PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A judge on Friday determined Eric Crowl will not be released from jail as he awaits trial on allegations of unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Crowl was re-arrested after allegedly being near a Homeland Security officer’s Portland home in violation of his release agreement.
On Friday, Judge Jerome LaBarre denied Crowl’s release petition. LaBarre found the DHS officer and the two government contractors credible and ruled the GPS isn’t guaranteed.
At the first release hearing in August, East Precinct Sgt. Steven Wilbon testified: “I feel that an early release, before trial, places us all in danger.”
“I think by releasing him you expose not only myself, you expose anyone wearing a badge, anyone working around law enforcement,” Wilbon said in August.
Bail for Crowl will remain at $1 million.
Portland police initially arrested Crowl on Aug. 7 after they contacted him inside his vehicle parked in a parking lot across the street from the bureau’s East Precinct. Inside the vehicle, police discovered, “a cache of weapons, ammunition and other items.”
Police claim they started to notice Crowl back in April filming and surveilling them as they arrived and left the bureau’s East Precinct.
A judge set Crowl’s bail at $1 million at the request of police and prosecutors.
At that time Crowl’s attorney, Brian Schmonsees, described the case as “the most shocking abuse of police and prosecutorial power” he has seen in his career.
On Aug. 24, after a 2-day release hearing, Judge Eric Bloch determined Crowl was “a candidate for release” pending trial.
Bloch ordered Crowl be put under house arrest, be monitored by GPS, not possess any weapons, ammo, or body armor. He was also ordered not to engage in any behavior that could be considered surveilling law enforcement.
Crowl told Judge Bloch that he would comply with the orders.
The latest incident
Then on September 24, PPB responded to a residence in Southeast Portland. The homeowner, a Department of Homeland Security police officer, reported around 5:30 p.m. he and 2 of his friends saw Crowl, his wife and 15-year-old son walk by the residence and “aggressively” stare inside the garage at the officer’s duty vehicle.
The federal officer testified his residence is on a cul-de-sac and he found it odd to have foot traffic on his street. KOIN 6 News is not identifying the street where the officer resides.
“I started to become suspicious that they were focusing on my house,” the officer testified.
He said it appeared the people outside his residence were trying to conceal their behavior, which he found “alarming.”
The other people at the DHS officer’s residence were there to celebrate a belated birthday, one of the men testified.
Schmonsees told the court he believes the DHS officer and his 2 friends misidentified Crowl.
According to Schmonsees, it was the DHS officer who showed his 2 friends a single photo of Crowl and asked them if that was the person they had seen outside on the street. Both men said yes.
Schmonsees told the court when police are trying to identify an individual, “they never show just one photo and ask ‘is this the guy?’”.
Schmonsees said by having the DHS officer show his friends the single photo and ask them if it was Crowl, the officer violated his training.
The officer told the court when he showed his friends the picture, he was not acting in an official capacity as a police officer.
Schmonsees called on Crowl’s release supervisor, Bill Jefferies, to testify to the GPS data. Jefferies said on the time and day of the allegations, Crowl’s GPS data showed that he was at his residence and that he appeared to be both sitting and moving.
“We never received any information that there was a breach or a leaving of the address or anything like that,” Jefferies testified.
Jefferies informed the court that he knows of only 2 cases out of “thousands” in which a GPS monitor had been removed from someone’s body without the device’s safety features alerting the county.
Jefferies told the court there was no evidence of tampering with device and when Crowl was taken into custody on Aug. 26, he was still wearing the device as instructed.
Schmonsees told the court Crowl’s 15-year-old son wasn’t even in Portland on Saturday when it was alleged he and his father showed up at the DHS officer’s house.
Crowl’s wife testified her husband never left the residence. When asked if her husband ever left the residence between 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Crowl’s wife said, “No, he did not.”
A neighbor testified that at 5:30 p.m. that Saturday, she was preparing dinner and saw Crowl at the residence.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.