EUGENE, Ore. - A Bend drug dealer whose arrests made headlines twice in the past year -- once for jumping into an irrigation canal to elude police -- was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to nearly 12 years in prison.
Matthew Louis Collins, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane to 140 months in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Upon his release from prison, Collins will be on supervised release for five years, prosecutors said.
Last May 6, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies stopped a silver Kia near the intersection of Highway 97 and Yew Avenue in Redmond for various traffic violations, including failure to drive in a lane and signal a turn, said Lt. Ken Mannix of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team.
Information from the stop led to deployment of a drug-detection K-9 -- but during the search of the car, Collins ran and jumped into a nearby irrigation canal, Mannix said. He swam across it and got out, but then was arrested without incident by Redmond police.
A search of the car turned up nearly 10 ounces of meth with a street value of about $11,000. Federal prosecutors said he was transporting the meth from Portland to distribute in the Bend area.
Collins has a lengthy and violent criminal history, prosecutors said, and has been the subject of several recent investigations by the CODE team, made up of all Central Oregon Drug Enforcement agencies, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, district attorney's offices and the Oregon National Guard..
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall praised the sentence imposed on Collins: "Bend and Central Oregon are better places with Mr. Collins off the streets."
"This case is the result of the excellent collaboration between the CODE team, the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office, and my office," Marshall said.
"Coordination between federal and state law enforcement is key to prosecuting the most dangerous criminals and keeping our communities safe. My office is committed to working with our local and federal law enforcement partners to achieve results such as this one."
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan J. Lichvarcik.
Louis also was one of two men arrested late last November in a northeast Bend drug case. A detective watching two suspicious men twice get in and out of a pickup in the parking lot of the Borden's Corner on Dean Swift Road soon learned the truck had been stolen, officers said.The two men were contacted as they walked away and were arrested without incident.