Stolen car arrest could also bring drug charges

By on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

MORROW COUNTY – The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gage Michael Niehaus, 22, Friday. He is charged with a number of crimes, including unauthorized use of a vehicle as well as unlawful delivery of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of cocaine.

Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson said that while Oregon did decriminalize the possession of what it calls user amounts of narcotics, it’s still a crime to possess a large quantity.

“Oregon also did not decriminalize the selling of drugs,” Nelson said. “The distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl – that is still absolutely illegal in Oregon.”

While it may be illegal it’s not easy to prosecute.

“Recently, case law is changed where you almost need to have the person caught in the act of selling the drugs or having the baggies already broken up into smaller amounts,” he said.

Nelson is reviewing the details of the case from MCSO and will determine which charges he feels he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.