The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, July 23, 2021, Page 8, Image 8

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    The Columbia Press
July 23, 2021
Procession held for Astoria police officer
A young Astoria police of-
ficer, who died of apparent
natural causes while sleeping
at his Warrenton home, was
honored Wednesday with
a motorcade procession of
public safety leaders and a
funeral at Seaside Conven-
tion Center.
Samuel T. Whisler, 26, was
discovered dead in his Ninth
Street home at 4:32 p.m. July
The medical examiner’s
office determined the death
was not suspicious and fam-
ily members said he had suf-
fered from seizures as a child.
Whisler had been sworn in
as an Astoria police officer
in January 2020, but he had
spent many years in public
service before then, follow-
ing in the footsteps of his fa-
ther, Mark, a retired Clatsop
County Sheriff’s deputy.
As a teenager, Whisler spent
eight years as a volunteer for
the county’s search and res-
cue team. While still in high
school, he volunteered with
the Gearhart Fire Depart-
ment. In 2013, he became a
Lenard Hansen/Warrenton Fire Department
Ladder trucks from Astoria and Warrenton fire departments
work in tandem to form an arch for Officer Samuel Whisler’s
cadet with the sheriff’s office
and was sworn in as a reserve
deputy four years later. He
also served as a volunteer
lifeguard and rescue swim-
mer for the Seaside Fire De-
Whisler was raised in Sea-
side and graduated from Sea-
side High School in 2013.
The motorcade route was
announced in advance and
members of the public came
out to honor him from Asto-
ria to Camp Rilea to Seaside.
He is survived by his wife,
nelope; stepson Maverick
Rankin; parents Mark and
Lisa Whisler; four sisters, Ai-
mee Walker, Amanda Laird,
Korissa Whisler, and Sarah
Whisler; three brothers, Josh
Whitmore, Justin Laird, and
Patrick Whisler; and grand-
mother, Shirley Whisler.
Man convicted in $4.5 million fraud scheme
A federal jury convicted a
man from Long Beach, Wash.,
and a business partner for
their roles in a $4.5 million
telemarketing scheme.
Mark Oman, 36, of Long
Beach and Manuel Chavez,
30, of Miami, Fla., each were
convicted of one count of
conspiracy to commit mail
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All-School Reunion
85 W. Marine Dr. Astoria
2315 N. Roosevelt Dr. Seaside
1771 SE Ensign Ln. Warrenton | 866.901.3521
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11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sat., July 24
High School Cafeteria
Light refreshments
All teachers invited
and wire fraud, six counts of
wire fraud, one count of con-
spiracy to commit interna-
tional money laundering and
six counts of international
money laundering. Sentenc-
ing will follow.
According to court docu-
ments and trial evidence,
the men participated in a
scheme that defrauded vic-
tims throughout the United
States from a call center in
Costa Rica.
posed as U.S. government of-
ficials and contacted victims
to tell them that they’d won
a substantial “sweepstakes”
After convincing victims --
many of them elderly -- that
they stood to receive a sig-
nificant financial reward, the
co-conspirators had them
make up-front payments be-
fore collecting their supposed
prize, purportedly for taxes,
customs duties and other
Oman worked at the fraud-
ulent call center soliciting
victims and also collected
victim funds in Costa Rica,
according to evidence pre-
sented at trial.
Chavez, Oman, and their
co-conspirators stole approx-
imately $4.5 million from
victims, according to the De-
partment of Justice.
Each defendant faces a
maximum penalty of 20 years
in prison per count.