Woodburn man sentenced to 5 years for multi-year crime spree
A Woodburn man accused of committing a multi-year crime spree pleaded guilty on Sept. 7 to arson, criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a destructive device and attempt to commit a class A felony.
Dustin Nehl, 24, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of post-prison supervision following his conviction. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims who suffered losses as a result of his crimes.
The charges stemmed from Nehl committing multiple acts of vandalism at Woodburn Estates & Golf properties and at a city of Woodburn property between 2013 and 2016.
Nehl pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree arson, one count of attempt to commit a class A felony, one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device, and three counts of first-degree criminal mischief. The crimes are all felonies.
Three additional counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device and one additional count of first-degree criminal mischief were dismissed with Nehl's guilty plea.
According to his plea documents, Nehl admitted to committing several acts of vandalism between 2013 and 2016, including causing an explosion on a property on Cascade Drive, damaging locks and a water tank at the City of Woodburn Water Treatment Facility in Centennial Park and damaging other property in an amount exceeding $2,000. He also admitted to possessing an "incendiary device."
"These convictions and sentence are significant and bring to a close a reign of criminal activity that burdened the Woodburn community for several years," Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris said in a press release from the Marion County DA's office. "We are grateful for the work by our police department and our partnership with the District Attorney's Office in holding Mr. Nehl accountable for his crimes."
Nehl was arrested last September following a multi-year investigation by the Woodburn Police Department.
"This is a significant arrest not only because of the threat to our residents, but to city infrastructure and public safety," said Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris last year following Nehl's arrest. "Our detectives have stayed on this case since 2013 and have done great work following up on tips leading to this arrest."
According to the DA's office, the investigation continued after Nehl's arrest. Woodburn detective Aaron DeVoe continued to work with the District Attorney's Office to make sure the investigation was complete and that all the known victims were covered by the charges against Nehl.
Nehl is currently held at the Oregon Department of Corrections' Coffee Creek Intake Center.