Third suspect arraigned in violent Wimer pot robbery

A Georgia man is behind bars for his alleged role in a brutal robbery outside Wimer, notable for being Oregon's first violent crime at a licensed marijuana farm.

Derrick Earl Shields, 28, of Columbus, Georgia, is the third of seven suspects to make his initial appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court on felony robbery, assault, burglary and aggravated theft charges. Police allege he was among a group of seven who attacked a Wimer grower Dec. 16 and fled with some 300 pounds of marijuana with a street value well into the six figures that was loaded into a rented cargo truck.

Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack set Shields' bail at $500,000 Wednesday at the arraignment hearing, with additional conditions of no early release because of overcrowding. Should Shields post the mandatory 10 percent of his bail amount needed for him to be released, he will be required to undergo intensive release conditions, including GPS monitoring and regular check-ins.

On June 15, Edward A. Molet, also of Columbus, Georgia, was the second suspect arrested on the same charges of raiding Blue Sky Gardens. He remains in jail on $500,000 bail.

Frank William Foremski, 35, of Gold Hill, was the first of the alleged robbers arrested, reportedly because a cellphone left behind at the crime scene had text messages from Foremski with information about the crime, such as bringing a truck to the location and requesting that security camera wires be cut, according to an affidavit filed by Jackson County sheriff's deputies.

Foremski had identified himself as the owner and co-founder of Meadowlark Farms out of Gold Hill, according to a LinkedIn page accessed in January by the Mail Tribune. The page stated he attended Southern Oregon University between 2013 and 2015 and studied agriculture and related sciences, though he only has an associate degree.

Shields and Molet both face felony counts of first-, second- and third-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and aggravated first-degree theft. 

Other suspects named include Jody Deville Reynolds, Christopher Tyrone Osborne and Leonta Flowers, all of Columbus, Georgia, who have warrants for their arrest after they failed to appear at initial hearings May 18. Suspect Dennis Earl Reynolds has yet to appear on his charges in the case, though he has retained lawyer Donald Scales to represent him.

In April, Foremski was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to charges of first-degree burglary and first-degree aggravated theft. A second-degree robbery charge that could land him 70 months in prison remains pending, though prosecutors have not said whether he's cooperating with them in an investigation.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

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