Across our area, police arresting suspects toting guns

Take a look at what police have done, just in the last week, to help reduce gun crimes across six outer East Portland neighborhoods …

Police officers, at the border shared by the Glenfair and Centennial neighborhoods – looking for a man with a gun, in the Rosewood area.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

From April 24 through April 29, for Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers, and members of the Bureau’s Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) \were on the lookout for suspects carrying guns.

April 24 – Glenfair/Centennial arrest
On the border of the Glenfair and Centennial neighborhoods that evening,  GVRT officers were conducting a “focused patrol” at a gun violence “hot spot”: In the Rosewood area near SE 162nd Avenue and Stark Street – after receiving a tip that a man was illegally armed with a gun in a vehicle.

Officers watched the suspect, created a plan, and then conducted a traffic stop on the car at 12:48 a.m. on April 25.

Police say they found this Taurus G2c 9mm semi-automatic pistol wedged under the driver’s seat of the car the suspect was driving. PPB photo

Found under the seat of the driver – a convicted felon – was a Taurus G2c 9mm semi-automatic pistol, with a full ammunition clip, and a bullet in the chamber ready to be fired.

The suspect, 25-year-old Stephan Alexander Hartley III, was taken into custody and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 2:01 a.m. shortly after his arrest, and charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Class C Felony; and also Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

Serving a few weeks for Parole Violation, after being charged as a convicted felon caught with a loaded gun, is 25-year-old Stephan Alexander Hartley III. MCDC booking photo

At his arraignment later that day, the judge “released” the gun charges, but did inform Hartley that he would be incarcerated in MCDC until July 19, 2020 on a Parole Violation charge.

After finding evidence of gunfire along the Russell/Hazelwood neighborhood border, GVRT officers start looking for a suspect.

April 25 – Russell/Hazelwood arrest after shooting
At 8:11 a.m., PPB East Precinct officers answered a “shots fired” call in the area of SE 125th Avenue and Stark Street, where officers found evidence of gunfire – but no victims or witnesses.

The investigation led officers to make a traffic stop near NE 122nd Avenue and Halsey Street, on the border of the Russell and Hazelwood neighborhoods.

GVRT officers locate not one, but five guns, while investigating a “shots fired” report. PPB photo

Officers found three handguns inside the vehicle, and two more handguns were recovered later at a related residence, police officials said.

Of the two suspects taken into custody during this traffic stop, only one of them was arrested. “The investigation is ongoing,” a PPB official said about that suspect.

After being arrested on three charges, on of them a Class C Felony, a judge releases 25-year-old Jason Benton without bail. MCDC booking photo

25-year-old Jason Benton was booked into MCDC, at 8:42 p.m. that evening, on charges of Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public, Unlawful Discharge of Firearm, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

At his arraignment, Benton’s combined bail was set at $10,000. However, a judge set him free two days after his arrest, on April 27. Release Reason: “Pretrial Services Program”.

April 29 – Man arrested with stolen gun in Powellhurst-Gilbert
From the early morning hours on, Wednesday April 29, an East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team worked in coordination with the East Precinct Street Crime Unit to recover a firearm, stolen in the outer East Portland area.

This is the gun, a Glock .380 pistol, for which officers were looking – after it was taken from a parked vehicle that was also stolen. PPB photo

The day before, April 28, police were notified of a vehicle that had been stolen; officers later recovered it. But, inside that vehicle when it was taken was a Glock.380 pistol; and when the vehicle was found, officers saw that the gun had been taken.

Through a diligent investigation, officers were able to narrow the focus of the search to a single suspect. At 3:59 p.m. the following day, officers made contact with the suspect in the 12200 block of SE Powell Boulevard, and took him into custody. They found the stolen firearm on his person.

After being accused of five Felonies, including stealing a gun, 21-year-old Justice Matthew Wisdom is set free, posting no bail. MCDC booking photo

21-year-old Justice Matthew Wisdom was booked into the MCDC at 6:03 p.m. that evening, on the charges of Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Theft In the First Degree, Unlawful Possession of Firearm, Possession of a controlled substance – Methamphetamine, and Possession of a controlled substance – Heroin.

At his arraignment that evening, Wisdom learned that the combined bail for his original charges, as well as additional charges of Manufacturing/Delivering Controlled Substances, added up to $147,500.

However, after spending only hours in custody, a friendly judge set Wisdom free, requiring that no bail whatsoever be posted, on April 30. Release Reason: “Pretrial Services Program”.

April 29 – Gun, with lots of bullets, found on wanted man
Later in the evening, East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on SE Stark Street near 119th Avenue, after spotting a man wanted by authorities.

A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed a handgun, and an extended magazine.

Police say they found this gun, with two ammo clips, and a bullet in the chamber ready to be fired, on a fugitive from justice. PPB photo

25-year-old Angel O. Diaz-Berrios was arrested for the outstanding warrant, and booked into MCDC at 3:59 p.m. – at which time he was also charged with Possessing a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place, a Class C Felony.

Being held on a Fugitive warrant is 25-year-old Angel O. Diaz-Berrios. MCDC booking photo

At his arraignment, Diaz-Berrios the judge dismissed the felony weapons charge, but he is currently being held without bail at the MCDC on a Fugitive warrant.

Anyone with information about gun crimes in the City of Portland is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau’s Tactical Operations Division at 503-823-4106 or email information to

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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