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Portland firefighter allegedly kidnapped man ‘to teach lesson’ for burglarizing his marijuana dispensary, records say

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 17, 2021

By Maxine Bernstein The Oregonian

Over drinks with his alleged accomplice Saturday night, an off-duty Portland firefighter decided to “teach a lesson” to a man who he had learned reportedly burglarized the marijuana dispensary he owned, according to police, prosecutors and state records.

So Douglas L. Bourland, 46, and Hong Dieu Lee, 42, drove to downtown Portland to look for the man and found him outside Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where Lee pistol-whipped him and forced him into the black Range Rover that Bourland was driving, a probable cause affidavit says.

Bourland, together with Lee and co-defendant Edward Sherman Simmons, 24, then took their abductee to a marijuana farm in Estacada, where they hid him in a storage container, Deputy District Attorney Kate Molina wrote in the affidavit filed in court Monday.

Friends of the man saw him forced into the Range Rover and called his father to tell him what they witnessed, according to the records.

Meanwhile, an Uber driver called police at 10:39 p.m. Saturday and reported seeing a man forced at gunpoint into a black Range Rover near Southwest Taylor Street and Broadway. The driver told police that the man unsuccessfully tried to brace himself against the door frame to avoid being pushed inside the SUV, according to the affidavit.

The Uber driver followed the Range Rover to South Harbor Drive. It had no license plate but the Uber driver took a photo of the SUV and gave it to police, Molina wrote in the affidavit.

Friends of the man told police they had burglarized the Oregon Hemp House about a week earlier and stole marijuana from the business, according to the affidavit.

Police went to the marijuana business at 6767 S. Macadam Ave. on Saturday night. About 20 minutes after an officer arrived there, he spotted a Range Rover resembling the suspect SUV driving a block north of the Oregon Hemp House and stopped it.

The victim of the alleged kidnapping wasn’t inside the SUV, but police found a gun on the floorboard of the front passenger seat and blood on the inside of the rear driver’s side door, the affidavit said.

The man’s friends and the Uber driver confirmed that the occupants of the stopped Range Rover were involved in the abduction, Molina wrote in the affidavit.

Police searched inside Oregon Hemp House for the man but didn’t find him, according to the affidavit.

Lee, when interviewed by two Portland police detectives, said Bourland had learned that a man had recently burglarized his business and had stolen marijuana, according to the affidavit.

While drinking with Bourland on Saturday night, Lee said he and Bourland decided to teach the alleged burglar a lesson, according to the affidavit. Working with Simmons, Bourland drove Lee to downtown to find him, the affidavit said.

Lee said it was his idea to put the man in a storage container overnight at a pot farm in Estacada, Molina wrote. The plan was to remove him the next morning and then force him to lead them to the marijuana he had stolen, Lee told police, according to the affidavit. Lee said he fired his gun once while they were at the farm in Estacada.

Lee also provided police with the address of the farm, where police found the man, Molina wrote in the affidavit.

The man apparently had some connection to Simmons and referred to him as “40,” the man’s friends told police. While they were at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the man ordered a steak to go for “40,” who came to the restaurant to pick it up.

As the group of friends left the restaurant, the Range Rover pulled up and Simmons prevented them from intervening and then got into the Range Rover himself, the friends told police.

State business records show the Oregon Hemp House registered as a limited liability corporation in May 2020 with Bourland listed as an owner.

Bourland faces three counts of first-degree kidnapping. He’s a 14-year veteran of Portland Fire & Rescue and most recently worked at a Southeast Portland fire station but was on leave from his job for unspecified reasons at the time of the alleged crime.

A woman who lives with him in Happy Valley and also is listed as an owner of the Hemp House posted 10 percent, or $75,000, of Bourland’s $750,000 bond on Monday, according to court records. He is due back in court Wednesday to be arraigned on the allegations, according to court records.

Bourland’s lawyer Josephine Townsend did not immediately return messages seeking comment. The woman who posted bail for Bourland hung up the phone when contacted.

The other two defendants also are accused of three counts of first-degree kidnapping. Lee also is charged with second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. As of Tuesday morning, only Bourland had bailed out of jail.

Records show that Bourland in 2017 was listed as the president of a different business called Fire Cannabis Inc.

In a separate action, the city of Portland took Bourland to court in 2018 to try to recoup about $12,800 in disability benefits after denying a stress claim he had filed with the Portland Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund, according to court records.

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