Sheriff: 8 arrested with guns, drugs and an alligator

AZALEA, Ore. -- 8 people were arrested and guns, drugs and stolen property were seized after deputies served a search warrant in Azalea Thursday.

And an alligator.

The Douglas County Sheriff's office served a search warrant at about 7:00 am at 3456 Upper Cow Creek Road in Azalea.

The warrant was part of an investigation into identity theft that authorities say involved Dee Swiss Thomas IV, 31 of Azalea.

Authorities say Thomas IV opened an AT&T account and used a stolen credit card to purchase cell phones, tablets and tires.

During the search, deputies say they recovered some of the property that was purchased with the stolen credit card.

While they were there, deputies found Christopher LaCoe, 30, of Wolf Creek, who they say is a convicted felon. Deputies say LaCoe was in possession of an alligator, stolen mining equipment, 15 pounds of Marijuana, 52 grams of Methamphetamine, 5 firearms and a stun gun.

The alligator was seized and relocated by Oregon State Police, who assisted on the warrant.

Thomas IV, who was already in the Douglas County Jail, was charged with Computer Crime, Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, Identity Theft, Theft I, Theft I by Deception.

Lacoe was charged by deputies with Felon in Possession of a Firearm (5 counts), Unlawful Possession/Delivery/Manufacture Methamphetamine and Marijuana, Theft II, Probation Violation.

Deputies charged 6 other people with the following crimes:

  • Myson J. Houck, 26, of Azalea: Unlawful Possession Methamphetamine, Probation Violation
  • Breann May Barela, 21, of Azalea: Unlawful Possession Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Parole Violation
  • Dee Swiss Thomas III, 62, of Azalea: Unlawful Possession Methamphetamine, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor
  • Robin Lynn Slay, 48, of Azalea: Unlawful Possession Methamphetamine, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor
  • Steven Craig Stuart, 46, of Azalea: Unlawful Possession Methamphetamine
  • Eric Michael Nelson, 63, of Azalea: Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used