Repeat offender gets out of jail free ... briefly

Confusion at the Jackson County Jail last week caused the accidental release of a career criminal who was lodged on charges of impersonating a U.S. marshal and identity theft. The man was rearrested the same day and jailed on additional charges.

Donald Lee Anderson Jr., 42, was shown the door accidentally after a jail employee incorrectly thought he was eligible for early release when the jail became overcrowded, said sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson.

Anderson was lodged on charges of theft, identity theft, impersonating a police officer and a parole violation. Normally, an inmate lodged on a parole violation is not eligible for early release because of overcrowding. In this case, though, Anderson's post-prison supervision included a clause allowing him the opportunity for early release.

Jackson County Community Justice issued a new parole violation against Anderson to keep him in jail.

But the jail did not account for the new violation because it closely resembled the previous parole violation.

"It was for an identical charge," Carlson said. "They thought the new violation was the old one, which allowed (Anderson) to be released."

The jail routinely releases inmates lodged on nonviolent crimes because the jail is full. Anderson is not charged with a violent crime.

Word of Anderson's release spread quickly though local law enforcement. Medford police were in the process of adding additional charges against him when he was released.

The department sent detectives to round up Anderson at his home on Rustler Peak Street in Central Point.

"We basically had him returned to jail the same day he was released," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "We watched his house and took him into custody when he came home."

Anderson is a known scam artist who has been arrested numerous times over the years, Budreau said.

This last time allegedly involved him posing as a federal agent to receive medical treatment and prescriptions.

A Rogue Regional Medical Center employee reported that Anderson had lied to the hospital in October when he sought treatment there for an alleged back injury.

He was dressed in a black tactical uniform and police gear and reportedly told RRMC employees that he was escorting a fugitive to custody.

A hospital employee noticed Anderson's mugshot on the Jackson County Jail website after he was arrested on Jan. 2 for an unrelated charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Police believe Anderson has pulled similar scams involving medical centers across Medford. They have lodged additional theft and identity theft charges against him, Budreau said.

Anderson has spent time in prison for his previous crimes and could be heading back there after this round, Budreau said.

"He just keeps getting arrested again and again," Budreau said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.


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