A 31-year-old man arrested at the Spokane Valley Mall with cash and cocaine in his pockets faces more jail time after twice denying to officers he possessed drugs.
Johnnie Counts is being held in Spokane County Jail on drug sale and prisoner possession charges after his arrest around 2:30 p.m. Friday by a deputy assigned to the mall, according to court documents. Deputies placed Counts under arrest on an outstanding warrant and searched his pant pockets, revealing more than $700 in cash. Counts was asked if he was holding drugs and given a warning their discovery at the jail would bring “more trouble,” according to the deputy's sworn statement.
Counts told the deputy, “I used to use and sell cocaine; not anymore,” according to court documents.
Searched before booking, Counts was given another chance to inform officers of drugs. Again he declined, according to court documents. Jail officers then discovered a substance that tested as crack cocaine falling to the floor during a strip search. According to investigators, the drugs were packaged for sale. Because he was being detained by jail officers when the drugs were found, prosecutors are pursuing a prisoner-in-possession charge for Counts.
Counts is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond on the two felony charges, according to jail records.