News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Gates man enters drug court after arrest

A Gates man arrested in May in connection with multiple car thefts and a burglary has entered drug court as part of a plea agreement, though he has felony cases pending elsewhere in Oregon.

Billy Raymond Edge Jr., 32, pleaded no contest June 21 to first-degree burglary and four counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after turning himself in to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office May 16.

Edge was charged in connection with burglary and theft of a vehicle in Mill City occurring sometime between May 1 and Aug. 21, 2021. He was also suspected in the separate thefts of four vehicles during October 2021 in the Lyons and Mill City areas.

As part of the plea agreement, Edge was enrolled in Linn County Drug Court for two years, during which time he must observe strict prohibitions on drug use and criminal offenses. If he completes the program, he will receive a lesser conviction and three years of probation. If he is terminated from drug court he has agreed to be sentenced to five years in prison.

At the time of his arrest in May, Edge was under a prior drug court agreement related to multiple Linn County cases involving vehicle theft, burglary, eluding police and trespassing for incidents between October and November 2021. He entered the program that December but was taken back into custody the following month after failing to appear for a scheduled drug test. He was allowed to re-enter drug court Feb. 28.

Edge also faces multiple charges in Marion and Polk counties for similar offenses.

In Marion County, Edge is accused of four vehicle thefts from May to November 2021, including an incident Nov. 11, 2021, which resulted in more than $1,000 in damage to the victim’s vehicle, and an incident July 11, 2021, when he allegedly damaged a coin machine at a Stayton restaurant. He is charged with four counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, one count of attempted unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief and one count of second-degree criminal mischief. He has a potential change-of-plea hearing Aug. 29.

In Polk County, Edge is charged with vehicle theft in Dallas June 22, 2021, after the vehicle was reported stolen in Stayton. He is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and was scheduled to stand trial Aug. 16, but the matter was continued and a new date may be chosen during a hearing Aug. 17.

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