By Kailey Fisicaro

The Bulletin

A dangerous career criminal wanted for attempted murder by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was arrested in Madras on Wednesday.

Omar Benitez, 37, was arrested on four outstanding warrants at 196 NW Lee St.

A Jefferson County grand jury had also indicted Benitez, accusing him of kidnapping, assaulting and threatening to kill a woman with whom he has two children. Benitez was also indicted on federal charges following a large drug investigation in the Madras and Redmond area in 2016 by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, according to a news release from the drug enforcement team.

In late November, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team received information that Benitez was spending time at 196 NW Lee St. On Wednesday, the United States Marshals Service and the Oregon State Police SWAT team began watching the residence, eventually finding and arresting Benitez at that location about 1:55 p.m.

Benitez has a criminal history that dates to 1999 and convictions on at least one charge in 25 cases.

The arrest occurs after “exhaustive efforts” by law enforcement to find Benitez, who allegedly kidnapped, assaulted and threatened to kill the mother of his two children in September.

On Sept. 10 in Jefferson County, Benitez allegedly chased the woman, who was on foot, in a car, lightly striking her once. When he allegedly attempted to strike her again, the woman jumped out of the way, nearly falling off a 300-foot cliff, according to Bulletin reports.

Benitez then allegedly drove away. Those alleged crimes occurred in front of a 1-year-old child, authorities have said.

On Wednesday, at the residence under surveillance by law enforcement, another woman, Ruby Pacheco, was detained by officers.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team searched the home about 6:45 p.m. and seized commercial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine, digital scales, packaging material, currency and 14 firearms — seven handguns and seven rifles.

Because Benitez is a convicted felon, he cannot legally possess a firearm, and one of the firearms was reported stolen in Deschutes County.

Benitez was arrested on 12 charges, including kidnapping, assault, theft, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and the unlawful possession, manufacture and delivery of cocaine and methamphetamine. Pacheco was aware Benitez was wanted, according to the release. She was arrested on suspicion of hindering prosecution.

Benitez and Pacheco were lodged at the Jefferson County jail.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325,