Hermiston Police News: Pursuit ends in multiple arrests

Release Date: 
11/20/2012

On the 19th of November 2012, at approximately 2:15 PM, officers from the Hermiston Police Department responded to Cashco (650 S. Hwy 395) on a report of a female inside the business attempting to cash a counterfeit check. Within minutes, officers were on scene and observed a grey 1988 Oldsmobile sedan with Oregon plates 331AEM fleeing the parking lot in an erratic manner.

Photo: Luis Fuentes, Susan N. Steele, Catarino A. MontezOfficers pursued the sedan with lights and sirens on, but the driver later identified as Luis Fuentes 26 years of age, of 1355 NE Misty Drive, Hermiston, continued to flee. The pursuit continued southbound on Highway 395 toward Stanfield and eventually into and through Echo, onto Reith Highway where it concluded. Estimated speeds during the 12 mile pursuit, ranged between 35 mph and 80 mph. The pursuit ended when it appeared Fuentes’ vehicle began having mechanical issues.

Also arrested from inside the vehicle was Catarino A. Montez 33 years of age, of 1630 W Sunland Ave #B3. Susan N. Steele 39 years of age, of 1356 SE Idaho Ave, in Irrigon, was arrested at Cashco.

Fuentes was processed at the Hermiston Police Department and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail on the following charges: (5) counts of Forgery in the First Degree, (4) counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree, (3) counts of Identity Theft, Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Tampering with Evidence, Theft of Mislaid Property, Reckless Driving, and Recklessly Endangering. Fuentes who was the subject of a search warrant our agency assisted Union County deputies with last week, also had arrest warrants for Theft in the Second Degree by Deception out of Baker County and a failure to appear warrant out of Umatilla County.

Montez was processed at the Hermiston Police Department and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail on the charge of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. Montez also had (3) arrest warrants all out of Umatilla County.

Steele was processed at the Hermiston Police Department for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Forgery in the First Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree.

The Oregon State Police and Stanfield Police Department assisted in this incident.

“Any time our officers are involved in a pursuit, everyone involved from our department are constantly weighing the risk to the public versus the reward of the arrest. For this matter, the conditions were such that we were all able to make the arrests of the individuals we believe are responsible for passing counterfeit checks not only in our area, but Union County as well, ” reports Chief Jason Edmiston.


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