Suspect arrested after eluding deputies, dogs

A Sweet Home man was arrested Aug. 5 after avoiding Sheriff’s deputies and dogs for several days following an armed disturbance.

Linn County Undersheriff Paul Timm said deputies responded at 3:53 p.m. on Aug. 3 to the 41000 block of Marks Ridge Drive, north of Sweet Home. A caller who lives at the location reported that the suspect, Joel Soto, 25, who also had been staying at the location took out a gun during an argument with him and shot it into the ground.

Soto then ran off through a nearby wooded area. When deputies arrived, they searched the area but were unable to find Soto. Deputies continued to try to locate Soto over the following days.

At 6:50 p.m. on Aug. 5, deputies responded to another armed disturbance at the same residence. The caller reported Soto had returned and pointed a firearm at the caller. Neither the victim or Soto were injured during either incident.

When deputies arrived, Soto had again fled into the woods. Deputies searched the area with the assistance of two Linn County K9 units and Sweet Home Police Department. Deputy Matt Sheets and his K9, Thunder, located Soto hiding in a drainage culvert south of the residence.

Soto was found to be in possession of a Glock handgun, which had previously been reported as stolen through the Sweet Home Police Department, Timm said.

Soto was transported to Linn County Jail on charges of felon in possession of a restricted weapon, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, and first-degree theft. He also is being held on an outstanding warrant for assault, issued out of New York.