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Medford police sweep leads to nine arrests

MEDFORD — An early-morning sweep Tuesday of people on parole or probation netted nine arrests, four of them on new felony drug charges, police said.

Medford police officers joined forces with Jackson County Community Justice officials to visit the homes of 27 "medium'' and "high-risk" people on post-prison supervision, Medford police Lt. Brett Johnson said.

Community justice officials generated the list of people who received the morning visit. Many of them were found to be in compliance with their parole or probation agreements, Johnson said.

However, five were found to be in violation of their court-ordered supervision.

"Some of them had not checked in with their parole or probation officer," Johnson said. "Others had moved to a new address without informing community justice."

A search of four of the homes turned up methamphetamine, Johnson said.

Arrested on probation violations and new felony drugs charges were Curtis Lee Hollins, 54; Robert Fullmer, 54; Joshua Lee Gibson, 30; and Donald Franklin Thomas, 35.

In addition, Thomas was charged with driving on a suspended license and eluding police.

He managed to escape Medford officers about a month ago by speeding away from a traffic stop on a motorcycle, Johnson said.

"We have a pretty strict pursuit policy and ended the chase before it became dangerous," he said.

Medford police Officer Brent Mak worked closely with community justice to provide statistics and names of the "high-risk" offenders visited Tuesday morning.

Approximately 1,980 people are on some form of post-prison supervision in Jackson County. That small group of people, who account for less than 1 percent of the county's population, accounted for 28 percent of the arrests in the last quarter of 2008, Mak said.

The sweep was the first of its kind for the department. Medford police often work with community justice on bar walk-throughs that often net offenders who have no-alcohol clauses in their post-prison supervision agreements.

"We are planning on doing this periodically in the future," Johnson said. "We might change the time of day and it could come on the weekend. We don't want to become predictable."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.