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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: money

6 lbs. of meth, $60k seized from trailer

Police seized more than six pounds of methamphetamine and $60,000 from a trailer near the Fairchild Airforce Base on Thursday.

Gerardo S. Miramontes, 35, and Rigoberto Ayala, 32, face drug and gun charges after a search warrant was served at 15610 W. Highway 2.

A confidential informant bought methamphetamine through Miramontes on Jan. 5 and Jan. 11 from the Spokane Police Department, according to court documents prepared by drug Detective Kevin Langford.
The informant exchanged money for meth with a man who identified himself as “Creeps,” who police say is Ayala.

Along with the drugs and cash, police found scales and sandwich baggies in the trailer, as well as three firearms.

Miramontes, who police say also lives in San Diego, has a previous felony conviction for second-degree assault. Ayala has a felony conviction in Nevada for possession of a stolen vehicle.

The men are in the Spokane County Jail after appearing in Superior Court today on drug and gun charges.

Police: $4 loan leads to motel robbery

A man who borrowed $4 from an employee at a downtown Spokane motel returned to rob her with a hammer, police say.

Eric Kevin Miller, 36, was arrested on Friday, two days after police say he left his wallet at the Select Inn, 1420 W. 2nd Ave., for collateral after borrowing the cash.

He returned about two hours later and threatened the employee with a masonry hammer when she wouldn't return his wallet, according to court documents. He stole $100 from the cash register, police say, then went to Northern Quest Casino.

From the casino, Miller went to a woman's apartment, where they talked about the bible and he told her he'd robbed an elderly woman at the Select Inn, police say. The woman awoke to her TV missing, along with three butcher knives, $250 from her purse, her apartment keys and miscellaneous bills.  

Miller told police he traded the TV for methamphetamine, according to court documents.

Miller appeared in Superior Court Monday on a first-degree robbery charge and remains in jail on $50,000 bond.

Home remodeling turns up fake cash

TROY, Mich. (AP) — Police say a home remodeling project in suburban Detroit has turned up a stash of counterfeit cash.

The Detroit Free Press reports that police in Troy received a call Monday from the homeowner, who had lived in the house for more than a decade.

Police say the fake bills were hidden inside a wall. There's no word on how long it may have been there.

Police forwarded the counterfeit cash to the U.S. Secret Service.

Lawyers question new court fee system

A decision by Spokane County District Court to privatize the collection of all fines and fees, using the same company that handles its bad debts, is raising conflict-of-interest questions within the legal community.

Defense lawyers and advocates for the poor worry that PAR Acceptance Corp., hired by District Court in December to handle time-payment agreements, has an incentive to push past-due accounts into bad debt status as quickly as possible because it benefits its subsidiary, Valley Empire Collections.

Both companies are owned by Troy Peterson, a Spokane Valley businessman who’s made millions handling debt collection for courts in Spokane.

District Court officials say there’s nothing improper in the arrangement, noting that collection duties were outsourced to accommodate the elimination of several jobs due to county budget cuts.

Read Tom Clouse's full story here.

Also:

Judge says 'we're comfortable' with collections arrangement

Drug robbery targets chronic DUI suspect

A violent home-invasion robbery in Spokane Valley last month targeted a former sheriff's deputy with a history of DUI crashes.

James L. Crabtree, 49, was struck in the head with a claw hammer early Jan. 21 by a man who demanded “dope and money,” according to charging papers filed Wednesday against suspects Matthias “Payback” Piggot and Sandy K. Perreira, both 29 (pictured left to right). 

The man, who detectives believe was Piggot, had arrived at the apartment in the 12700 block of East Shannon Avenue with a woman Crabtree said had been at his home two days earlier, police say. Detectives believe that woman was Perreira.

Crabtree told police he grabbed a folding knife but dropped it after he was threatened with the hammer. He told his attackers he didn't have any drugs or money, so the two left with his checkbook, wallet and credit cards, according to court documents. Crabtree suffered a concussion in the attack. His girlfriend, Cheryl L. Dassow, told police the robbers threatened to harm them further if they reported the attack.

Perreira faces an additional forgery charge for cashing a check on Crabtree's Numerica Credit Union account. She also faces drug and malicious mischief charges for an unrelated incident last December. 

Piggot's criminal history includes convictions for domestic violence and attempting to elude police. In June, he was suspected of stabbing a man in Spokane Valley but an uncooperative victim halted the police probe. He also was present when Andrew T. Burns allegedly shot a man last June.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Piggot, who last gave an address in the 2900 block of North Maple Road, and Perreira, who last gave an address in the 800 block of East Sitka Avenue.

Anyone with information on their locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

In November, Crabtree, (left) who worked as a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s and caused a crash that injured Lt. Earl Howerton in 2001, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his Cadillac and blocked in his car. Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car. But Crabtree's blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and prosecutors haven't yet filed charges.

Man to forfeit $1.4 mil in cash, cars

A Spokane Valley businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday to several counts of hiding financial transactions concerning the sale of stolen metals and agreed to forfeit about $1.4 million in cash, property and vehicles purchased with proceeds of the illegal transactions.

Craig A. Dickson entered a plea agreement before U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea at a hearing in Richland. Dickson, owner of Dickson Iron and Metal, 907 N. Dyer Road, pleaded guilty to seven counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements and one count of conspiracy to commit the same offense.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Gambling man owes mother $137,000

A Spokane man was ordered this week to repay his mother nearly $140,000 after bilking her out of the cash to fund his gambling addiction.

Mark B. English, 52, also was ordered to serve 90 days in jail, three times as long as a plea agreement recommended.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen sentenced English Monday after hearing emotional testimony from family members.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson said he’s pleased Eitzen imposed the maximum jail sentence.

“I suspect he deserved a lot more than that,” he said. “He had access to money and a really bad gambling habit, and he cleaned Mom out.”

English was in charge of his 71-year-old mother’s finances when his daughter noticed discrepancies in her accounts. His mother soon confronted him about the thefts.

“She wanted to not believe it for a really long time, but eventually her checks started bouncing and she was getting notices from her mortgage company,” Johnson said.

English is to pay his mother $137,000 in restitution.

“I really have no idea how he will ever pay that back.”

English pleaded guilty to first-degree theft. He’s to report to jail by Jan. 3.

Man gets 1 year for smuggling $520,000

A Canadian man arrested who tried to smuggle $520,000 into the United States will spend a year in federal prison.

Richard Paul Neumeyer, 66, of Kelowna, B.C., was sentenced last week to 12 months in prison and three years probation. He also forfeited the cash seized in May at the border crossing in Laurier, Ferry County.

Federal agents found the cash - $509,980 in U.S. currency and $10,000 Canadian - in two hidden compartments in the floor of his 2006 Volvo after Neumeyer said he had only $1,600 in cash when he arrived at the crossing.

He confessed to transporting the cash - for a 2 percent cut - to Wickenburg, Ariz., about 60 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Border records show Neumeyer crossed through Laurier on Jan. 7, Feb. 8, March 6, and April 21, according to court documents. He told federal agents he made $9,000 his first trip and $10,000 his second trip.

He pleaded guilty in September to a charge of bulk cash smuggling.

U.S. District Judge William Fremming Nielsen recommended Neumeyer serve his sentence at the Sea-Tac federal prison in Western Washington.

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