Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan reports on March 13, 2024, deputies responded to a report of a vehicle fire at a rock quarry on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land off Camp Morrison Rd outside of Scio. A witness reported the vehicle had been lit on fire by multiple people who had been at the quarry target shooting. The witness reported the suspects left behind an AK47 rifle before fleeing the scene after lighting the vehicle on fire.

Deputies responded to the scene and found a Volkswagen sedan completely consumed by the fire and reported as stolen to the Corvallis Police Department. While deputies were investigating, the suspects returned to the scene to collect the AK47 left behind. Deputies detained Robert James Branch, 30, of Keizer, and Josie Doreen De La Cruz, 28, of Albany. Deputies seized the vehicle Branch and De La Cruz returned to the scene with.

This week, deputies obtained a search warrant for their vehicle and seized several items relating to the arson. They also located additional evidence related to the delivery of narcotics. Items seized included multiple lighters, multiple firearms, ammunition, about 400 grams of suspected methamphetamine, suspected fentanyl powder, a digital scale, methamphetamine paraphernalia, prescription medications, packaging material, and over $2,000 in cash.

Branch was transported to the Linn County Jail for Arson in the first degree, Attempted Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine. De La Cruz was transported to the Linn County Jail for Attempted Delivery of a Controlled Substance- Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle.