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.

Oroville Pursuit

Oroville CA – On February 26, 2015, at approximately 4:00 pm, Deputy Darrin Brown attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle for failing to stop at a stop sign, at the intersection of Margo Lane and Stump Drive. The suspect vehicle, a 2006 Pontiac G6, failed to yield and led deputies on a pursuit that traveled over 4 miles.  

The suspect fled eastbound and the pursuit ended when the suspect lost control of the vehicle and collided into a fence near the 3700 block of Foothill Blvd. The driver fled on foot and was quickly apprehended after a short foot pursuit.

Steven Mathew Berrigan, 42-years-old, from Sonora, was arrested for felony evading, weapons charges and had two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. Several firearms and live ammunition were also located in the vehicle and Berrigan is a convicted felon.  Berrigan was transported and booked into the Butte County Jail and is being held on $118,000 bail.     

If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 538-7321.

Monday, March 02, 2015 /Number of views (3) /Categories: Press Release

Arrest Made in Connection to 1978 Disappearance of Oroville Woman

February 19, 2015

Release by: Sgt. Jason Hail

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office has been conducting an on-going investigation into the disappearance of Deborah Diane Owens.  Deborah Owens was reported missing by her husband, Marvin Gail Owens (age 62) on November 21, 1978 two days after Marvin said he had last seen her.  Deborah Owens was living with her husband Marvin Owens and their children at 5373 Crestridge Drive, Oroville when she was last seen. To date, no one including Deborah’s now grown children and other relatives have ever heard from her and no evidence of life has surfaced. The husband, Marvin Owens has long been suspected of killing and disposing of Deborah’s body. 

Former Butte County Sheriff Perry Reniff has been working on Cold Case homicides in Butte County and has spearheaded this case.  As a result of this investigation, the Butte County District Attorney has filed a felony arrest warrant charging Marvin Owens with the murder of his wife, Deborah Diane Owens.  Marvin Owens was arrested by the Keith County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska.  The exact timeframe for Marvin Owens extradition from Nebraska back to Butte County is unknown. 

Investigators are looking into the possible connections between the disappearance of Deborah Owens and another missing and suspected deceased woman named Essie Margarette Hiett, who disappeared in February 1978.

The following is a link to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office website detailing unsolved missing person cases:

Anyone with information is asked contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Felony Investigations Unit at 530-538-7671.




For more information, please contact

BCSO Media Liaison Miranda Bowersox

530.538.5384, 530.990.6949

Thursday, February 19, 2015 /Number of views (41) /Categories: Press Release

Mentally Ill Man Surrenders to Deputies After a Brief Standoff

Kelly Ridge, CA – About 5:30 this afternoon, employees of the Lakeside Market in Kelly Ridge called the Sheriff’s Office to report a man wandering around in the store playing with a knife, wearing a motorcycle helmet, sunglasses and a jacket. While awaiting our arrival they were able to evacuate the store of all the other employees and customers and locked the doors with the man inside. Within 15 minutes of the initial call, the first 2 deputies arrived, followed shortly by officers from California Highway Patrol and State Parks. Deputies cordoned off the store and parking area, defining a perimeter that gave law enforcement a safe space to work in while allowing the public a place to observe from a safe distance. The immediate investigation revealed that the man in the store wearing a motorcycle helmet and playing with a knife was most likely mentally unstable or medically imbalanced rather than a subject with criminal intent – no person was directly threatened and very minor property damage occurred. Employees told the responding deputies that the man was wandering throughout the store for nearly two hours prior to them calling the Sheriff’s Office. When they saw him start to play with a meat cutter in the deli area is when they approached to assist him and saw him also playing with and swinging a large knife.

Deputies on scene were able to identify the subject in the store and contacted family members who confirmed the subject had a medical disorder. A member of the Butte County Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiations Team was on scene and utilized a public address loudspeaker to make contact with the man in the store. During the communications, the man came to the back door of the business where law enforcement officers ordered him to the ground. When he did not comply a TASER was deployed without success and the man ran back into the store. The negotiator re-established contact with the man and was able to talk him back out of the store where he was detained by 8:00 PM. The subject did not appear to be physically injured, however an ambulance and Cal-Fire were on scene to check him out prior to taking him to the hospital for treatment. No one suffered any injury during this operation. The Butte County Sheriff would like to thank The California Highway Patrol, California State Parks, Cal-Fire and First Responder Ambulance for their assistance on scene and to Oroville Police Department and California Highway Patrol for their assistance in the other parts of the county in responding to other critical calls for service in the unincorporated south county patrol area and allowing us to focus our efforts in a peaceful resolution in Kelly Ridge. The man’s name is not being released as this matter was one of medical assistance.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 /Number of views (27) /Categories: Press Release


February 6th, 2015


Oroville, CA— Butte County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call at approximately 12:30pm, on Cold Creek Lane in Oroville, regarding the report of a female subject threatening family members with a large kitchen knife. The subject was later identified as Jessana Carmona, age 30, of Oroville. As deputies were responding, it was reported that Carmona had ordered her mother, at knife-point, to drive her to Ophir Elementary School so that Carmona could see her children. Carmona was reportedly threatening to stab her mother, and was also threatening to stab herself. Deputies located the vehicle, a 2005 Cadillac sedan, on Forbestown Road, traveling towards Oroville. Deputies pursued the vehicle and an additional deputy was dispatched to Ophir School to assist with security and lockdown. Carmona’s mother was rescued when she stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Oro-Quincy Hwy and Forbestown Rd. After a brief struggle, deputies were able to arrest Carmona. Carmona was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the struggle with deputies. Carmona is being booked at the Butte County Jail for Kidnapping, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Criminal Threats, Brandishing a Deadly Weapon, and Resisting Arrest.

The victims were not injured in this incident. No motive has been determined at this time.




For more information, please contact

BCSO Media Liaison Miranda Bowersox

(530) 990-6949


Friday, February 06, 2015 /Number of views (66) /Categories: Press Release

Update to Oroville Stabbing

February 5, 2015


During the course of the ongoing investigation, Sheriff’s detectives identified the suspect as Kevin Blaine Dunkle, age 33, of Oroville.  Dunkle was believed to have fled the area after the stabbing.  An arrest warrant for Dunkle was obtained. On February 3, Dunkle was arrested in Mendocino County, California and was booked in the Mendocino County Jail for Assault with a Deadly Weapon.  His bail was set a $30,000.   The motive for the stabbing is not known, however, a witness reported that Dunkle had challenged another person to fight prior to the stabbing.


Original Press Release:

Stabbing in Oroville

Date: January 15, 2015

Released by:  Lieutenant Al Smith

Oroville—Sheriff’s Deputies responded at 10:00 am, to the report of a stabbing that occurred near the “Golden Feather Market” in the 700 block of Oro-Dam Blvd West.  Upon arrival they contacted the victim who had received a single stab wound.  The victim is an adult, male, resident of Oroville and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.  His injury is not believed to be life-threatening.  Details leading up to the stabbing are not known at this point and the investigation is ongoing.

Friday, February 06, 2015 /Number of views (52) /Categories: Press Release
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