Heroin bust leads investigators to accomplice of dead burglary suspect

Oregon State Police last week arrested a Cave Junction man suspected of being an accomplice to a man who died while allegedly burglarizing a cabinet shop south of Grants Pass.

Robert William Wendover, 36, was arrested Friday for his suspected involvement in the Jan. 21 burglary of Innovative Woodworx LLC, 2245 Harbeck Road, said OSP Lt. Steve Mitchell.

A Rogue Agency Drug Enforcement team located some of the stolen property from the Harbeck Road burglary while making a major heroin bust in the 2900 block of Cloverlawn Drive, about two miles away, later the same day, police and court documents show.

Saws, grinders and air compressors from the cabinet shop were found during the drug raid, in which more than two pounds of heroin were seized along with eight guns and three stolen ATVs. That amount was said to be the biggest haul of heroin in the last five years in Josephine County, drug investigators reported.

Wendover was lodged in jail on a charge of second-degree burglary for his involvement in the Jan. 21 burglary, Mitchell said. Court records show he was released from jail on Monday.

In addition to second-degree burglary, Wendover is facing charges of first-degree theft and two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, according to online judicial records.

The man who died at the cabinet shop, Jasen Robert Lewis, 33, was allegedly in the process of burglarizing the cabinet shop on the morning of Jan. 21 when he stopped breathing after scuffling with two men who arrived and detained him inside the business.

It's not clear how the goods stolen in the burglary got to the bust location, investigators told the Grant Pass Daily Courier.

— Staff and wire reports

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