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Drug Delivery and Criminal Negligent Homicide Arrest

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Detectives, along with assisting officers from other agencies, executed a search warrant on a residence and property in the Cloverdale area of Tillamook County. Shelby Joe Vantassel, 51, was the primary target of the warrant and he was arrested on scene. Brianna Gene Baney, 31, of Cloverdale, was also arrested on scene and charged with Frequenting a Place where Controlled Substances are used, kept or sold.

The search warrant and arrests were part of a several months-long investigation surrounding an overdose death of a 47-year-old man in Pacific City last January. “It is alleged that the victim died after using cocaine laced with fentanyl that was provided by Shelby Vantassel,” said lead investigator, TCSO Detective Kris Wood. “Neighbors and the community are very grateful that Mr. Vantassel is in custody and the suspicious traffic to the residence has stopped.” TCSO Deputies are gearing up for additional controlled substance investigations.

Approximately 100 grams methamphetamine, 14 grams of fentanyl, crack cocaine, scales and packaging materials were seized. Tillamook 911, Tillamook Police, Oregon State Police, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln City Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office all assisted with this extensive investigation. TCSO Is referring any additional questions or media inquiries regarding this case to the Tillamook County District Attorney’s Office for comment, as TCSO will not be commenting further on this ongoing investigation.

Some additional background information:

In the late 1980’s, a federal law was passed providing severe penalties to drug dealers when someone that they provided drugs to, died from those drugs. It is commonly referred to as the Len Bias law, named after University of Maryland basketball player, Len Bias. Bias died two days after being selected by the Boston Celtics with the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft, Bias died from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose.

In the past, Oregon lead the nation in prosecuting Len Bias-type cases, but that all but stopped in recent years, especially after Measure 110 was enacted. Measure 110 decriminalized user amounts of deadly controlled substances. Recently passed HB4002 A repeals/reforms Measure 110, and law enforcement agencies are now able to investigate and refer more controlled substance cases to their District Attorney for prosecutorial consideration.

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