Posts tagged: OxyContin
A Spokane woman implicated in a massive 2013 bust of an alleged prescription painkiller peddling ring was arrested early Tuesday on suspicions of driving under the influence, according to court documents.
Ashley Arredondo, 28, is one of 62 named defendants in a federal court case that has grown so large the judge has separated defendants into three groups. She was arrested in late February 2013 and released after posting bond a week later, according to court records. Arredondo faces a federal count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday, Arredondo was arrested in North Spokane near the 500 block of West Sierra Way, according to court documents. Deputies found Arredondo after she allegedly crashed into a home in her 2004 Cadillac Escalade and drove off. She told police she'd been drinking at two bars.
When deputies attempted to walk Arredondo to a nearby patrol car to take her to jail, she allegedly turned and spit in the face of one of the officers “without warning,” according to court documents.
Arredondo faces charges of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a collision and third-degree assault of an officer. She is listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail.
The federal drug case continues its lengthy trek through the legal system. A jury trial in the case has been tentatively scheduled for May.
A case involving 62 defendants and allegedly $20 million worth of California drugs sold on the West Coast continues its circuitous trek through the federal courts, with some suspects objecting to the government’s use of wiretapping in the investigation.
Federal authorities announced raids in February that ended in the apprehension of what investigators said were dozens of members of a sophisticated drug delivery ring, including at least nine people in Spokane. Among those arrested was Sally Guthrie, a restaurateur who owned three Flamin’ Joes locations in the county at the time she was booked.
Suspects in California and Western Washington were also arrested, all charged with peddling OxyContin, an oft-abused prescription painkiller. Illicit use is so prevalent the Food and Drug Administration announced in September new labeling guidelines for the drug and ordered studies by pharmaceutical companies into its long-term effects.
Investigators allege five people oversaw the operation, charging them with monitoring a continuing criminal enterprise. Prosecutors announced their intentions to prove Gilbert Leroy Madison, currently listed in custody of the Yakima County Jail, as “a leader and supervisor” of the plot, which allegedly ran from 2008 through January.
Defendants are so numerous they have been grouped into three parties by the court. Some have been housed in the Spokane County Jail, others in Benton and Yakima counties, while some remain out-of-custody throughout the West Coast. The case has kept court schedulers busy, with expected trial dates of May, then December, pushed to May 2014 and likely headed for further delays. Release of more than 100,000 pages of investigative discovery hit a snag when the government inadvertently released information that compromised one of its undercover informants, according to court documents.
Shindona Jones, a Los Angeles woman currently in custody of the Kittitas County Jail, has requested the government turn over the details of its wiretaps in the case. Investigators bugged the cellphones of the defendants, producing hours of recorded phone calls that prosecutors plan to admit as evidence. But Jones’ attorney says the government is remaining tight-lipped about the technology involved, potentially infringing on the woman’s Constitutional rights.
In retort, the government has said keeping such information confidential serves a public safety interest and should remain secret.
A federal judge ruled last month that the details of wiretapping technology used by investigators should be made available to defense attorneys. Officials briefed attorneys of their methods during a hearing held Tuesday in Spokane.
The distributors in the case face potential fines of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison, while those allegedly in charge of the operation could be sentenced to life in prison.
A Las Vegas woman and her father are accused of helping distribute large amounts of OxyContin that included sales tracked in Eastern Washington.
Tiffany Diane Frehner, 31, and John Lawrence Frehner, 57, are charged in connection with a federal complaint filed in January against Frehner's boyfriend, Robert John Beron.
Beron, owner of a company called Lexxxy Nite Productions, is accused of selling OxyContin to Mitchell Hargan, Marisol Hernandez, Jaime McGahuey and Kim Chavez of Wenatchee.
Beron, who traveled to Washington regularly, told a confidential informant he was still able to get the old OxyContin pills distributed before Purdue Pharma changed the formula to make them harder to abuse, which gave him huge profits, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
He also arranged to sell the informant 400 80-mg pills for $6,000, charges allege. Beron told the informant he had a customer in Wenatchee who bought $100,000 worth of OxyContin a month.
Beron was arrested at his home in Salinas, Calif., on Jan. 12. Police found a 9 mm handgun and 530 methadone pills.
Beron was out of jail awaiting trial and wearing an electronic monitor, but he was arrested on a warrant July 18 in San Jose.
Frehner was arrested July 19 in Las Vegas.
She and her father each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested for robbing a north Spokane pharmacy of Oxycodone.
Paul Raymond Hunt, Jr., was arrested Monday for the June 5 robbery at Rite Aid, 12420 N. Highway 395.
Pharmacy employees identified him as the man who showed up at the store in a black baseball cap and sunglasses and slid one of them a note demanding Oxycodone. A pharmacist handed him a bottle of the drug, but he told him he knew there was more and waited for another bottle, according to court documents.
The pharmacist said he asked the man “are you sure you want to do this? There are cameras everywhere,” and the man replied “Just do it or something really bad will happen,” according to court documents.
Sheriff's deputies obtained surveillance video of the robbery. It's unclear how they identified Hunt as a suspect. He already was in jail on a residential burglary, drug and theft of a firearm charges after an arrest on Saturday. He appeared in Superior Court Tuesday on a charge of second-degree robbery.
A burglary suspect accused of stealing a truck and gun from a northwest Spokane home is a repeat offender with a 19-year history of property crimes, police say.
Grant Douglas Brough, 35, was one of two men who ran from a traffic stop near East Sanson Avenue and North Mayfair Street late Tuesday, according to Spokane police. Police dog Leonidas tracked Brough to a garage in the 100 block of East Everett Avenue.
Pepper spray apparently didn't deter a drug-seeking pharmacy robber in Deer Park: Police believe he tried robbing the store two more times.
Aaron David Kenny Miller, 24, pleaded not guilty today to first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery for holdups at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Deer Park in December and February.
Detectives believe Miller was the gunman who robbed the store of oxycodone on Dec. 5 after displaying a gun and placing a note on the counter that demanded drugs and said he needed rent money for his children.
A pharmacy employee pepper sprayed Miller, but police believe he again robbed the store on Dec. 30 with a note claiming he had a gun and demanding drugs. He was pepper sprayed again but returned to the store Feb. 21 seeking more drugs, police say. He didn't get them that time, but he did get another dose of the spray.
Miller ran from the pharmacy to a home at 116 S. Fir in Deer Park covered in pepper spray, according to court documents. A resident called police after Miller told him he'd tried to rob a store, documents say.
Miller reportedly confessed to Spokane County sheriff's deputies that he'd robbed the pharmacy twice before. He remains in jail on $100,000 bond.
Detectives today released a sketch of a possible suspect in two gunpoint robberies at a Deer Park pharmacy.
The first robbery at the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy, 11 E. H St., occurred Dec. 5 about 4:40 p.m. when a man demanded OxyContin and displayed a silver pistol that was in his waistband.
The pharmacy was robbed again Dec. 30 about 4 p.m. by a man who claimed he was armed with a gun but never displayed one.
The robber in both cases is described as a white man in his early 20s, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 and thin, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Anyone with information on the robberies or the robber's identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
A suspected large-scale OxyContin dealer in Southern California was arrested after the DEA tracked drug sales into Eastern Washington.
Robert Beron is accused of selling large amount of OxyContin to Mitchell Hargan, Marisol Hernandez, Jaime McGahuey and Kim Chavez of Wenatchee.
The DEA began investigating Beron in May 2010 through a confidential informant.
Beron, who traveled to Washington regularly, told the informant he was still able to get the old OxyContin pills distributed before Purdue Pharma changed the formula to make them harder to abuse, which gave him huge profits, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Beron arranged to sell the informant 400 80-mg pills for $6,000 in February, documents allege. The sale was monitored by the DEA.
Beron said he sometimes traveled to Las Vegas to visit his girlfriend and stay in luxury hotels, according to the DEA.
Hargan entered the investigation in September when Chelan County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic violence report involving a man who said his wife had started seeing Hargan again. The man told deputies Hargan was a large-scale pill dealer who bought the drugs from a man named Robert in California, and that a woman named Mary picked up the pills from the post office.
Another DEA informant bought OxyContin from McGahuey and his girlfriend, Chavez, who also live in Wenatchee.
Beron was arrested at his home in Salinas, Calif., on Jan. 12. Poilice found a 9 mm handgun and 530 methadone pills.
Later that day, investigators in Wenatchee watched Hernandez pick up a a package form Beron at the post office, then travel to Hargan's home, which police then searched. McGahuey and Chavez also were arrested Jan. 12 after a search warrant was served at their home.
The suspects face federal drug charges.
A gunpoint robbery at a Spokane ice cream shop in the middle of winter has been solved nearly a year after the crime, prosecutors allege.
Michael W. Robison, 24, was arraigned this week on a first-degree robbery charge for the Jan. 9 hold-up at Basin Robbins, 1230 S. Grand Blvd.
The robbery seeking money from ice cream sales occurred as Spokane was hit with arctic temperatures.
Robison's ex-girlfriend, Breanne M. Snyder, 25, told police it only netted $75, according to court documents. Snyder talked to Spokane police after an unrelated arrest in October and said she'd driven Robison, who she said had a black BB gun, to the Baskin Robbins and picked him a few minutes later. She said he told her he robbed the store and had gotten $75, documents say.
Snyder said she and Robison were addicted to OxyContin and heroin and were stealing to support their habit.
Two off-duty firefighters, Scott Coldiron and Darrin Coldiron, were eating at a nearby restaurant and followed the robber. They told police he got into a white Toyota driven by a woman. Robison owns a white 1998 Toyota Tacoma.
Robison pleaded not guilty to the armed robbery charge on Wednesday. He is not in jail.
About $100,000 in stolen jewelry was recovered Thursday after police arrested a burglary suspect who claimed to be addicted to OxyContin.
Cody Michael Sutton, 20, is accused of burglarizing a home in Veradale after the owner's 12-year-old son allowed him inside about 4 p.m. thinking he knew his father, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Sutton left the home in a Jeep while carrying a resident's pink gym bag after the boy saw him going through kitchen cabinets, the Sheriff's Office said. The boy discovered his parents' safe containing the jewelry missing, and his mother called a family friend who said the suspect description sounded like Sutton.
A sheriff's deputy spotted the bag inside the Jeep outside Sutton's apartment in the 1700 block of North Union. Deputy Darrell Rohde and other deputies saw gold jewelry spread out on a table when another man responded to a knock on at Sutton's apartment door.
“The man was standing as if to hide something behind him,” according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan. “When Rohde told him to show his hands, the man dropped a handgun to the floor.”
Deputies handcuffed the apartment's six occupants for safety purposes and seized the pistol, which was loaded an had an obliterated serial number.
Nearly all stolen items were recovered “with the notable exception of a three carat diamond ring,” Reagan said.
Rohde believes the safe was dumped along Saltese Road, but it has not been located.
Sutton was booked into jail for residential burglary and possession of a controlled substance for Suboxone found in his backpack, Reagan said.
A Coeur d'Alene defense lawyer and former deputy prosecutor is going back to prison after a judge ruled he'd violated his probation on OxyContin charges.
Shawn C. Nunley, 40, was ordered to prison late last week after his probation officer said he smelled faintly of alcohol when he reported to his office May 9, and that his blood alcohol level registered at .017.
Nunley admitted to consuming alcohol that day and the day before and said “he didn't think it was a big deal,” according to court documents. He also refused to provide a urine sample as requested. His probation officer said Nunley agreed not to travel to Orange County as previously allowed but that he left the probation office without asking and boarded a plane at the Spokane airport the next day, court documents say.
Nunley was placed on supervised probation in February after 1st District Judge Ben Simpson retained jurisdiction over his drug case and sent him to get treatment with the Idaho Department of Correction in October 2010. Simpson ruled last week that his probation violations warranted his prison sentence reinstated, so he's to serve two years in prison and four years probation.
Nunley was arrested July 29. A Kootenai County Jail official said he listed his occupation to be an attorney, but Idaho state bar records saw his license is suspended.
Nunley was first arrested in December 2008 after police said he recruited a client to help feed his OxyContin addiction. The man later went to police and acted as a confidential informant while detectives monitored a transaction between the two.
Federal drug charges were dismissed in June 2009, but Kootenai County prosecutors charged Nunley in March 2010.
Nunley graduated near the top of his class at the University of Idaho and spent time at a large Boise law firm before moving to North Idaho and joining the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor at the time, Bill Douglas, said Nunley “did a very good job.” He worked there for three years before opening his own firm in Coeur d'Alene.
A series of church burglaries last year has led to 23 felony charges against four suspects.
The burglaries, which police say began when the main suspect and his mother stole a purse from a Mormon church, were done to feed the man's OxyContin addiction, according to court documents.
That man, Andy W. Hoke, 25, (pictured) appeared in Spokane County Superior Court today on 13 charges of second-degree theft, one count of second-degree identity theft and six counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.
Hoke told police he burglarized the churches and exchanged stolen goods to Steven D. Kinard, 51, for drugs, according to court documents. Kinard is charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, clonazepam, cocaine and hydrocodone.
Hoke's older brother, Jeremiah L. Hoke, 28, is charged with second-degree theft for allegedly stealing a debit card for a church patron on May 4, 2010. A fourth suspect, Daniel I. Heinzen, is charged with six counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property for allegedly helping Andy Hoke trade stolen property to Kinard.
Victimized churches include Valley Bible Church, Whitworth Presbyterian Church, Intersection Church, Indian Trail Church, First Church of Nazarene and Turning Point Open Bible Church.
Police searched two locations associated with Kinard last year - 16 S. Fiske St. and 2503 E. Seventh Ave. (The Seventh Avenue home is where a judge was to allow Kinard's brother, T-Baby, to spend Thanksgiving during a during a five-hour jail furlough.) Heinzen’s home at 1016 E. Montgomery also was searched
According to the search warrant, Hoke “admitted that he had done several church thefts with his mother until the last month or so when he began doing them on his own.”
The scheme fell apart when employees at Mt. Spokane Church called police May 5 and said they’d caught Hoke in the church and believed he was planning a theft.
Hoke was sentenced to 14 months in prison in an unrelated case in April.
He returned to the Spokane County Jail this week to face the new charges.
Kinard posted $2,500 after his arrest last year has been summoned to court. Heinzen and Jeremiah Hoke have also been summoned.
Things went from bad to worse for a Colbert man whose car overheated outside a liquor store Thursday night.
Eric Joseph Powell, 24, was arguing with his female passenger in his overheated Toyota Corolla about 11:30 p.m. when Deputy Robert Brooke arrived to see why the car was parked in front of the closed Deer Park Liquor store, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
The passenger was calm, but Brooke said Powell was nervous and didn't keep his hands out of his pockets as requested.
When a deputy arrived as backup, Brooke “asked Powell what drugs he had on him” and Powell gave permission to remove items from his pocket, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Brooke found a dime-sized piece of tar heroin wrapped in plastic and another quantity in a container hanging around his neck. Deputies also found OxyContin and Amitriptyline, a prescription drug. Powell was booked into jail on three felony drugs charges; his passenger was release.
A Spokane man awaiting trial on methamphetamine charges was arrested today during a SWAT team raid at his home.
Gerald A. Ogelsbee faces new meth charges in an investigation that led to four children being taken by Child Protective Services today, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Oglesbee was arrested at 1724 E. 1st Ave. about 7 a.m. The sheriff's SWAT team and drug detectives also raided a home at 4005 E. Fifth Ave., where they arrested Cheryll M. Anstine, 41, Diania Anstine, 63, and Tianna R. Hurd, 29. A 17-year-old boy also was arrested on a warrant for second-degree trespass.
The four children at the home were 8 to 16 years old. Investigators also recovered a 1990 Acura Integra stolen from the Northtown Mall Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the theft. They recovered also the vehicle owner’s credit cards and checkbooks and seized other items associated with identity theft, according to the sheriff's office.
Oglesbee and Cheryll Anstine each face four counts of delivery of meth related to drug sales to a confidential informant.
Diania Anstine and Hurd face single counts of delivery of a controlled substance. Police found OxyContin, Ambien and methamphetamine today, which may lead to further charges.
Oglesbee was arrested on meth delivery charges last December, along with Hurd, and left jail on $5,000 bond. His trial in that case is set to begin July 11.
An additional '1' on an OxyContin prescription didn't earn a Deer Park woman the pill haul police say she wanted.
An employee at Medicine Shop Pharmacy in Deer Park called police Friday after Bowman attempted to fill a prescription for 160 Oxycontin pills.
The prescribing doctor had told employee that the prescription was for just 60 of the powerful pain pills.
The employee “noted the “one” in 160 was in a slightly different color of ink” and called police, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Dan Dutton arrested the suspect, Shannon B. Bowman, 33, on a felony charge of prescription fraud.
North Idaho law enforcement is asking for help solving two OxyContin robberies from 2009.
The robberies - one an attempted - occurred Sept. 30, 2009, at Walgreens, 706 E. Seltice Way, in Post Falls at 5:28 p.m., and on Oct. 27 at the Walgreens at 260 W. Honeysuckle Ave. in Hayden at 5:59 p.m.
The robber left empty handed in Hayden after store clerks said none of the powerful painkiller was in stock.
Surveillance photos (right) show him wearing black pants and a dark blue and black North Face winter coat with the hood over an orange billed beanie hat. A video is posted above.
Police said today that he displayed a silver handgun and wore black Vans type shoes, with brown or light colored soles.
The billed beanie hat in that robbery appears to be the same beanie worn during the robbery in September.
In that case, a man with a bandanna covering his mouth (pictured above) handed an employee a note saying he had a gun and demanding the drug. He wore a tan and white sweatshirt and a fleece jacket.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve either robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call (208) 667-2111 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect a reward but should use a code name or number.
A crime spree that included vehicle prowling, burglary and prescription fraud earned a 23-year-old Spokane Valley woman about two years in prison this week.
Jenalee Jean Hall, who police say is a cousin of Eddie Ray Hall , was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in prison, the same sentence handed to her former roommate and partner in crime, Miranda L. Watson, last April.
The duo was accused of a crime spree that included vehicle prowling and thefts at Spokane Valley and South Hill fitness clubs and locker room burglaries at East Valley and West Valley high schools.
Spokane Valley police were flooded with tips about the locker room thefts after distributing surveillance photos of the women (Hall is to the left; Watson is to the right.) Hall also was charged with fraudulently filling OxyContin prescription and once told detectives she and her friends plotted a theft while sitting in a car “ingesting narcotics” with her young son present, according to previous reports.
Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno ordered Hall to pay $985 restitution after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, third-degree assault, first-degree theft and three counts of second-degree possession of stolen property and $3,342 restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree theft, second-degree identity theft, second-degree theft with intent to resell and forgery.
A man who robbed a Spokane pharmacy of OxyContin last May was sentenced recently to nearly three years in prison.
Robert K. Morris, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery and was sentenced to 34 1/2 months in prison and ordered to pay $134 restitution.
Morris escaped the Walgreens at Division Street and Empire Avenue May 22 with just a small amount of pills; the stores have been keeping OxyContin in time-lock safes since fall 2009.
No charges were filed against Morris’ unsuspecting driver after the man passed a polygraph test. Morris was sentenced on Thursday and is in Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to state prison.
UPDATE 12/2: Morris was arrested based on an anonymous tip.
No charges were filed against the unsuspecting driver of Robert K. Morris, 27, after the driver, a senior sound engineer for local radio stations, said he’d met the young man at a bar and was giving him a ride home.
But prosecutors charged Morris with first-degree robbery, and he pleaded not guilty and was allowed to leave jail pending trial. A $50,000 warrant for his arrest was issued after he didn’t show up for a Nov. 10 court hearing. Now Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his arrest.
Morris was first arrested May 22 after police say he robbed the Walgreens at Division Street and Empire Avenue. The robber escaped with just a small amount of pills; the stores have been keeping OxyContin in time-lock safes since fall 2009.
Morris, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, has previous convictions for city theft, unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree assault and harassment. He last gave his address as 17714 S. Wolfe Road in Cheney.
Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
A Coeur d’Alene defense lawyer and former deputy prosecutor was sent to prison recently after police said he recruited a client to help feed his OxyContin addiction.
Shawn C. Nunley, 39, was sentenced to five years in prison with eligibility for parole in two years after he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance.
But 1st District Judge Ben Simpson retained jurisdiction over the case, meaning Nunley could be released after six months. Nunley arrived at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, just south of Boise, on Oct. 15.
Police reports at the time of his arrest in December 2008 said Nunley’s paid for a man to pick up hundreds of OxyContin pills in California each month. The man later went to police and acted as a confidential informant while detectives monitored a transaction between the two. Federal drug charges were dismissed in June 2009, but Kootenai County prosecutors charged Nunley in March. He pleaded guilty in August and was sentenced Oct. 7.
Nunley, who represented himself, filed documents from the Kootenai County Jail last week asking for another hearing to reconsider his prison sentence.
He called himself “a perfect probation candidate” and said he completed a drug rehabilitation program and has “been sober ever since.” He said he is a group counselor for a detox group in Orange County, Calif.
Nunley graduated near the top of his class at the University of Idaho and spent time at a large Boise law firm before moving to North Idaho and joining the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor at the time, Bill Douglas, said Nunley “did a very good job.” He worked there for three years before opening his own firm.
Nunley was arrested in a grocery store parking lot in Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 16. Police found an open beer in his car as well as drugs, a handgun and more than $2,200 in his hotel room, according to a police report.
According to the report, Nunley told a detective he consumed about nine 80 mg pills of OxyContin a day and spent up to $100,000 on the drug each year.
He also admitted to sometimes using heroin, but Nunley said in a document written Oct. 13 that he used only one dosage of the drug over two hours “to avoid withdrawals from OxyContin.”
“It was one dosage,” Nunley wrote.
Nunley was admitted to the Idaho State Bar Association in 2002, but his license is now inactive.