Wednesday, April 3, 2002
A former Sergeant with the Oregon National Guard Armory and his wife were indicted last week by a Hood River grand jury for theft and drug charges.
The arrests of Brien E. Kelley, 34, and Shiloh M. Kelley, 30, followed a search of their London Drive home and outbuildings in Parkdale on March 13. During that action, police discovered more than $20,000 in field gear, gun parts and electronic equipment that was reportedly stolen from the Hood River base.
The couple is also being investigated for possible involvement in money missing from the Family of the Guard fund, according to Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell.
In addition to the cache of stolen goods, police also seized 14 marijuana plants, which led to additional charges against the Kelleys for possession and for having the illicit substance near their two children, ages 10 and 12.
Sewell said during questioning Brien Kelley revealed that some of the items within his possession had been given to an acquaintance. These goods were later recovered but, to date, that individual has not been charged in connection with the case.
Sewell said local detectives are working with National Guard officials to develop the case, which is also under investigation from the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) federal agency. According to Sewell, the Kelleys, who have no prior offenses, will most likely serve little or no jail time under Oregon sentencing guidelines.
However, Sewell said since Brian Kelley was a member of the military when the alleged crime occurred he could face a court martial and/or federal charges from the military and ATF.
Major Jeff Julum, National Guard public affairs officer, said "it's a possibility" that Brien could face additional charges from the military.
"If appropriate, military justice will be involved but we will let the criminal case go first," said Julum.
Brien became a suspect of trading equipment for drugs during an investigation into local drug activity by the Mid-Columbia Narcotics Task Force (MINT), according to Sewell. When the armory was notified by MINT officials of their suspicions, Julum said the commanding officer ordered a urinalysis of all personnel and Kelley resigned.
Both Brien and Shiloh Kelley will enter their formal plea at 2 p.m. on April 29. They have been released on their own recognizance until that court appearance.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge