Three men accused of setting up illegal roadblocks as wildfires burn, Oregon cops say

Maddie Capron

Three Oregon residents were cited for illegally creating civilian traffic stops, officials said.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday three men were arrested after being accused of setting up illegal roadblocks.

Sheriff Mike Reese said in a Sept. 12 video that the sheriff’s department was receiving reports that local residents were making roadblocks in the eastern part of the county as wildfires burned across the state.

“Deputies responded to reports that some people were armed and asking for identification of the folks they stopped,” Reese said in the video. “We told people engaging in this behavior that roadways are open to all users, and their actions are illegal.”

Joshua Smith, a 36-year-old from Corbett, Travis Lucky, an 18-year-old from Corbett, and Michael Meier, a 36-year-old from Sandy, were cited for disorderly conduct, according to a Thursday news release.

“The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate this type of illegal activity,” Reese said in the news release. “If you see this activity or are stopped by a civilian, call 911, and a deputy will respond and investigate. We encourage people to call the sheriff’s office to report suspicious activity, and to not take action on their own.”

Wildfires in Oregon have killed eight people and burned about 1 million acres, The Oregonian reported. Other counties in the state have also seen residents set up illegal traffic stops, according to CNN.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said people in that county were suspicious of looting and were creating “armed checkpoints,” according to the news outlet.

“The first thing I’d ask them to do is please stop that,” Roberts said during a Sept. 13 news conference, according to CNN. “It is illegal to stop somebody at gunpoint.”