Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Jerry W. SmithThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

Water rescue

On July 19th 2015 at 12:47 pm, Butte County Sheriff Dispatch received two 9-1-1 emergency calls from a cellular phone that were immediately disconnected.  Upon receiving a third consecutive 9-1-1 call, the Public Safety Dispatcher heard a hysterical female state something about “holding on to a tree”.  An additional call was made and it was determined that the female was trapped against and under trees in strong current and holding on to branches to keep her head above the water.  She informed the dispatcher that there were at least three other females in similar situations and two others’ whereabouts were unknown.

After determining the female’s location using GPS positioning for her cellular phone, Butte County Sheriff’s Marine Unit, along with personnel from Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol, responded to the Feather River at River Reflections RV Park in Oroville.  Deputies from the Marine Unit launched a Rescue Watercraft and a Patrol Vessel to reach the female victims, who were trapped in swift water in a hazardous area of trees and rock west of Franklin Construction and Pacific Heights Road.  A CHP helicopter also arrived and was able to view the victims from the air.  Once the victims were reached by the Marine Unit, the two with the highest risk of drowning, one of whom was the 9-1-1 caller, were rescued and taken to shore downstream where patrol and rescue personnel were standing by.  Three additional female victims trapped in the same area were also rescued and brought to the shore.  Two other females in the group had made it through the area to safety prior to the rescue.

It was later determined that the inexperienced group put in with kayaks and rafts and were not prepared for the dangerous conditions of the river, subsequently capsizing and near drowning.  The Butte County Sheriff’s Office urges the public to wear your life jacket, have a float plan and identify hazards in it, and to always be safe on and around the water.

Sgt. Stephen Collins

Butte County Sheriff’s Office

Monday, July 27, 2015 /Number of views (2) /Categories: Press Release

Homicide in Oroville

Oroville, CA- On July 18, 2015 at 11:21 PM, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a man who was shot in the 4700 block of Lincoln Blvd, Oroville, CA.  The man, later identified as Oroville Resident Paul Bryant (age 29), was transported to a local hospital and died as a result of his injuries.  Butte County Sheriff’s Detectives were called to the scene to begin an investigation.  Detectives are attempting to locate Carlos Carias Sr (age 45) who has been identified as a suspect in this case.  This is an ongoing investigation and certain details are not immediately available to be released.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at 530-538-7671.  Attached is a photograph of Carlos Carias Sr.



Monday, July 27, 2015 /Number of views (3) /Categories: Press Release

Press release



July 17, 2015


Oroville, CA-For the past several weeks the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit (SVU), in conjunction with the Butte County Children’s Services Division and California Community Care Licensing; the above agencies have been conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual molest at the hands of a former Foster Parent in the south Butte County area named Eugene Charles Hastings Sr. (age 56). 

In June of this year, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Hastings had inappropriately touched a foster child, who was in his care, back in 2014.  The child was no longer in Hastings care at the time of disclosure.  SVU detectives conducted an in-depth and thorough investigation into the allegations; including, contacting former foster children who had filed similar complaints against Hastings in years past.

Hastings was interviewed by SVU detectives and arrested on 6 counts of 288(a) PC – Lewd or Lascivious acts on a child under 14 years of age.  Hastings was booked into the Butte County Jail with a bail amount of $300,000.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case or the alleged actions of Eugene Hastings, is encouraged to contacted The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit at 530 538-7544.

Monday, July 27, 2015 /Number of views (2) /Categories: Press Release

Oroville Pursuit

On July 10, 2015, at approximately 2115 hours, a Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy was in the area of Fallbrook Avenue and Oro Bangor Highway when a pick-up truck came within two feet of running into the Deputy’s patrol vehicle.  The Deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle but the driver of the vehicle did not yield.  The Deputy continued to pursue the vehicle for approximately 10 minutes with speeds up to 100 miles per mile in a rural area of Oroville. 

The suspect vehicle ultimately crashed in the front yard of a residence, in the 3400 block of Oro Bangor Highway.  The driver, later identified as 21-year-old Michael Stathem, and the female passenger ran northbound from the vehicle.  Deputies gave chase and detained the male and female in the 5200 block of VE Road. 

The female was later released.  Stathem was placed under arrest without incident and booked into Butte County Jail for the following charges with a bail amount of $82,000:

Reckless Driving

Felony Evading

Armed in the Commission of a Felony

Armed While Possessing Methamphetamine.

Obstruction of Justice 

Carrying a Loaded Firearm While in Public

If you have any further information regarding this incident please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 538-7321 or 891-2711.


Monday, July 13, 2015 /Number of views (13) /Categories: Press Release

Arrest made in burglary of Fire Station 25

Chico, CA- On July 10, 2015 at approximately 1:00 AM, Butte County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Freidrich "Fred" Muniaerts, age 44, at the America’s Best Value Inn located at 740 Broadway St, Chico.  Muniaerts had been eluding law enforcement since he was identified as a suspect in the burglary to Fire Station #25 near Butte College on June 18, 2015.  Muniaerts was arrested in his motel room and then transported to the Butte County Jail.  While deputies were in the motel room, approximately 73 grams of methamphetamine was discovered.  Muniaerts was charged with one count of residential burglary, one count of second degree commercial burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance for sale, violation of Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS), and possession of a baton.   Muniaerts is being held without bail.


Original media release:

Deputies Respond to Burglary at Cal Fire Station #25


Oroville, CA- On June 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM, Butte County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Cal Fire Station #25 located on Durham Pentz Rd near Butte College for a reported burglary to the Fire Station.  During the course of the investigation it was discovered that the suspect removed approximately $4000.00 worth of equipment and supplies from the Fire Station.  Surveillance at the Fire Station captured the suspect’s image and he was identified by deputies as Freidrich "Fred" Muniaerts, age 44 years from Yankee Hill, CA.  Deputies and Cal Fire Prevention Officers responded to Muniaerts residence and located items from the burglary as well as other items stolen from the previous burglary in May, 2015.  Items stolen from other areas in Butte County were recovered and arrangements made to return the property to their rightful owner.

Muniaerts has not been located.  The Butte County Sheriff’s Office is asking for anyone who has information about his whereabouts, please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 530-538-7322.  Attached is a photograph of Muniaerts, however, his hair may be shorter now than in the photograph.

Monday, July 13, 2015 /Number of views (12) /Categories: Press Release
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