Former Portland, OR, Firefighter Gets Prison for Kidnapping Pot Thief

April 6, 2024
The firefighter, who locked the victim in a cargo container, asked for his union representative when he was arrested.

Zane Sparling


A Portland firefighter who snatched a man off a downtown street for stealing off-the-books cannabis from the firefighter’s hemp store in 2021 was sentenced to 7½ years in prison Friday.

A Multnomah County jury last month found Douglas Bourland, 48, guilty of two counts of first-degree kidnapping for forcing Colbey Fleishman into his SUV and confining Fleishman overnight in a cargo container.

Fleishman told the jury he had stolen $40,000 of cannabis from Bourland’s Oregon Hemp House in Portland — but the firefighter couldn’t report the break-in because he wasn’t licensed to sell pot at the store.

Fleishman said he knew where the pot was stored because he’d been buying it out the back door.

Fleishman was celebrating the heist on Aug. 14, 2021, when Bourland’s associate, Edward Simmons, lured him outside and stuffed Fleishman into an SUV.

Bourland’s chief grower, Hong Lee, testified that he roughed up Fleishman in the back seat — warning him that the pot belonged to a vengeful cartel — until Fleishman revealed where he’d stashed the cannabis.

The firefighter locked Fleishman inside a cargo container with a final warning: “El Jefe is going to see you in the morning.” In reality, there was no cartel boss, just empty talk designed to scare Fleishman, according to trial testimony.

Police were already searching for Bourland based on a tip from a ride-share driver who witnessed the initial abduction outside a downtown steakhouse. Bourland was driving Lee and Simmons back into town from his Estacada farm where he grew hemp and cannabis when they were pulled over and arrested by Portland police.

Lee talked immediately, leading officers back to Fleishman’s metal prison hours later, while Bourland clammed up and asked for a union rep, according to trial testimony. Union officials wearing their Portland Fire Bureau insignia also attended the trial, at one point drawing a complaint from the prosecutor.

On Friday, Bourland embraced tearful family members as the hearing concluded.

Circuit Judge Angela Lucero warned him that Oregon’s mandatory minimum sentencing law required him to serve his punishment without time off for good behavior.

“Ballot Measure 11 is hard time, so you will serve day for day,” Lucero said.

Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson Rick Graves said that Bourland remained on unpaid leave last month but didn’t respond to requests for comment Friday.

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