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Albany man found guilty on charges of racketeering

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Thomas Fresno Webster

A Linn County jury on Jan. 29 delivered a guilty verdict in a racketeering case involving an Albany resident.

Thomas Fresno Webster, 40, was arrested Feb. 18 of 2014 on charges he willingly bought and sold stolen BMX bikes and television sets. The verdict is unique because in order to win a racketeering case, prosecutors need to prove the defendant participated in organized criminal activity.

Webster has a lengthy criminal history, with several charges and several convictions dating back to 1994.

According to charging documents, the crimes occurred August 12, 2012 and August 15, 2014. He was arrested Feb. 18 of 2014 and released after posting $5,000 bail. One month later he was allegedly involved in a high-speed pursuit on I-5, when he was arrested on two counts each of felony attempt to elude, reckless driving, reckless endangering, and driving while suspended.

He also faces a second-degree robbery charge and multiple counts of unlawful dissemination of intimate images. According to Linn County Court officials, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also is investigating Webster.

Racketeering is a Class A felony, carrying a possible 20-year prison term. Webster remains lodged in Linn County Jail pending his Feb. 24 sentencing.


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