GRANTS PASS — A man spotted by police on a crime-fighting Facebook page in Oregon was in jail this week facing a federal gun charge.
Carol Dickson, a retired sheriff's deputy who runs the page "To Catch A Thief," let out a whoop of joy when she heard the news.
"That just shows us the police DO read 'To Catch a Thief' and it helps them," she said. "Yahoo."
Dickson started the page after the elimination of federal subsidies to timber counties forced sharp cutbacks in Josephine County sheriff's patrols.
She said crime has dropped to almost nothing in the rural area around Cave Junction since three other men who had been regularly featured on the page were arrested in Grants Pass for drug and property crimes.
In the latest case, Lief Devin Carrier, 26, of Cave Junction faces a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a gun. His public defender did not respond to an email seeking comment.
An affidavit filed by the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement task force said investigators saw that a posting on the "To Catch a Thief" page mentioned people in the neighborhood noticed suspicious activity at Carrier's house, and that Carrier was armed.
Checking criminal records, investigators found Carrier had convictions for manufacturing methamphetamine, theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.
Police arranged for an undercover informant to buy marijuana from Carrier, who was registered as a medical marijuana patient and caregiver. When police moved in for the arrest, they found methamphetamine and a semi-automatic rifle in the back of the shop loaded with a full 30-round magazine, authorities said.
A separate affidavit filed by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent in federal court said other guns and ammunition were found in the home.
Carrier told investigators the semi-automatic rifle was left there by someone he had kicked out of the house after learning the person planned to rob him, the federal affidavit said. Carrier told them his girlfriend bought a pistol after someone stole hers from his house, and she needed it for protection.