Jackson County man sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for drug, weapons charges

A man arrested repeatedly across Oregon for illegal possession of drugs and firearms is headed to federal prison.

Posted: May 15, 2019 11:55 AM
Updated: May 15, 2019 12:03 PM

EUGENE, Ore. — A Southern Oregon man is headed to federal prison after a laundry list of drug and weapons charges caught up with him, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.

35-year-old Christopher Michael Soares was sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in federal prison and five years of supervised relief after pleading guilty for possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Despite the single charge and conviction, in 2016 Soares faced a number of different charges spanning between Bend and Jackson County. In June of 2016, officers stopped Soares in Deschutes County as he was driving a vehicle with two passengers. When the officers searched him, they found 99 grams of meth, 56 grams of heroin and a 9mm handgun.

"Soares was later arrested on three separate occasions in Jackson County for additional drug and firearms offenses," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to court records, Soares has faced criminal charges many times and as far back as 2001 — including theft, identity theft, foregery, drug possession and dealing, assault, reckless endangering and eluding police. The majority of those cases were in Jackson County.

It wasn't until September of 2016 that the June incident in Bend caught up with Soares in the form of federal charges. He later pleaded guilty to the possession with intent to distribute charge for "50 grams or more of methamphetamine."

Meanwhile, state prosecutors in Jackson County agreed to "global resolution" with the federal authorities in order to resolve the multiple pending cases against Soares, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Bend Police, Medford Police, Deschutes County Sheriff, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) worked together on the investigation.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the case came to federal authorities as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a Department of Justice initiative intended to reduce violent crime.

"PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them," the Attorney's office said. "As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime."

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