Deputies Seize Alligator in Azalea

DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFFAZALEA, Ore. — Deputies seized an alligator, stolen mining equipment, 15 pounds of marijuana, 52 grams of methamphetamine, five firearms and a stun gun while serving a search warrant in Azalea Thursday morning. Deputies say the items were purchased with a stolen credit card.

At about 7 p.m., Douglas County sheriff’s deputies say they served a search warrant at a residence in the 3000 block of Upper Cow Creek Road. This was in connection with an identity theft investigation involving 31-year-old Dee Swiss Thomas IV of Azalea.

Deputies say Thomas IV is suspected of opening an AT&T account and using a stolen credit card to purchase cell phones, tablets and tires.

Deputies say they contacted 30-year-old Christopher LaCoe, of Wolf Creek, who is a convicted felon, who was found to be in possession of the alligator, mining equipment, marijuana, methamphetamine, firearms and stun gun. OSP seized and relocated the alligator.

Thomas IV, who was already being held at the Douglas County Jail, was charged with computer crime, fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft, first-degree theft and first-degree theft by deception.

LaCoe was arrested for five counts of felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful possession/delivery/manufacture methamphetamine and marijuana, second-degree theft and probation violation.

Two other people were arrested, and four people were cited. All were from Azalea.

Myson J. Houck, 26, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession methamphetamine and probation violation. Breann May Barela, 21, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance and parole violation.

Dee Swiss Thomas III, 62, and Robin Lynn Slay, 48, were cited for unlawful possession of methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a minor. Steven Craig Stuart, 46, was cited for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Eric Michael Nelson, 63, was arrested for frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

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