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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Crips

Okla. fugitive in Spokane prompts probe

Spokane police are investigating why an Oklahoma fugitive ended up here with a large amount of marijuana and cash.

Police on Friday obtained a search warrant for Mitchell R. Green, Jr.'s cellphone in hopes it will lead to what they suspect is a marijuana trafficking ring.

Green, 28, told U.S. Marshals he was a Crips gang member when they arrested him near East 11th Avenue and South Perry Street on April 17, according to police.

Agents here were tracking Green after he escaped from a halfway house in Oklahoma and investigators developed information he was in Spokane.

Spokane police were called to the scene to collect a large bag of marijuana that was found in Green's pants. Agents later found another bag of marijuana in his pants pocket while they were processing him at the office, then found $900 hidden in his sock. Spokane police responded to the federal office to collect the cash and additional marijuana.

Spokane police Detective Devin Presta noted numerous gang-related tattoos on Green and noted the marijuana bag found in his pants was wrapped in a blue bandanna. He said Green refused to identity what sect of Crips he's a member of, but Presta suspects the bandanna may be related to his affiliation.

Presta said Green had never been contacted here prior to April 17 and “had no apparent reason for being in Spokane,” according to the search warrant.

New website aims to help combat gangs

A new website has been launched to help combat gang activity in Spokane County.

The website, developed by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council and the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, allows citizens to submit antonymous tips about gang activity.

Tipsters are given a tracking number to check the status of the tip, and law enforcement will be able to tell them whether any actions has been taken or if they need more information.

“Active involvement and communication with the public is extremely important in making this website a success,” according to a news release. “Giving the public a way to be heard and have their tips validated should encourage continual involvement by the community in this gang effort. ”

The website includes information on gangs like the Crips and Bloods as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacist groups.

Look for billboards promoting the website through Spokane County.

Visit the website at www.stopspokanegangs.org.

Crack bust targets gang members

A drug bust in Spokane that uncovered crack cocaine targeted members of the same gang that detectives believe has ties to an unsolved homicide last month.

Sheriff’s detectives raided two homes Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected drug dealing by members of the Atlantic Drive Crips gang, according to search warrant filed in Spokane County District Court.

Andrew T. Burns, 35, of Los Angeles, was arrested at 14827 E. Mission in Spokane Valley, where detectives seized crack cocaine, money and a 2006 Dodge Charger, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives also seized marijuana from a home at 2502 E. Marshall.

The investigation stems from tips that Atlantic Drive gangster were selling large amounts of crack cocaine, according to a search warrant.

Affiliates of that gang were present at a party on Jan. 17 that ended with the shooting death of 38-year-old John S. Williams III.

Drug or gun charges have been filed against at least two party goers, but no one has been charged with murder.

‘This isn’t a time for just yakking’

Sentencing for a Spokane man was delayed today after a judge demanded more information from the defense.

Anthony D. Singh, 21, faces about 16 to 18 years in prison for a shooting in a downtown parking lot that didn’t injure anyone but brought his gang affiliations the focus of a jury trial last month.

At issue during the late afternoon hearing before Judge Kathleen O’Connor were sentencing-related matters like Singh’s offender score, sentencing range and the defense’s briefing.

“This isn’t a time for just yakking about it, counsel,” this is a time for analysis and case law, O’Conner told Deputy Prosecutor Larry Haskell and defense lawyer Thomas Cooney.

The lawyers argued in the courtroom after the hearing before storming away. The new sentencing date is set for Feb. 10. Singh, who O’Connor said was at one point considering acting as his own attorney, objected to the delay.

Singh’s ties to the violent Crips street gang were key to the prosecution’s case, which netted Singh convictions for second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, drive-by shooting, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and witness tampering. The jury acquitted him of witness intimidation.

Singh has been in jail since July 30, 2008, four days after a bullet struck Alex Tauala in his right shoe in a parking lot near Sprague and Stevens. Prosecutors say the shooting was in response to a challenge from Tauala and stemmed from a culture of retaliation and intimidation rife in gang life.

Cooney has said he plans to appeal. He filed an unsuccessful motion earlier this month asking for a new trial because a Spokane police officer mentioned one of Singh’s previous criminal convictions in front of the jury.

Singh “was convicted on his propensity to commit crime and for being a bad person who is a gang member, rather than on admissible character evidence,” Cooney wrote.

Past coverage: Crips gangster on trial in Spokane

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