Two men were arrested and a third suspect eluded authorities after a brief car and foot chase near the California border on Wednesday, according to Curry County Sheriff Lt. John Ward.
Arrested were Joshua James Wilson, 33, of Crescent City, on charges of drug possession, and Robert Wayne Jackson, 43, of Crescent City, on charges of eluding police, resisting arrest and interfering with a police officer.
Police later learned that Jackson, who gave authorities a fake name at the time of his arrest, was a registered sex offender out of Del Norte County, Ward said.
At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Curry County Sheriff’s Department received information from the California Highway Patrol that wanted suspect David James Rhodes, 27, of Smith River, was possible at or on his way to a residence on Stateline Road, near the Winchuck River. Rhodes was wanted for several burglaries and vehicle thefts in Curry and Del Norte counties.
Sheriff’s deputies went to the residence and were told by someone in the house that Rhodes was not there. Meanwhle, a white Toyota 4-Runner with California plates and several subjects inside drove up, saw the deputies and sped off, driving in a reckless manner, Ward said.
Deputy Rod McAllister caught up to the vehicle at the Crissey Field Visitors Center with the belief that Rhodes may be inside the vehicle. All three occupants had exited the Toyota and one was walking away with a backpack. McAllister ordered the suspect to return to the vehicle, but he took off running.
McAllister gave chase and, with the assistance of two Oregon State Police troopers, caught the subject on the beach area and took him into custody.
The suspect, Jackson, told officers his name was William Donelson. The subject’s identity could not be verified as he had no identification on him, Ward said.
The backpack that Jackson was carrying was recovered nearby, where he had thrown it, and it was seized as evidence.
The driver of the Toyota was later identified as Wilson and taken into custody. The third suspect that was in the car had walked away in the meantime and his identity is unknown, Ward said.
A search of Wilson’s Toyota revealed a substantial amount of marijuana and other drug-related items including prescription medications. Both Wilson and Jackson were transported to the Curry County Jail.
On Thursday, a check of fingerprints determined that Jackson had given a false name. Curry County Sheriff’s Det. Gardiner secured a search warrant for the backpack that Jackson was carrying and discovered a substantial amount of marijuana, packaging material, scales, methamphetamine, prescription medication and illegal mushrooms. All information and evidence was referred to the Curry County District Attorney for consideration of additional charges on Jackson.