Eugene Police Street Crimes Unit had been seeking a suspect, Gerald Matthew Williams, age 30, of Springfield, for several weeks after two SCU officers investigated a robbery and kidnapping case that was initially unreported. They obtained details through their hard work and investigative efforts and SCU began to follow up on the case as a unit. The case was from May 2020, where the male victim was confronted about having another person’s money, then threatened with a gun while his possessions were searched.
On August 14, around 2:38 p.m., SCU determined a possible location for Williams and eventually conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle Williams was riding in at River Road and Hunsaker Lane. SCU contacted the driver, James Bruce Merchant, age 26, of Coos Bay. He was ultimately charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance Methamphetamine and cited for Driving While Suspended. Williams was a passenger and arrested for Robbery in the First Degree and Kidnapping in the First Degree, along with two warrants. A second passenger, Desiree Nicole Jones, age 34, of Junction City, was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance Methamphetamine and two warrants.
SCU K9 Jack and his handler Officer Joe Kidd, went to work. K9 Jack did a "sniff" of the vehicle and officers located nearly one pound of methamphetamine.
K9 Jack is a drug detection K9, and has recently completed a substantial amount of training with his partner, Officer Joe Kidd. They have completed testing and are now certified by the Oregon Police Canine Association and assigned to the Street Crimes Unit, where they will assist patrol officers, detectives, parole and probation, and other area law enforcement agencies when needed during drug investigations.
Jack is a 2-year-old Malinois/Tervuren mix, and is trained to alert to the odors of meth, heroin and cocaine. After several weeks on the job, he has made several seizures. Jack has a friendly disposition, is great with people and other dogs, and enjoys spending time with his toy, which is his reward for detecting narcotics. The purchase of K9 Jack was made possible through Community Service Initiative bridge funding for Street Crimes Unit.
Eugene Police Street Crimes Unit
The SCU has been focusing on prolific offenders, who are identified through intelligence-based policing, public tips and other sources. They have been proactively responding across the city to quality of life issues as they arise, using all available resources and partners such as community groups, neighborhood associations and city services. SCU is dedicated to targeting immediate and acute community safety system issues while working toward mission-critical enhancements that need to be addressed through a longer-term and broader community safety initiative. The unit currently consists of a lieutenant, two sergeants and eight officers.