Arrest made in Wimer pot robbery
A Pennsylvania man has been arrested for his involvement in a December home-invasion robbery of a licensed pot farm in Wimer.
Frank William Foremski, 34, of Richboro, Pennsylvania, entered not guilty pleas Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on felony robbery, aggravated theft, burglary and vehicle theft charges alleging he was one of four masked suspects who attacked a marijuana grower Dec. 16 and stole more than 300 pounds of processed marijuana outside Rogue River.
The victim, James Bowman, 56, of Blue Sky Gardens on East Evans Creek Road was seriously injured in the attack, and the suspects fled with $300,000 to $400,000 worth of marijuana, along with Bowman's 2012 Subaru Outback, according to a document filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.
In December, The Oregonian called the case Oregon's first violent crime at a licensed pot farm.
Foremski was caught after one of the robbers left a cellphone at the scene, police said. Jackson County sheriff's investigators got a search warrant for the phone and found multiple text messages going to and from Foremski's phone about the crime, such as bringing a truck to the location and requesting that security camera wires be cut, according to court documents.
A story in The Oregonian said the suspects tied up Bowman while they filled a rented U-Haul truck with marijuana. Bowman was left tied for several hours until workers found him the next morning. Bowman was hospitalized for several days with injuries that included a broken nose and two black eyes.
A Jackson County Sheriff's Department detective told the Oregonian that the stolen marijuana had been harvested, cured and stored in large totes inside a cargo container locked with a padlock. The document filed in court said Foremski destroyed some totes taken from Bowman's farm and attempted to destroy others.
Foremski faces felony charges of first- and second-degree robbery, aggravated first-degree theft, first-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. His next court appearance is set for Feb. 2, Circuit Court records showed. He remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail Thursday afternoon, jail records showed.
During the Thursday court hearing, Circuit Court Judge David Hoppe set Foremski's bail at $100,000 and set intensive release conditions should he post bail, including GPS monitoring, weekly check-ins and random drug and alcohol tests.
Circuit Court records show Foremski has no prior criminal history in Jackson County, outside of a 2015 traffic violation.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.