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.

Death investigation in Oroville

On July 13, 2014 at approximately 11:20 AM the Butte County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a deceased female at 2384 Via Laton, Oroville.  Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene and confirmed the homeowner, identified as Charlene Howarth (age 62) was deceased at the home.   The manner of death is suspicious in nature and under investigation.  Sheriff’s Detectives are searching for information as to what was occurring in Howarth’s life prior to her death.  At this point there is no information as to whether or not there is a suspect and no weapon information is being released. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Matt Calkins at 530-538-7671.



For more information, please contact

BCSO Media Liaison Miranda Bowersox

530.538.5384, 530.990.6949


Monday, July 14, 2014 /Number of views (56) /Categories: Press Release


Oroville, Ca— Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue is in the process of concluding a planned fundraising campaign, which involved phone calls being made to area residents. However, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office has received reports from concerned citizens questioning the credibility of some of the phone calls.

If you receive a phone call soliciting donations for Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, it should come from a local phone number. The only two addresses associated with this fundraising campaign are:

P.O. Box 542 Chico, CA 95927


2530 Zanella Way #B Chico, CA 95928

Any Search and Rescue phone calls that request donations to be sent to an address other than the ones mentioned above, are not associated with Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and should be considered fraudulent. 

Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue typically posts information regarding current fundraising efforts on their website: . If the public should have any concern over a phone or mail solicitation on behalf of Search & Rescue, or would like more information regarding Search & Rescue, please call (530) 895-6577 and leave a voice mail. A SAR officer will return your call as soon as possible.

If you believe you have received a fraudulent phone call, please report it to BCSO by calling (530) 538-7322.

Friday, July 11, 2014 /Number of views (71) /Categories: Press Release


Oroville, Ca--On July 8, 2014 the Butte County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at 915 Milsap Bar Rd in the Berry Creek area of Butte County.  Detectives had secured a search warrant for the property and an arrest warrant for Andrew Frerks (Age 62) charging Frerks with Criminal Threats, Witness Intimidation, Tampering with a Phone Line and Battery, based on an incident which occurred in June, 2014 at the Milsap Bar location. 

The Butte County Sheriff’s SWAT team was assigned to secure the scene and initially serve the search warrant.  As the SWAT team approached the residence, they detained Rodney Baker (age 40) who also lived at the residence with Frerks.  The SWAT team then made entry into the residence after announcing that the Butte County Sheriff’s Office was present to serve a search warrant at the premises.  The SWAT team entered the residence after no response and encountered Frerks in the living room.  Frerks had a semi-automatic handgun and was picking it up from a table.  Frerks fumbled with the handgun and dropped it on the floor as he was restrained and placed into handcuffs. 

A search of the property resulted in the seizure of several firearms and ammunition.  Both Frerks and Baker were arrested with fresh charges.  In addition to the arrest warrant, Frerks was charged with Exhibiting a Firearm at a Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Possession of Ammunition by a Felon.  Frerks was booked into Butte County Jail, Oroville with a bail of $457,000.  Baker was charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition.  Baker was booked into the Butte County Jail, Oroville with a bail of $40,000.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014 /Number of views (76) /Categories: Press Release

Copper wire theft in Oroville

On July 3, 2014 at approximately 10:43 a.m. Butte County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle call at the end of Apica Ave, Oroville. During this time frame, a deputy sheriff was taking a theft of copper wire report from an AT&T supervisor on Miners Ranch Road near Mt. Ida, Oroville. While responding to the suspicious vehicle call, deputies located a male and female running down Olive Hwy near Apica Ave. A second male was contacted by a deputy standing near the vehicle. During the investigation, a large pile of insulated copper wire was found in some brush near the vehicle by deputies. It was later learned, the wire was stolen from power poles on Miners Ranch Road and was identified by the AT&T supervisor. The total loss and cost of replacing the damaged wire was estimated to be well in excess of $10,000.

While deputies were on scene, they located a third male who was identified as Niles Breland, age 34, hiding in brush near the vehicle. When Breland was contacted, he fled into a heavily wooded area and was not located after an extensive search. After the initial investigation, both males were arrested and the female was released. Joseph Bunnell, age 35, was booked into the Butte County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, grand theft, possession of stolen property, and tampering with phone lines. His bail was set at $60,000. Willie Williams Jr, age 41, was also booked into the Butte County Jail for grand theft, possession of stolen property, and tampering with phone lines. His bail was set at $45,000. Niles Breland is still outstanding and is wanted in connection with the stolen copper wire. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 538-7322.

                Released by:  Sgt. Matt Keeling

Contact:  Media Liaison Miranda McAfee-Bowersox

33 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA  95965


Monday, July 07, 2014 /Number of views (41) /Categories: Press Release

Officers focus on boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water

Butte County Sheriff's Office launched heightened enforcement of BUI laws, June 27-29, 2014

Oroville, CA (July 2, 2014) The Butte County Sheriff’s Office participated in Operation Dry Water June 27-29, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to boating under the influence (BUI).

During this three-day weekend, deputies were on the water reminding boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence and detecting boaters who were suspected of being impaired. Officers focused their efforts on the Afterbay Recreation area.

Boating under the influence continues to be a major problem nationwide. In fact, the leading factor in boater deaths is alcohol use while boating1. By participating in Operation Dry Water, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office is doing our part to keep recreational boaters safe and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol or drug use.

"Our agency encourages boaters to enjoy the boating season with friends and family, and we also encourage you do it in a safe and responsible way,” says Sgt. Steve Collins. “Drinking alcohol while on a boat can have serious, even deadly, consequences, and our goal is to make sure everyone is enjoying their time on the water and staying safe.”

Thursday, July 03, 2014 /Number of views (53) /Categories: Press Release