An off-duty firefighter with Portland Fire & Rescue achieved something Aug. 14 that Portland police have struggled to do: Douglas L. Bourland solved the burglary of a cannabis store.
Just one problem: It was his weed store and his investigative technique allegedly included kidnapping.
According to court records, Bourland and two other men allegedly snatched Colby Fleishman from a downtown Portland street on the evening of Aug. 14, later stashing him in a storage container at an Estacada weed farm.
The plan, according to court records, was to get Fleishman to lead the men the next day to product he’d allegedly stolen from Bourland’s business, the Oregon Hemp House in South Portland.
But thanks to an observant Uber driver who witnessed the alleged kidnapping and alerted police, the three suspects were arrested and Fleishman was freed.
“The Uber driver…reported that the white male was bracing himself against the door frame to avoid being forced into the Road Ranger [sic] but was unsuccessful,” notes a probable-cause affidavit filed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kate Molina.
Police officers also talked to friends of Fleishman, who said a man pistol-whipped him on the sidewalk shortly after he emerged from dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. These friends eventually confessed to police officers that they had helped Fleishman burglarize the Oregon Hemp House several days prior.
Police went to the Oregon Hemp House, spotted the Range Rover, and found three men inside the vehicle: Bourland, Hong Lee and Edward Simmons. There was also a bloodstain on the interior of the passenger door, but no Fleishman.
Lee confessed, the affidavit says.
“Lee stated he, Bourland and Simmons drove [the victim] out to a marijuana farm in Estacada, Oregon, and it was Lee’s idea to put Colby into a storage container and leave him there overnight,” Molina writes. “Lee said they intended to remove Colby in the morning and have him take them to the marijuana that Colby stole.”
Police officers found Fleishman alive on the cannabis farm.
Bourland could not be reached for comment. On Wednesday, his attorney declared in an arraignment that Bourland vigorously denies the charges and will “prove his innocence,” The Oregonian reported.