Butte County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Kory L. HoneaThe 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.

 

 

 

  

Press Releases that were issued during the Camp Fire incident are here

FIVE INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED DURING DEATH INVESTIGATION

FIVE INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED DURING DEATH INVESTIGATION

Oroville, CA – On September 11, 2021, Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies located a sport utility vehicle without license plates parked in a rural area on the side of Forbestown Road, Oroville. Deputies approached the vehicle and located a deceased individual concealed in the rear of the vehicle. The scene was processed by detectives and the vehicle was towed to a secure location to be processed by detectives and personnel from the California Department of Justice. During the subsequent investigation, detectives identified the deceased individual as Melvin Garcia-Vargas, age 33, of Sacramento. Detectives located evidence that gave them cause to believe Melvin had been shot in his lower body.
On September 12, detectives contacted Melvin’s father, who was identified as Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, age 66, at a residence in the 7000 block of Lindale Drive, Sacramento. Detectives determined evidence was located at Carlos’ residence. Detectives obtained a search warrant for Carlos’ residence.
During the investigation, detectives determined Melvin died at an illegal marijuana grow controlled by Carlos in the area of Squaw Flat Road, Forbestown. Detectives also located evidence that Carlos and his two other children, identified as Juan Garcia-Vargas, age 27, and Ronald Garcia-Vargas, age 28, moved and concealed Melvin’s body after his death.
On the evening of September 12, detectives, personnel from the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task ForCE, BCSO Marine Unit, and BCSO Special Enforcement Unit served a search warrant at the marijuana grow on Squaw Flat Road. During the service of the search warrant detectives located the area where they believe Melvin was shot. Detectives also located a firearm and over 600 marijuana plants. The scene was processed by the California Department of Justice.
On September 13, detectives determined Carlos, Juan, and Ronald had additional marijuana grows located in the area of Knob Hill Avenue, Oroville. On the afternoon of September 13, the BCSO SWAT Team served search warrants at seven parcels on Knob Hill Avenue. During the service of the search warrants five firearms and over 1400 marijuana plants were located.
This investigation is on-going and detectives are actively reviewing evidence. To date, detectives have located evidence that gave them cause to believe Melvin likely accidently shot himself while working at the illegal marijuana grow in Forbestown. Detectives also located evidence that Carlos and his two sons, with the assistance of Juan Cruzcupido, then moved and attempted to conceal Melvin’s body to prevent law enforcement from discovering their illegal marijuana grows.

To date, the following individuals have been arrested:
Carlos Garcia-Hernandez was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains.
Juan Garcia-Vargas was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains.
Ronald Garcia-Vargas was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains.
Juan Cruzcupido, age 33, of Sacramento, was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains.
Edgar Najera, age 50, of Sacramento was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

If anyone has information about this in

Thursday, September 16, 2021 /Number of views (2229) /Categories: Press Release
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SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR MURDER

September 9, 2021

SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR MURDER

Oroville, CA – On October 11, 2013, Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies and detectives responded to a report of a deceased male at a residence in the 7000 block of Gene Lane, Palermo. Upon arrival, deputies located a deceased male who was identified as Lewis Newton, age 42, of Oroville. During the subsequent investigation, it was determined Newton died as a result of a gunshot wound. Detectives located evidence that gave them cause to believe Newton was murdered.
During the investigation, detectives identified Matthew Boehm, age 36, of South Carolina as a suspect. Over the past five months detectives conducted additional interviews and served search warrants in Southern California, Chico, and Oroville. Detectives located additional evidence that gave them cause to believe Boehm had traveled to Palermo and murdered Newton.
In August of 2021, detectives worked with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office and obtained an arrest warrant for Boehm for an open count of murder. During the investigation, detectives determined Boehm was residing in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Detectives worked with the Mount Pleasant Police Department and obtained a search warrant for Boehm’s residence in South Carolina.
On August 10, 2021, BCSO detectives and Mount Pleasant Police personnel served the search warrant and placed Boehm under arrest. Boehm was later transported to the Butte County Jail and is currently in custody in the Butte County Jail. If anyone has information about this case, they are encouraged to call Detective Vaj Thao at 530-538-7671.
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Thursday, September 09, 2021 /Number of views (3089) /Categories: Press Release
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MAGALIA RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

September 08, 2021

MAGALIA RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Magalia, CA – In 2021, Butte County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating Dustin Massey, age 24, of Magalia. During the investigation, detectives located evidence that gave them cause to believe Massey was using social media platforms to communicate and distribute harmful and obscene material to minor children. On August 04, 2021, detectives contacted Massey in Magalia.
During the aforementioned contact, detectives seized electronic devices that belonged to Massey. Detectives later conducted forensic searches of the electronic devices and located child pornography. After locating the child pornography, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Massey.
On August 25, 2021, deputies arrested Massey in Chico. During a subsequent investigation, detectives located additional evidence that Massey was using social media platforms to communicate and distribute harmful and obscene material to minor children. Massey was booked into the Butte County Jail for felony counts of possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and sending harmful matter to minors. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with additional information about this investigation to contact Detective Mariah Smith at 530-538-7671.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2021 /Number of views (4503) /Categories: Press Release
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OROVILLE RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

August 26, 2021

OROVILLE RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Oroville, CA – In June of 2021, Butte County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating Stephanie Ellis, age 29, of Oroville. During the investigation, detectives located evidence that gave them cause to believe Ellis was in possession of child pornography. On August 18, 2021, detectives contacted Ellis at a restaurant in the Oroville area. Detectives subsequently served a search warrant at Ellis’ residence, which is located in the area of Brown Boulevard, Oroville.
During the service of the search warrant, detectives seized electronic devices that belonged to Ellis. Detectives also located over 500 large marijuana plants, 300 pounds of marijuana, and a small amount of cocaine. Detectives later conducted forensic searches of the electronic devices and located additional child pornography. Detectives also located evidence indicating Ellis was the individual who possessed the child pornography.
Detectives placed Ellis under arrest for felony counts of possession and distribution of child pornography, a felony count of maintaining a residence where a controlled substance is stored/possessed for sale, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with additional information about this investigation to contact Detective Mariah Smith at 530-538-7671.
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Thursday, August 26, 2021 /Number of views (5506) /Categories: Press Release
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SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE INVESTIGATING IN CUSTODY DEATH

August 13, 2021

SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE INVESTIGATING IN CUSTODY DEATH
Oroville, CA – On August 12, 2021, around 1:00 a.m., Erin Conway, age 43, of Chico was arrested by Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies for trespassing at a local convenience store located in Oroville. Conway was subsequently booked at the Butte County Jail.
During the booking process, an evaluation was conducted by BCSO Jail medical staff which determined Conway was under the influence of drugs. Based on the aforementioned, Conway was housed in a sobering cell located within the Butte County Jail booking area. While housed in the sobering cell, deputies and jail medical staff conducted frequent checks on Conway.
Around 5:00 p.m., a deputy and jail nurse were conducting a routine health and safety check on Conway. While conducting the check, the deputy and nurse determined Conway was not breathing and appeared to be having a medical issue. Deputies and jail medical staff immediately began providing Conway with emergency medical treatment. Paramedics responded and provided additional emergency medical treatment. Despite the life-saving measures that were administered, jail medical staff and paramedics were not able to revive Conway.
Butte County District Attorney’s Office Investigators and Butte County Sheriff’s Office Detectives responded to the jail and began investigating the circumstances surrounding Conway’s death. During the investigation, personnel interviewed deputies, medical staff, and inmates housed in cells adjacent to the cell occupied by Conway. To date, detectives and investigators have not located any evidence to suggest Conway committed suicide or was involved in any type of criminal violence prior to being found unresponsive. Additionally, there were no use of force incidents involving Conway and BCSO staff.
Investigators and detectives determined Conway was housed in a cell by herself for several hours prior to her death, and at the time of her death. Investigators and detectives determined other inmates did not have access to the cell housing Conway. Investigators and detectives did not locate any evidence Conway summoned help or activated the emergency alert button the safety cell was equipped with. Investigators and detectives did not locate any signs of trauma or injuries on Conway’s person. An autopsy will be conducted by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office in an attempt to determine Conway’s cause of death.
During the investigation, investigators and detectives reviewed the circumstances surrounding Conway’s arrest. Investigators and detectives located surveillance video from the local convenience store where Conway was arrested. The video depicted Conway entering a patron’s vehicle and rummaging through the vehicle’s contents. The video also depicted Conway entering and exiting the convenience store multiple times prior to Conway’s arrest.
Staff at the convenience store eventually called BCSO for assistance. BCSO deputies arrived at the store, used de-escalation tactics, and were able to convince Conway to leave the store. Several minutes later Conway returned to the store. When Conway returned to the store, store employees completed a private person arrest form and told BCSO deputies they wanted Conway placed under arrest for trespassing. Conway was subsequently placed under arrest without incident and transported to the Butte County Jail.
Butte County District Attorney’s Office Investigators and Sheriff’s Office Detectives are actively investigating this incident.
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Friday, August 13, 2021 /Number of views (3507) /Categories: Press Release
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