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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: firearms

Tips sought on CdA gun, car thefts

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve a gun and car theft at a Coeur d'Alene business.

Someone entered Tate Engineering, 1103 N. 4th St., early July 30 and stolen two guns and credit cards, as well as a 2003 GMC Sierra pickup.

The truck has “Tate Engineering” written on both doors and is black with Idaho plates K462722.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should lave a code name or number.

Jury indicts Tasered fugitive for gun

A grand jury has indicted a mail thief who shot a round from a fire arm after being shocked with a stun gun by U.S. Marshals last month.

Tony L. Gust, 33, faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was arrested July 20 after federal agents found him at his home in the 22000 block of West Jacobs Road, northwest of Airway Heights, and watched as he ran into his trailer and “armed himself with a firearm,” according to a news release.

He was struck with a taser, and “subsequently a round was fired from the weapon Gust was holding,” the news release said. Gust was arrested without further incident.

Gust was arrested in January 2011 after a postal inspector recognized him from surveillance video that showed him breaking into post office boxes at the Opportunity post office, 11712 E. Sprague Ave.

He was sentenced in June to three years of probation, but that was revoked in October and he was sent to jail for six months. He left in April and was to participate in a treatment program.

Authorities noted his “troubling history of violence and offenses involving firearms,” in court documents filed in May 2011, which his lawyer attributed to Gust's “physical, mental and dependency problems” and said treatment would serve well.

He remains in custody at the Spokane County Jail after pleading not guilty to the charge on Tuesday. A probation violation hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Taco truck protestor gets 7 years for guns

A Whitman County man who bragged about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for unlawful gun possession.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop's lawyer, Roger Peven, asked for him to receive between 15 and 21 months in prison, according to court documents, but U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley rejected that request on Wednesday.

Hop, 31, is to be on probation for three years after his release.

Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation April 20, 2011, for allegedly possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25.

His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting.

Federal agents searched his home in Pullman on April 20 and seized that shotgun, then searched a property in Colton and seized four rifles, a shotgun and more than 150 rounds of ammunition.

Authorities say Hop had talked of targeting abortion clinics.

Hop was convicted in California of third-degree rape of a child in 2005, a felony that prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition. The conviction stemmed from a consensual relationship with a girl who was 14 when she first met Hop. She wrote a letter that urged Whaley to keep him out of jail.

“I strongly believe he is NOT a danger to society,” the woman, now 23, wrote. “At the time I was being physically and mentally abused, he was my lifesaver.”

Other friends and family wrote letters supporting Hop, including the mother of his 6-year-old son.

Exercising man loses BMW, gun, wallet

A car was recovered minutes after it was stolenin north Spokane recently when the alleged thief’s friend turned him in.

The 73-year-old owner, Robert B. Renz, parked his 2006 BMW at 8121 N. Division St. before exercising at the North Park Athletic Club on Friday.

Renz secured his wallet and keys in a locker, but someone opened the locker and stole them, then stole his BMW with a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 revolver inside, according to court documents.

Before he saw his car was missing, Renz was informed by the front desk that a man called and said he knew where the stolen BMW was.

That man told police his friend Matthew J. Gillette, 23, called him looking to sell a gray 2006 BMW. The man said he knew Gillette stole the car from the athletic club, so he called club employees and returned it to Renz.

But the gun and Renz’s wallet containing $400 still were missing. Soon, a person described in court documents as someone “who has been given special police considerations” told police Gillette was at the McDonald’s parking lot on North Division, near the athletic club.

Police arrested him there, and he told them the gun was in his room at the Howard Johnson Inn. He said he dumped the wallet, which included Renz’s military identification, in a Dumpster behind Jack in the Box and spent the cash on Oxycodone “to keep him from getting sick,” according to court documents.

Police retrieved the gun and booked Gillette into jail on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm, second-degree theft, trafficking in stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Gillette has felony drug and forgery convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms. He was jailed on $20,000 for the new charges and $20,000 warrant for theft and stolen property charges filed July 10.

Murdered man’s apartment burglarized

The family of a Western Washington man shot and killed nearly two weeks ago went to his Liberty Lake apartment to collect his things, only to find it burglarized and his newly purchased assault rifle missing.

Ryan Crews Mumm, 20, had been living in the area attending Spokane Community College, according to news reports.

He was shot and killed July 14 at Blue Stilly Park in Arlington in what police described as a dispute over $20 of marijuana. Suspect Dennis R. Watters, 41, of Tulalip, is in jail.

Mumm grew up in Arlington, and his family lives there. His sister, Jessica Olson, traveled to Liberty Lake to remove his items from the apartment at 22809 E. Country Vista Dr. and found it burglarized. An open rifle case sat on the living room floor. Olson said Mumm had bought a firearm at Cabela’s a couple months ago.

Liberty Lake police Detective Ray Bourgeois obtained a search warrant for Cabela’s firearm records that indicated the gun was a Romarm AK-47 assault rifle purchased by Mumm on Feb. 12. He entered the gun as stolen.

Mail thief fires shot after Taser shock

A convicted mail thief wanted for violating his probation shot a round from a firearm after being shocked with a stun gun today northwest of Airway Heights, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

No one was injured and Tony L. Gust, 33, was arrested without further incident, authorities say.

Marshals were looking for Gust after a warrant was issued today in U.S. District Court. They found him at his home in the 22000 block of West Jacobs Road about 4:20 p.m. and watched as he ran into his trailer and “armed himself with a firearm,” according to a news release.

“Deputies deployed a taser striking Gust. Subsequently a round was fired from the weapon Gust was holding,” the news release said. “The Deputy U.S. Marshals then subdued Gust and took him into custody.”

Gust was arrested in January 2011 after a postal inspector recognized him from surveillance video that showed him breaking into post office boxes at the Opportunity post office, 11712 E. Sprague Ave.

He was sentenced in June to three years of probation, but that was revoked in October and he was sent to jail for six months. He left in April and was to participate in a treatment program.

Authorities noted his “troubling history of violence and offenses involving firearms,” in court documents filed in May 2011, which his lawyer attributed to Gust's “physical, mental and dependency problems” and said treatment would serve well.

Gust has previously been employed as a welder and a cook, according to court documents. In 2003, he was arrested for illegally shooting on a property in Liberty Lake, according to news archives.
  

Gun suspect arrested after shooting

Gunfire at a party in Spokane Valley early Sunday led to the arrest of a 24-year-old suspect.

Edgar Ambriz Viveros is accused of firing a pistol at a home in the 15000 block of East Mission Avenue, where sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a shooting about 4:50 a.m.

No one was shot but on person cut his hand on broken glass during the altercation, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses said Viveros fired the gun and fled in a vehicle before deputies arrived. Deputies found a vehicle matching the description in the area of Pines and Cherry roads.

Two men were detained for questioning after the vehicle was stopped at Pines Road and Maribeau Parkway. Major crimes detectives identified Viveros as a suspect and arrested him for first-degree assault.

3 plead not guilty in downtown assault

Three men accused of a brutal beating in downtown Spokane late last month have pleaded not guilty.

Clayton M. Cotter, 21; Schuyler Ray Cotter, 19; and Michael W. Baesman, 34; are accused of beating a man unconscious June 27  near West 2nd Avenue and South Jefferson Street.

Clayton Cotter remains in jail on $10,000 bond. His younger brother is out of jail and was summonsed to court this morning for his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

Baesman is at Geiger Corrections Center on $10,000 bond. He and the elder Cotter were arraigned Tuesday
Just after the brothers were arrested, prosecutors charged them with unlawful possession of a firearm for a case from December.

Police searched a home in the 1600 block of East Glass Avenue Dec. 8 after reports that the brothers lived there and had been possessing firearms. One witness said the men and their friends shots into a diaper box in the basement on a daily basis. Police seized a .22 caliber Mossberg 702 Plinkster rifle, along with rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and shotgun ammunition.

The downtown beating came at a time of concern from businesses and city leaders about roving packs of violent young people. Police have made several arrests.

On June 16, 18-year-old Eric James Smith was arrested for allegedly beating a bouncer at Jimmyz, 521 W. Sprague, who had just left work. David Reynold said he was surrounded by a large group of men who were “getting mouthy” and “getting in my face,” according to court documents.

Reynolds said the men retreated when he showed them his handgun. He was treated for a head injury at a hospital. Smith pleaded not guilty June 26 to second-degree assault and remains in jail on $20,000 bond.

Police say an increased focus in the downtown area has aided in the arrests.

Burglar shoots at elderly woman’s home

A Spokane burglary suspect believed to have fired several rounds into an elderly woman's front door was arrested after a sheriff's corporal shot him with bean bags in front of another would-be victim's home early Saturday.

Ernest Earl Strebeck, 46, was armed with a handgun when members of the sheriff’s SWAT team confronted him as he sat on a porch of another home at 6536 N. Freya St.

Strebeck refused commands to lower the gun and instead stood up and stepped down from the porch, then tossed the firearm back onto the porch and walked away with his hands in his pockets. Cpl. Jeff Shover used a shotgun to fire three bean bags at Strebeck to subdue him enough to be handcuffed. He was transported to a hospital before being booked into jail.

Read the rest of my story here.

Public’s help sought in cat cruelty probe

Spokane County animal protection offers are asking for the public's help as they investigate a horrendous case of animal cruelty.

A cat had to be euthanized on Monday after SCRAPS officers found it shot in the head in a dumpster at the Viewpoint Villa Apartments, 5911 E. Woodlawn Ave., in Spokane Valley.

A woman had reported a cat screaming from the dumpster, and the apartment manager found the bleeding, injured feline inside a garbage bag wrapped in a blanket.

The cat was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized. Investigators say the cat also sustained traumatic injuries to its body.

Anyone who may have seen or heard something is asked to call (509) 477-2532 immediately. Your name and contact information will remain confidential with SCRAPS.

911 call in homeowner shooting released

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911

In this file photo, Doug Snarski, 55, stands at the top of the stairs where he shot an intruder in his home last month. (SR/Jesse Tinsley)

A Newman Lake homeowner did nothing wrong when he shot his girlfriend’s ex to death after being threatened by him with guns last month, prosecutors say.

Spokane County prosecutors said Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed against Doug Snarski, 55, for the homicide of Sean Parsons on May 13.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

May 15: Man shoots, kills armed intruder

WARNING: THE 911 CALL POSTED ABOVE CONTAINS CRUDE LANGUAGE AND GUN VIOLENCE.

Thief hits Homeland Security officer’s car

A Spokane woman is accused of stealing a federal Homeland Security officer's passport and and using it to pawn two stolen rifles.

 Investigators identified Amanda Wayne Macklin, 23, as a suspect after finding her number in Double Eagle Pawn's phone records. They say she called the pawn shop on Nov. 21 asking if a passport could be used to sell items there, then went to the East Sprague Avenue store and sold the stolen guns for $475 using a passport belonging to Shannon L. Hart.

Hart was at Oz Fitness at 603 E. Holland in Spokane on Nov. 20 when someone prowled her vehicle and stole her Homeland Security identification card, her passport and a Sig Sauer .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to court documents.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms obtained surveillance video of a woman pawning the rifles, which were stolen in a burglary Nov. 21 at a home in the 12000 block of North Denver Street. Macklin's family members identified her as that woman, according to court documents. Macklin told them she dumped Hart's passport and pistol into a dumpster, investigators say.

Federal agents also obtained a recording of Macklin telling her mother in a phone call from the Spokane County Jail that she pawned the guns and burglarized other homes to support her and her sister's drug habit. Macklin and her sister, Jordan Newkirk, already are charged with several felonies for an alleged burglary ring.

In the Dec. 26 break-in, the thieves used a spring-loaded punch to break holes through a lower window at a home in the 100 block of West Falcon Avenue and stole thousands of dollars in jewelry, including a ring that contained the ashes of the homeowner's mother.

Police in Kent, Wash, had noted the unusual burglary tool in Macklin's Kia Spectra when they arrested her there four days before the burglary.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Mark Newton noted in his report that he and his partner have been detectives for 45 years total and have never found anyone in possesses of such a device, which he said would shatter normal glass but didn't at the Falcon Avenue home because the glass was tempered.

“If one were to use such a punch on a normal piece of glass, the punch would shatter the glass leaving no indication a punch was used,” Newton wrote in court documents.

Macklin was charged in that case in March. Prosecutors filed six new gun and property crime charges May 25 for theft of Hart's passport. Then a federal grand jury indicted her last week on a charge of unlawful possession and barter and disposal of a stolen firearm and misuse o a passport for allegedly dumping Hart's gun and passport.

Disgruntled bar customer returns w/ gun

A man who scuffled with employees at a Spokane Valley bar fired a gun in the bar's parking lot late Wednesday, police said today.

Bret A. Nemitz, 29, finished a drink at Boomers Classic Rock Bar, 18209 E. Appleway Ave., just as the bar was closing. The owner told Spokane County sheriff's deputies that they asked him to leave after he began harassing two customers who were playing pool, and Nemitz grabbed the owner by the shirt and neck.

The owner's father helped control Nemitz, but the owner said he had an uneasy feeling as Nemitz walked away.

Ashort time later, the owner saw Nemitz drive a vehicle into the parking lot and noticed a shiny object in his hand. The owner told his father to crouch down just before a gunshot ran out, according to a news release.

Deputies responded about 11:30 p.m. saw the bullet hit a window on the west side of the bar. They located his car at a home near the bar and found Nemtiz standing in the backyard. He was booked into jail on two counts of drive-by shooting.

Kidnapped man escapes from car trunk

A kidnapped man forced into the trunk of a car in Montana freed himself on a Pend Oreille County highway early Sunday, leading to two arrests.

A motorist said he was driving on Highway 2 near Pend Oreille Park about 7:10 a.m. when the trunk of the vehicle in front of him opened and a man started waving his arms and yelling for help, the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office said today.

The vehicle stopped and the man jumped from the trunk and ran toward the witness's vehicle. He said he'd been beaten, bound and forced into the trunk while in Montana.

Sheriff's deputies stopped the suspect vehicle a short time later near Newport, Wash. The driver initially refused to stop, and someone threw a firearm from the vehicle that was later recovered.

Kenny J. Morrison, 29, and John M. Davis, 39, of Columbia Falls, Mont., were arrested on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree assault, possession of methadone without a prescription and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Pend Oreille County sheriff's investigators are working with detectives in Flathead County, Mont.

Drugs, guns seized near Valley school

Sheriff's investigators arrested a suspected methamphetamine dealer this week after a month's long investigation that yielded not only drugs but three guns.

His Spokane Valley home's backyard is connected to the playground of Trentwood Elementary School.

Gang and drug detectives obtained search warrants for the Eric D. Rangel's home, vehicle and person after a confidential informant bought methamphetamine from Rangel several times.

Police arrested Rangel, 26, Wednesday at East Eighth Avenue and South Carnahan Road in Spokane Valley and seized his car. He had methamphetamine and $3,400 on him, as well as two .9 mm pistols and additional meth in the car.

Detectives searched his home Thursday in the 4900 block of North Calvin Road and seized more meth, as well as heroin, hydrocodone, marijuana, a.12 gauge shotgun and .9 mm ammunition.

Rangel told detectives he sells meth in the Valley, according to a news release by Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

He also admitted to leaving a stolen firearm in a motel room where he'd briefly stayed. Deputies had recently recovered the firearm, which Rangel said he'd obtained in exchange for meth.

Rangel has felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing weapons.

VA hospital locked down over gun threat

The Spokane veterans hospital was locked down Tuesday after a man with a history of gun threats said he was going to return with a gun when his narcotics prescription refill was denied.

John Alvin Barr II, 26, apparently was upset he couldn't immediately the prescription when he went to the Spokane Veteran Affairs Medical Center at 4815 N. Assembly St., Tuesday about 5:45 p.m.

Employees told Barr that his physician had left for the day and was unavailable to authorize the refill. A hospital administrator refused to authorize the refill because he noticed it wasn't the first time Barr had requested unscheduled refills.

When told that, Barr reportedly said “I guess I'm just gonna have to go home and get my .45 then,” according to court documents.

It was the third time since September 2010 Barr had made threats involving a firearm, hospital staff say. The facility was locked down because employees were concerned Barr might carry out the threat.

Barr brought firearms to the hospital in October 2005 and was put on probation for three years beginning in March 2006.

Barr, of Wallace, Idaho, appeared in U.S. District Court on gun charges Wednesday and was ordered to remain in jail. A hearing to determine if he can be granted bail is scheduled for today at 2:30 p.m.

Bonner Co. killer faces new gun charge

A Bonner County man who served 10 years in prison for the shooting death of his girlfriend in 1999 could be headed to federal prison under a recent indictment.

George John Bondurant is accused of possessing a a Remington 20-gauge shotgun on May 8, according to a grand jury indictment returned this week in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' probation if convicted.

Bondurant is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction for involuntary manslaughter in 1999.

Bondurant was 21 when he was accused of shooting to death his girlfriend, Kathryn Oliver, at their home on Shingle Mill Road, northeast of Sandpoint, in February 1999.

Boundurant told investigators Oliver committed suicide. A 911 call played at his sentencing included him begging the emergency workers to hurry to the house as he held the dying Oliver in his arms. But Oliver's family described domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. Read the story from his sentencing in October 1999 here.

Bondurant served 10 years in prison, including credit for time served in jail. He was released from the Twin Falls Community Work Center on Feb. 27, 2009, according to the Idaho Department of Corrections.

A grand jury indicted him on the new charge Tuesday.

Gunman arrested for road rage encounter

A man threatened three people with a gun during a road rage incident on Wednesday, police said today.

Jarred Woods, 30, was contacted by a Spokane County sheriff's deputy after his alleged victims provided 911 dispatch with his license plate number.

The victims, a man and two juvenile females, said they were driving south on Argonne Road near Wellesley Avenue when they passed Woods' vehicle and he swerved to the left, causing them to nearly swerve into oncoming traffic, according to the sheriff's office.

Woods then displayed a handgun and yelled at the victims as they called 911, the sheriff's office said.

Woods has a concealed weapons permit.

A deputy called his phone after running his license plate number and located him in the area of Argonne and Trent Avenue. He was contacted there and first said he only kept the gun in his trunk, but then admitted it to pointing it at the occupants of another vehicle because he feared the driver, according to the sheriffs office.

A .40 caliber Baretta handgun was seized from the trunk of Woods' vehicle. He was arrested on three counts of intimidation with a firearm.
  

Homeowner shoots, kills intruder

Doug Snarski knew someone was going to die when he realized his girlfriend’s ex was inside their home early Sunday.

The intruder, Sean Parsons, was armed with a shotgun, a handgun, a belt stocked with ammunition and yelling about how no one would be getting out of the house alive. Parsons had arrived at the Newman Lake home about 12:30 a.m. - just hours after he’d been served with a restraining order that prohibited him from going within two miles of the house.

“He didn’t come here to get on my Christmas list,” Snarski said Monday at his home, where he’s lived for 27 years. “He was on a mission to kill.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Spokane police arrest longtime fugitive

A Crime Stoppers fugitive wanted since February has been arrested.

 John Gibson Dean, 30, was arrested at an apartment complex at 12426 E. Broadway Ave., after police developed information that he'd been staying there.

A witnesses told police Dean and Lisa M. Baxter, 25, stole her Ford Bronco and were planning to drive it to Montana.

Police contacted Baxter and she denied knowing where Dean was, but she was with Dean at the apartment when police arrived there Tuesday.

Baxter was arrested for rendering criminal assistance, and Dean was arrested on warrants for robbery and gun charges.

He faces a new bail-jumping charge after he left jail on $200,000 bond and never returned to court. He was to begin trial in March but didn't show up for a pre-trial conference in February which led to the warrant.

Dean is accused with Jeremy L. Standon of robbing three people of money, jewelry and electronics after being allowed inside the home at 1415 N. Post St. May 9. Standon pleaded guilty earlier this month and is to be sentenced June 13.

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