Clackamas deputies arrest mother, son with moonshine, drugs, guns

Published: Friday, April 30, 2010, 3:04 PM

DAMASCUS, Ore. - Drugs, a gun, stolen motorcycles and moonshine. Police say it's a mom and son behind this big bust.

LaDray Dean Forks, 31, was arrested for possession of heroin on a routine traffic stop in mid-April. That stop in Happy Valley also linked Forks to a motorcycle chop-shop in Damascus, where police found stolen motorcycles and parts in a Damascus pole barn.

Police said, to earn the money to bail himself out, the Southeast Portland man reportedly sold a bike to his mother's boyfriend for $15,000.

"Forks posted $8,000 bail on April 23 and was released from the custody of the Clackamas County Jail," reports a Clackamas County Sheriff's Office press release. "Based on the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by this Happy Valley detective, he was able to determine that LaDray Forks secured his $8,000 bail by selling that custom Harley Davidson chopper motorcycle - known to be reassembled with stolen motorcycle parts."

The sale led investigators to his mother's home on Southeast Anderson Road in Damascus, where they served a search warrant on Thursday, April 29. Inside, they found even more.

"In the living room there was a glass jar, with liquid in it," said Detective Gil Millett with the Happy Valley Police Department. "It was good size, and a tan color. I said, 'What is that?' and she said 'Oh, it's whiskey; we're brewing whiskey.'"

Elsewhere in the home police found an "active and fully equipped still," along with other supplies.

Folks mother, 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Wilson, was arrested and taken to the Clackamas County Jail. She now faces drug charges stemming from heroin and methamphetamines also found in the home. 

Agents from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission were called in to remove the illegal still and the bottles of alcohol from the home.

Meanwhile, Happy Valley police also found Forks - and a firearm. The firearm was believed to belong to Forks, and was seized as evidence. Since police say Forks is a felon, he is unable to legally own a firearm. 

Detective Millett said he also found a custom Harley Davidson in the garage, assembled with parts reported stolen in March from two different motorcycles in Gresham.

Forks had already gone through the preliminary hearing on the earlier traffic-related charges April 23. Those charges, heard in Oregon City court, include multiple felony crimes in connection with the chop shop. Now he faces new charges: being a felon in possession of a firearm and theft in the first degree. 

"It's illegal to distill spirits without a license in the state of Oregon," said Kat Hand, compliance specialist in OLCC's Metro Licensing Division. "Remember the guy that blew himself up in Portland a few years ago? That's why."

OLCC issues a license called the distillery license. It's $100 a year.

Forks' $8,000 bail, meanwhile, is being used to pay victims' restitution.

Busted in Oregon