Madras man gets 10 years for Eclipse Day bank holdup

Also for role in father's meth distribution ring

EUGENE, Ore. - A 30-year-old Madras man was sentenced Tuesday in Eugene federal court to 10 years in prison a for robbing a Madras bank of $517 in August 2017, on the day of the total solar eclipse, and for his role in a methamphetamine ring set up by his father.

Tyler Wayne Fuller, 30, of Madras, Oregon, also was sentenced to three years’ supervised release after serving his prison term.

According to court documents, Fuller is the son of career criminal and known drug dealer Ronald Wayne Thrasher, 49, also of Madras. By age 28, prosecutors said, Fuller has had his own extensive criminal history and has spent the majority of his adulthood incarcerated.

In December 2016, after Fuller was released from federal prison, Thrasher began giving his son methamphetamine to sell. Within a month, court documents show Thrasher was supplying and Fuller was distributing quarter- and half-pound quantities of methamphetamine throughout Central Oregon.

In February 2017, Fuller’s volatile relationship with his father led to a confrontation. Armed with a pistol, Fuller unsuccessfully attempted to rob his father of his methamphetamine supply, prosecutors said.

The resulting estrangement left Fuller without a supplier and illicit income. Now homeless, he continued selling drugs obtained from his father’s customers, prosecutors said.

In August 2017, Fuller robbed a U.S. Bank in Madras, collecting $517 in cash. He got away in the busy post-eclipse crowd, but was arrested three days later in a guns-drawn traffic stop on state Highway 361 north of Culver.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ordered Fuller to pay $517 in restitution to U.S. Bank and forfeit any property or proceeds derived from his drug trafficking activities.

On April 25, 2018, Fuller pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of methamphetamine and bank robbery.

Thrasher was convicted at trial last month for purchasing and transporting methamphetamine for distribution and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 4, 2020.

Fuller is the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced for their involvement in his father’s drug trafficking conspiracy. One defendant, Russell Marvin Jones, 53, of Gresham, was convicted at trial alongside his father. Nine others pleaded guilty. All are scheduled to be sentenced over the next six months before Judge McShane.

This case was investigated by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted Frank Papagni Jr. and Judi Harper, assistant U.S. attorneys for the District of Oregon, with the assistance of the Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes County district attorney’s offices.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. 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. 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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