funding, which sunsets after June 2020. For EPD, that has meant hiring police officers to create a Street Crimes Unit, as well as hiring dispatchers and community service officers, and expanding jail services. 


Throughout 2018, the City Council met and worked with staff to gain a deeper understanding of the community safety system and issues, examine possible strategies, get feedback from the community, and ultimately implement measures to address critical safety gaps. The total needed for longer-term system stability is approximately $22 million per year and the Eugene City Council is taking a look at possible funding options.


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