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Recent media releases from the Benton County Sheriff's Office are listed below. To read past media releases, go to the "Supporting Documents" section of this web page.
Sheriff's Office Hosts Drug Take Back Event
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. This event allows the public to safely dispose of expired or unused medications.
This is a one-day, drive-thru event at 4500 SW Research Way, Corvallis. Those interested in dropping off at this location are asked to enter the parking lot off Research Way and follow the signs and directions of the volunteers.
Some items are not allowed at the event. For safety reasons, these include thermometers, intra-venous solutions, needles, EpiPens®, or medical waste of any kind. Illegal drugs are also not accepted. Medications can only be accepted from individual households, not from businesses such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or veterinary clinics. A complete list of restricted items is posted on the Sheriff’s Office website at https://www.co.benton.or.us/sheriff/page/special-event-2023-drug-take-back.
This event is offered as a public safety service to help keep prescription drugs out of the hands of kids or others who might abuse them. Misuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem, especially with teens and young adults.
Additionally, improperly disposing of medications, by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, can lead to contamination of our drinking water. While most drugs can be treated at wastewater treatment plants, some cannot.
Community partners Covanta and Oregon State University are helping support this event. It is sanctioned by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as part of its National Take-Back Initiative. The Sheriff’s Office is able to offer this service due to the volunteer support of their Reserve Deputies, Auxiliary Team, CERT, and Search and Rescue volunteers. For more information, visit https://www.co.benton.or.us/sheriff/page/special-event-2023-drug-take-back.
UPDATE: BCSO Seeks Information from the Public in Infant Death Investigation
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of an infant, Opal Oaks, on February 26, 2023.
The Sheriff’s Office is seeking information regarding the welfare and location of two-month-old Opal Oaks from her birth, on December 16, 2022, to her death on February 26, 2023.
If between these dates you saw any of these individuals – Andrew Oaks, Barbara Oaks, or Deborah Albin – in the presence of an infant, or have any information about the health, welfare, or location of Opal, the Sheriff’s Office urges you to call their anonymous tipline at 541-753-8477 or email the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at BentonCoSheriff@bentoncountyor.gov, referencing case #2023-526.
On Sunday, February 26, 2023, at approximately 3:00 pm, Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies responded to the 1700 block of NE Conifer Blvd, Corvallis, for a call of an unconscious two-month-old female.
Medics transported the baby immediately to the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis where the infant was pronounced deceased.
After an initial investigation, BCSO detectives arrested the 27-year-old father, Andrew Levi Oaks, for Criminal Mistreatment in the first degree. An autopsy later this week will determine additional charges.
Oaks is currently lodged at the Benton County Jail where he is scheduled for an arraignment hearing this afternoon, February 27, 2023.
Persons with additional information about case #22-526 are asked to email the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at BentonCoSheriff@bentoncountyor.gov or call their anonymous tipline at 541-753-8477.
This is an ongoing investigation; no other details are being released at this time. Information going forward will come from the Benton County District Attorney’s Office.
BCSO would like to thank Corvallis Fire and Corvallis Police Departments for their assistance with this case.
Fatal Crash on Highway 99W North of Monroe
On February 25, 2023, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the county’s third fatal crash of the year on Highway 99W near Dawson Rd at approximately 9:42 a.m.
The driver of a Jeep was northbound on Highway 99W, attempting to turn west onto Dawson Road, and was struck by a southbound driver in a Ford pickup truck.
The front-seat passenger in the Jeep was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the Jeep was transported to the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center with injuries. The rear-seat passenger of the Jeep was not injured. The driver of the pickup was not injured. Both drivers are cooperating with investigators.
The Benton County Regional Crash Team responded and is continuing the investigation. Alcohol and speed do not appear to be contributing factors in the crash.
Highway 99W was closed for approximately 4 hours and was re-opened around 2:00 p.m.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Monroe Fire Department, Corvallis Fire Department, Corvallis Police Department, and the Oregon Department of Transportation for assistance at the scene.
If anyone witnessed the crash or has any information concerning this crash they may call Sergeant Iverson at 541-766-0139.
Enough is Enough
“Enough is enough,” says Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall. “With assistance from Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant funding, I will be increasing patrols to target speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving, to reduce traffic fatalities in Benton County.”
Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Deputies responded to more crashes involving fatalities in 2022 than they have seen yearly in over two decades. This year to date, BCSO has responded to 38 crashes, two involving fatalities.
The Enough is Enough Awareness Campaign seeks to bring to light the lives lost in Benton County traffic crashes, making sure the public is both aware of this serious problem and what drivers can do to help.
Expanded traffic enforcement will target state highways, county roads, and high-traffic areas of Benton County. Patrol deputies will be assigned to specific locations and assisted by Drug Recognition Experts, trained in DUII enforcement and drug recognition.
BCSO needs your help. If you witness erratic driving behavior, such as passing in no-passing zones, following too closely, or a vehicle failing to maintain its lane, have your passenger call 9-1-1 immediately. If you are traveling alone first find a safe place to pull over before calling. Report the location, direction of travel, license plate, and description of the vehicle.
It is important to reiterate calling 9-1-1 is for emergencies at the time of the occurrence only. Do not report unsafe driving once you have reached your destination.
While BCSO cannot stop every crash, with assistance from the public, together they can reduce the number of lives tragically lost due to reckless driving.