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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: ATF

Fugitive found hiding in Spokane Valley outhouse

Federal agents caught a fugitive in Spokane Valley after he was found hiding in an outhouse.

Travis W. Beavers, 20, fled authorities and ditched his car near Dishman Mica Road and Appleway Boulevard around 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Spokane Valley Sheriff’s deputies helped federal agents set up a police perimeter to find the convicted felon. Spokane County Sheriff’s K-9 dog Laslo tracked Beavers to an outhouse several blocks from the abandoned car.

Beavers refused to leave the bathroom because he was scared of Laslo based on his prior history with K-9 units, but Deputy Jeff Thurman released the dog to get him.

Beavers was taken into custody by federal agents after being treated by a local hospital. He’s in custody at Spokane County Jail for federal charges of possessing a firearm, according to recently filed federal court documents. Investigators found a .270 caliber rifle on his person.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators sealed the probable cause for arrest in U.S. District Court because it talking about an ongoing investigation from confidential informants, court documents show. Beavers is expected in court on April 30th at 1:30 p.m.

Beavers was previously convicted of stealing a car and possessing stolen property in 2012, in addition to burglary and possessing drugs.

Felon had 12 guns, 12k ammo rounds

A convicted felon accused of illegally possessing guns had 12 firearms and more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition when federal agents searched her home last week, a new grand jury indictment alleges.

Donna R. Perry, alias Douglas Perry, 60, pleaded not guiltyTuesday to a federal charge of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. She's been in jail since she was arrested March 14 at her home near North Crestline Street and East Empire Avenue.

A judge on Tuesday recommended Perry undergo a mental health evaluation.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating Perry after a retired detective contacted them March 12 and said he'd observed Perry buying ammo and a pistol magazine at the White Elephant store, 12614 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley, according to court documents. The detective knew Perry is a felon prohibited from possessing firearms.

Agents identified Perry in part through a photo the detective took of her blue 1992 Geo Metro.

They learned from the Washington Department of Licensing that the owner had changed his name from Douglas Perry to Donna Perry in 2000 and had changed his gender from male to female. Police compared a driver's license photo of Perry to the photo provided by the detective.

Federal agents say Perry had 12,499 rounds of ammunition in her home, as well as various pistols, rifles and shotguns.

Perry has felony convictions for possession of an unregistered firearm (pipebombs) in 1988 and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition in 1995.

She pleaded not guilty to the new federal indictment Tuesday in U.S. District Court and remains at the Spokane County Jail without bail.

Felon busted after cop sees ammo buy

A federal raid at a northeast Spokane home Wednesday occurred after a retired police detective observed a known felon buying ammunition.

Donna R. Perry, alias Douglas Perry, 60, is in jail on a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm after she was arrested at her home near North Crestline Street and East Empire Avenue.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating Perry after the detective contacted them March 12 and said he'd observed Perry buying ammo and a pistol magazine at the White Elephant store, 12614 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley, according to court documents.

The retired detective showed agents a photo of the receipt and a cell phone photo and video of Perry buying the items. Agents showed Matt Conley, manager of the store at 1730 N. Division St., a photo of Perry, and Conley said Perry had been buying black powder and black powder firearm components on a monthly basis for the past few years.

Store owner Pat Conley confirmed he was presented at the Valley store when Perry bought several rounds of .22 caliber and 9 mm ammunition. Pat Conley also said Perry had been a regular customer for years. A store employee said he frequently sees Perry at gun shows carrying a large bag.

Agents identified Perry in part through a photo the retired detective took of her blue 1992 Geo Metro.

They learned from the Washington Department of Licensing that the owner had changed his name from Douglas Perry to Donna Perry in 2000 and had changed his gender from male to female. Police compared a driver's license photo of Perry to the photo provided by the detective.

Perry has felony convictions for possession of an unregistered firearm (pipebombs) in 1988 and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition in 1995.

Perry is to appear in U.S. District Court tomorrow. She remains in the Spokane County Jail.
  

Man admits to stalking, bomb charges

A man who tried to blow up his wife with a homemade bomb after transporting the device from Omak, Washington, to Kamiah, Idaho, in 2009 has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies.

Levi Wayne Mendenhall, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison and three years probation after pleading guilty Tuesday in Coeur d'Alene to stalking, transporting explosives with intent to kill, injure, or intimidate, and use of explosive material during the commission of a federal felony.

Mendenhall  constructed the device using a three-inch plastic pipe filled with explosive powder, razor blades and BBs after buying the components at stores in northeastern Washington, according to the Idaho U.S. Attorney's Office.

He wired the device to a battery and placed it inside a box, then set the device to trigger an explosion when and items was removed from the box. He placed the box on the hood of a car outside his estranged wife's home. The homeowner found the box and called authorities after she saw wires.

The Spokane County bomb squad safely disarmed the device.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms nd Explosives recovered explosive powder matching the device and a receipt for two of the bomb components at Mendenhall's home in Omak. They also found video of him buying the components at four Washington stores, and located Mendenhall's fingerprint on the outside of the box that held the bomb.

Mendenhall is to be sentenced Aug. 2 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge in Coeur d'Alene

“Women who end domestic relationships must be free from violence and fear of violence,” U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said in a prepared statement. “This defendant's conduct endangered many lives. His guilty plea ensures that he will not present a danger to his now ex-wife or any other person for a long time.”
  

Feds raid medical pot shops in Montana

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Federal agents with guns drawn raided at least 10 medical marijuana operations across Montana on Monday, the same a day that a bill to repeal the state's medical marijuana law stalled in the Legislature.

Agents near Helena burst into Montana Cannabis' greenhouse, where the company grows more than 1,600 plants for its four stores across the state. The greenhouse runs about half the length of a football field and is packed with marijuana plants that can be seen from U.S. Highway 12.

About 15 workers were inside the warehouse during the morning raid. Montana Cannabis employee Brett Thompson, 30, said he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and saw agents running up the driveway.

“They came in, guns drawn, got us down on the ground and in cuffs as fast as they could,” Thompson said.

Federal agents detained Thompson and his co-workers in handcuffs outside the greenhouse, where sheriff's deputies and Helena police officers stood guard. Inside, agents in DEA and FBI jackets wearing respirator masks and blue gloves yanked waist-high plants from their pots and hauled them out of sight wrapped in blue tarps.

It was not immediately clear why the raids took place.

A spokeswoman in the U.S. attorney's office in Montana said the federal agents executed search warrants that are under seal. She declined to comment further.

Agencies involved included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Medical marijuana has become a hotly debated issue in Montana, and the Legislature has been debating whether to eliminate the law. The industry has exploded in the last year and reached the point where one out of every 19 households in Montana now has a medical marijuana card.

Montana Cannabis co-owner Christopher Williams (left) told The Associated Press that raids were taking place at his business' four locations. An advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access, said at least 10 businesses were raided in six cities across the state.

The DEA and U.S. attorney's office would not confirm how many businesses were raided.

Thompson said they questioned each worker individually and then released them, except for one worker who had an outstanding warrant.

The search warrant allows agents to take the company's computers, data storage, products and plants, Williams said, but he wasn't sure why the raids were taking place. His personal and business bank accounts were also frozen, he said.

A warrant obtained by Americans for Safe Access and signed by U.S. magistrate judge Jeremiah Lynch of Missoula listed 13 items to be seized, including marijuana and hashish, drug paraphernalia, computers and other electronic storage devices, cell phones, firearms, transportation and customer records, transaction records, cash, jewelry and vehicle titles.

The warrant, which was for Big Sky Patient Care of Bozeman, did not say why the items were to be seized.

“It's strictly a political move to stop us from providing medicine to sick people,” Williams said, standing outside the fence at Montana Cannabis.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-6 to reject House Speaker Mike Milburn's House Bill 161, which would repeal the medical marijuana law approved by Montana voters in 2004. Republican Committee Chairman Sen. Terry Murphy said the panel will look into creating a reform bill to tighten regulation of the industry.

Barbara Trego, Williams' mother and another worker at the Montana Cannabis, was at the Capitol for the hearing, said she received word of the raid before the vote. She said some of the people who use the company's marijuana are cancer patients and she feared what would happen to them if the operation shut down.

“We weren't trying to hide anything. Our windows are open. Our door was open,” she said. “We've got patients that could die just by what's happened today.”

The raid caused traffic to slow as people passing by tried to ascertain what was happening. One man in a minivan honked his horn and shouted out the window, “Thank you, Helena Police Department! It's about time!”

Williams said of the 1,680 plants inside the greenhouse near Helena, 480 were flowering plants that produce about 5 ounces of marijuana each. He said he sells an ounce for $190 — meaning approximately $456,000 worth of marijuana was confiscated from that one location.

Militia man guilty in Idaho grenade case

A self-described militia leader pleaded guilty this week to federal gun charges connected to a grenade manufacturing operation at his trailer in Spirit Lake, Idaho.

Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 58, discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, leading investigators last July to seize 20,000 ammunition rounds and several firearms from Kimbley’s property, where he and other suspected militia members gathered to construct grenades, according to court documents.

Kimbley, who remains in federal custody, pleaded guilty to Monday to unlawful possession of a firearm and attempt to make a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 22.

“There was no plea deal,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Whelan.

Past coverage:

Sept. 20: Glenn Beck inspired alleged grenade maker

July 6: Illegal grenade manufacturing uncovered in Spirit Lake

Idaho raid seizes grenades, guns, ammo

Two North Idaho men are in custody following an undercover federal probe into illegal explosives manufacturing that included the seizure of hand grenades, firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of rifle ammo. 

Kenneth B. Kimbley, Jr., 58, (right) and Steven Eugene Winegar, 52, were arrested Saturday on federal firearms charges after agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found grenade components at Kimbley’s home at 28128 N. Highway 41 in Spirit Lake, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Winegar told an undercover agent “he had 12 to 14 of these destructive devices at his own residence in Harpster, Idaho,” according to the documents.

Read the rest of my story here.

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