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  • Writer's pictureAdam Porth

Idaho Closed History Lesson

Picture: 2010 Idaho Closed Championship

While at the Idaho Closed this past weekend, a name from the past surfaced in a conversation I was having with Garrett Reynolds. I remember that Jason Evers' played the Grob Attack against Garrett in the final rounds that year back in 2012. He also gave me some advice about playing that year, "Have fun while you play," he said. He seemed like a very nice soul. Doitchin Krastev, won the Idaho Closed in 2008 and 2010.

Picture: 2010 Idaho Closed Championship

Here are two of the most recent articles I was able to find.

Published Jan. 24, 2012

What happened to 'Jason Evers'?

Doitchin Krastev, former OLCC agent and identity thief, may face deportation

Deportation proceedings may begin soon for a former Oregon Liquor Control Commission regional manager revealed to be a Bulgarian immigrant living under a false identity.

Doitchin Krastev, known as Jason Evers during his often-controversial tenure with the OLCC in Bend, is scheduled to be released today from a federal prison in Taft, Calif. Krastev has been in federal custody since April 2010, when federal marshals arrested him in Idaho on suspicion of falsifying information on a passport application and identity theft. He pleaded guilty to both charges in federal court early last year.

Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said officers with the agency's Criminal Alien Program have lodged an immigration detainer against Krastev, allowing them to take him into custody upon his release from prison. Krastev will be transferred to an ICE facility in Bakersfield, Kice said, where he will be interviewed while his case is reviewed to determine what happens next.

Kice said it's difficult to speculate about what will happen in Krastev's case — whether he will remain locked up, placed on electronic monitoring, or allowed to leave federal custody on his own recognizance.

“We consider every facet of case, immigration history, criminal history, whether they have ties to the community, whether or not they are a flight risk,” Kice said. “We look at a whole spectrum of circumstances to make the decision.”

Krastev's strange saga began more than 20 years ago and 6,000 miles away. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, former Reagan administration official Michael Horowitz met the then-teenaged Krastev's parents on a tour of Eastern Europe. Horowitz was impressed by their son's intelligence and offered to take him back to the United States where he could receive a quality education away from the turmoil accompanying the winding down of the communist era.

While living with Horowitz, Krastev graduated from Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., In 1992, he enrolled at Davidson College, a prestigious liberal arts school in North Carolina.

Some of Krastev's Davisdson friends recalled that he often went by different names. Sometimes he was Dutch or Doitch, sometimes Krasev or Kaiser, and he'd amassed a collection of materials for falsifying documents. Midway through his sophomore year, Krastev stopped going to class. He dropped out, cut off all contact with his family, Horowitz, and nearly all his friends from college. He assumed an entirely new identity.

Krastev's interest in competitive chess provided some clues about his movements after leaving college in the spring of 1994. In November 1994, “Doitch Kraser” played his last chess tournament in North Carolina. In March 1995, as “Danny Kaiser,” Krastev emerged in Colorado, entering a tournament in Colorado Springs.

“Kaiser” entered 76 chess tournaments in the Denver area though Oct. 1997, and as friends recalled, continued to go by multiple names. Meanwhile, Krastev was taking steps to create a more permanent identity for himself.

In 1996, while living in Denver, Krastev applied for and received a Social Security number using the name Jason Robert Evers. The real Jason Evers, born in Ohio 1979, had been kidnapped and murdered when he was 3 years old.

Because the real Evers had never been issued a Social Security number of his own and would have been only a few years younger than Krastev, Krastev was able to assume Evers' identity almost completely. As Evers, he earned a GED from an Colorado community college, moved to Oregon and passed the background check to be hired by the OLCC.

Most critically, he was able to apply for a passport in 2002, a move that ultimately lead to his capture. It was a State Department investigation cross-checking passport information with death records — known as “Operation Deathmatch” — that determined the man who called himself Jason Evers was not who he claimed to be.

Krastev has never told his side of the story publicly. In a letter sent to his former fiancee's family, Krastev said he was facing a “life or death” situation when he assumed Evers' identity. Later, at his sentencing last January, his attorney, Susan Russell of Portland, said he'd become overwhelmed by life when he decided to go into hiding.

The family of the murdered Ohio boy whose identity Krastev assumed met with Krastev and later reported they received only limited details of what he'd done and why.

A letter sent to Krastev at the CI Taft Correctional Institution near Bakersfield received no reply, and Russell did not return calls.

Interviewed in 2010, Horowitz speculated that Krastev resorted to fraud as a way to avoid having to go back to his home country. “Bulgaria was as bad as any place in the European world,” Horowitz said at the time. “It may show the intensity of his desire to escape that hellhole of a world.”

As OLCC agent Jason Evers, Krastev made a number of enemies in Central Oregon. In a few instances, bar and restaurant owners who had been cited by “Evers” successfully fought their tickets, providing video evidence to contradict the agent's claims. In 2009, the The state Department of Justice launched an investigation into enforcement practices at the OLCC office run by “Evers” and transferred him to Eastern Oregon.

Shortly after “Evers” was arrested and before he was revealed as Krastev, Bend bar owners who had been on the receiving end of his enforcement though the OLCC celebrated the news.

At 10 Barrel Brewing, a limited-edition beer — the A.K.A “John Doe, Jason Evers, Doitchin Krasev” Northwest Red — was brewed as a nod to Krastev's multiple identities. The Astro Lounge, which was forced to close its doors for 23 days when Evers ran the Bend OLCC office, threw a “Who's Jason Evers?” party, encouraging patrons to write him a note on an oversized “sympathy card.”

“Who Evers you are thank you sooo much for allowing karma to be a part of your life. We are having a drink to celebrate,” the card read in part.

OLCC spokeswoman Christie Scott said while the Krastev/Evers episode was difficult for her agency, it's hard to see how it could have been avoided. She said the agency has since expanded criminal background checks to employees not directly involved in enforcement, but that the changes are not a direct result of what happened with Krastev.

“We still continue thorough background checks to the best of our ability,” Scott said. “In that situation even the feds couldn't ID him, so I don't feel like we didn't do anything that we were supposed to do. The FBI was trying to figure out who he was, and they couldn't figure out who he was either.”


Krastev shipped to Bulgaria

Former Bend OLCC agent 'Jason Evers' served time for identity theft

Scott Hammers

The Bend Bulletin

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The former Oregon Liquor Control Commission agent who spent nearly 20 years residing illegally in the United States under a false identity has been deported.

Doitchin Krastev, known as Jason Evers during his time in Bend with the OLCC, was sent back to his native Bulgaria on July 31, according to Andrew Munoz of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Munoz said Krastev traveled on a commercial flight, and was escorted by Enforcement and Removal Operations officers.

According to federal court records, Krastev began using the name Jason Evers in 1996, when he applied for and received a Social Security number using the name and birth date of an Ohio boy who had been kidnapped and murdered years earlier. As Evers, Krastev earned a GED from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo., then came to Oregon, passed a background check and began working for the OLCC.

Krastev arrived in the United States as a teenager in the early 1990s, the guest of former Reagan administration official Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz was touring post-Communist Eastern Europe when he met Krastev's parents, both prominent Bulgarian academics. Impressed by the boy's intelligence, Horowitz invited Krastev to return to the U.S. with him to complete his education away from the turmoil created by the fall of the Soviet Union.

Krastev graduated from a prestigious Washington, D.C., private high school and was admitted to equally prestigious Davidson College in North Carolina, but in 1994, near the end of his sophomore year at Davidson, he dropped out and disappeared.

After living in Colorado for a few years under the name Danny Kaiser, Krastev arrived in Oregon and became OLCC agent Jason Evers.

As Evers, Krastev made a number of enemies in Central Oregon. In a few instances, bar and restaurant owners who had been cited by Evers successfully fought their tickets, providing video evidence to contradict the agent's claims.

In 2009, the Oregon Department of Justice launched an investigation into enforcement practices at the OLCC office run by Evers and transferred him to Eastern Oregon.

In 2010, federal authorities caught up with Krastev. A State Department investigation comparing passport applications against death records revealed someone had applied for a passport in 2002 using the identity of the Jason Evers who had been murdered in Ohio 20 years earlier.

Federal marshals located Krastev in Idaho and arrested him on suspicion of falsifying information on a passport application and identity theft.

After pleading guilty to federal charges against him, Krastev served just shy of two years in a federal prison for identity theft and passport fraud.

In January, he was turned over to ICE and transferred to Florence Correctional Center in Florence, Ariz., to face deportation proceedings.

During his stay at the Arizona prison, Krastev filed a civil rights complaint against the warden and food director, contending their failure to provide him with adequate vegan meals violated his right to practice his Buddhist faith.

A judge ruled against Krastev, dismissing his complaint in early July.

As a consequence of his deportation, Krastev is barred from legally re-entering the U.S. for 10 years, Munoz said.

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