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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: search warrants

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.

Police: Woman had meth in body cavity

Police said a Coeur d'Alene woman was arrested with methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity this morning, but they later said the woman only said meth was located there, and none was found.

 Detectives with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Christine R. Davis-Jasinki, 35, at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and searched her home at 114 Borah Ave. in Coeur d'Alene about 5:30 a.m. today, where they found a surveillence system and other drugs.

Davis-Jasinki was booked into jail for drug charges for meth and drug paraphernalia found in the home. A SWAT team used an armored vehicle to approach the home.

Police used the extreme measures because of “information about several weapons inside the residence as well as four pit bull dogs,” according to a news release by Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood.

A SWAT member used a dog snare to control  “a large, vicious pit bull,” but the other dogs were cooperative and none were injured, Wood said. The dogs were seized by animal control officers.

Police found what they described as a sophisticated video surveillance inside the home that monitored the street and included audio capabilities and a view of the home's entrance. They also found a large amount of suspected stolen property, including jewelry and power tools. Police are working to identify the owners.

Arrested at the home were Coeur d'Alene residents Chase A. Nutting, 21, on a failure to appear warrant for attempted robbery, and a warrant out of Kitsap County, Wash., and Stevan E. Hemming, 25, on a warrant for violating his probation and parole for aggravated assaulted.

Davis-Jasinki has been booked into the Kootenai County Jail 30 times since 1996, said Major Ben Wolfinger.

Related coverage:

July 21, 2011: Woman with $26,000 in bra pleads guilty

March 25, 2011: Pa. cavity search produces 50 bags of heroin

Sept. 17, 2010: Police get search warrant for man's rectum
  

Cell tower info may aid murder probe

Detectives are seeking cellphone tower location information for phones belonging to a Spokane murder victim and two men with romantic ties to her.

 Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34, was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head Jan. 1 in what the medical examiner's office has ruled a homicide.

According to court documents filed today, a man with whom Schmidt had past romantic ties with told detectives they recently began rekindling their relationship and that he was to spend New Year's Eve with her, but she cancelled about 10:40 p.m.

The man told detectives he knew Schmidt was seeing another man that night, documents say. That man told detectives he last saw Schmidt about 4 a.m. when she was sleeping in her bedroom.  Schmidt's daughter saw the two together earlier that night when they dropped her off at a friend's home for a party.

Both men allowed detectives to review their cellphones. Detectives say the men had “numerous text correspondents” with Schmidt on Dec. 31.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Mike Drapeau filed search warrants with phone companies last week seeking cell tower information for the three phones that could help him determine where the three were about the time of the murder, according to documents filed today. Results have not been released.

Drapeau said in January that he believes one of the men is a likely suspect.

Schmidt’s mother found Schmidt dead in her home at 37 E. Regina Ave. on Jan. 1. Detectives seized a cloth drawstring bag with a gun barrel sticking out. Drapeau said he believes a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun was the homicide weapon, but he has to wait for the lab to confirm it.

Detectives also are looking into two civil lawsuits that name Schmidt and scuba diving instructor Daniel R. Arteaga, who both worked part time for the Scuba Center of Spokane. The suits involve two scuba diving accidents; on that left a man dead another that allegedly left a woman with brain damage.

Arteaga and Schmidt were notified about the pending suit two and a half weeks before Schmidt was murdered. Schmidt was expected to be a key witness in the case.

Schmidt, a Spokane native and graduate of Shadle Park High School, worked at Pitney Bowes with Tracy Ader, Tracy Ader, who was killed with her two sons in February by 22-year-old Dustin Gilman, who killed himself.

Past coverage:

Jan. 11: Murder victim's family grateful for support

Sex offender arrested for child porn

Spokane police Officer Tyler Cordis escorts sex offender Christopher Ebner to a patrol car after his arrest on child pornography charges today. (SPDphoto)

A sex offender was arrested today for allegedly possessing child pornography. 

Christopher Michael Ebner, 37, lives in the 1400 block of North Hodges Road in Spokane Valley, which is near the Central Valley Kindergarten Center and the Central Valley bus garage.

Detectives discovered Ebner had a large amount of child pornography on his computer and that he was sharing the material online.

The videos depicted children who appeared to be as young as 8 years old, police said. Ebner was booked into jail about 9:15 a.m.

Ebner is a level 2 sex offender with convictions in 2005 for third-degree rape of a child and possession of child pornography.

He was arrested in 2004 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he met through an Internet chat room. Police found child pornography on his computer then, according to a previous report.

He was sentenced to 26 months in prison and four years probation, according to court records.

Today's search warrant was one of four related to child pornography in recent weeks, police said.

Cops search home in drug robbery probe

Detectives searched a home recently to look for evidence in an armed robbery at a clinic last month

No arrests have been made, and the investigation into the Dec. 29 drug heist at the Spokane Falls Family Clinic, 120 W. Mission Ave., continues.

A pharmacy employee said a masked man armed with a paintball game stole 100 to 150 Hydrocodone pills.

Sheriff's deputies seized the black Volvo used in he robbery from a parking lot at 921 S. Pine in Spokane Valley later that night.

The owner said a man named Corey had borrowed the car and returned with a bag full of Hydrocodone pills. A week later, a jail inmate identified a 26-year-old convicted felon as being responsible for the robbery.

Detectives with the Spokane police major crimes unit searched that man's home in he 2300 block of North Hutchinson Road on Jan. 19, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday in Spokane County District Court.

Warrants already required in Wash. for GPS

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring law enforcement obtain search warrants before attaching GPS devices to vehicles will have little effect in Washington state.

State and local agencies in Washington have for several years been required to get a judge's approval before using GPS devices in investigations.

“The decision doesn't affect us on our state cases,” said Washington State Patrol Lt. Mark Brogan. The requirement stems from case law.

Members of local agencies assigned to federal task forces may have used GPS devices without obtaining warrants because they were operating under federal law.

But that must change after the nation's high court ruled 9-0 Monday that it was unconstitutional for the police to attach a small GPS device to a drug-dealing suspect's bumper and track his car for a month

Frank Harrill, agent in in charge of the Spokane office of the FBI, said the agency is “immediately adapting.”

“But in terms of particular steps, I'm not able to make a detailed comment,” he said.

Search warrant hunt ends for cartoonist

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The city of Renton is halting any further search warrant efforts to force Google to reveal the real name of the person who created animated Internet videos that mocked Renton police and some city employees.

Renton Chief Administrative Officer Jay Covington said Thursday that police so far have uncovered no relevant information to further a criminal investigation of what they had called a cyberstalking case. Police recently obtained a search warrant that sought to force Google to turn over the filmmaker's real name. The videos were posted on YouTube. A judge issued a stay of the search warrant this week.

Covington says police believe the filmmaker is a current police officer. He says an internal investigation will continue.

The cartoons parody everything from officers of an unidentified law enforcement agency having sex on duty to certain employees getting promoted without necessary qualifications. Renton Police Chief Kevin Milosevich says his officers and several city employees are the targets.

Invalid search nixes child porn case

Felony charges against a registered sex offender have been dismissed on technical grounds after a federal judge ruled that the search warrant used to find hundreds of images of child pornography on the suspect’s computer was invalid. 

Andrew V. Davis, 34, of Deer Park, faced at least 15 years in federal prison if convicted, but U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush concluded that police failed to disclose when seeking the search warrant that key information came from a girl who had lied to detectives in other cases.

By throwing out the search warrant, it rendered the evidence against Davis inadmissible.

“Of course he is relieved that the case was dismissed,” said Davis’s defense lawyer, Aaron Rasmussen. “It’s embarrassing because of the nature of the charges.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 18: Sex offender faces child porn charges

2nd man in Hells Angels raid leaves jail

A Hells Angels member arrested on a marijuana charge Thursday in Spokane was released from jail on his own recognizance Friday.

Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, 33, was booked into jail Thursday on one felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance after selling marijuana in a “controlled drug buy” set up by the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force last fall, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The one-paragraph affidavit, signed Thursday by Jeff Barrington, alleges the transaction occurred in October.

Superior Court Judge Michael Price allowed Fitzpatrick to leave jail Friday without posting bail, which pre-trial services recommended and is common in marijuana cases. Fitzpatrick has three felony convictions from several years ago, Price said.

The affidavit contains no information about Fitzpatrick's arrest, which occurred Thursday after federal agents and Spokane police searched the Hells Angels clubhouse at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. Fitzpatrick was not at the club at the time but was arrested at a different location.

 Also arrested was Hells Angels sergeant of arms Ricky W. Jenks, 33.

Jenks remains in jail without bail on a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Investigators say they found six loaded firearms in the clubhouse.

Jenks was among those indicted in 2006 with now imprisoned chapter president Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel (pictured).

Read my full story here.

Suspects ID’d in heroin bust near school

Three people suspected of selling heroin across the street from a Spokane elementary school remain in jail after their arrest last week.

Eliseo Villegas, 52; Raeann L. Tevlin, alias Reanne McAlonan, 18; and Christopher Martinez, 37, were arrested Friday at 1723 E. Mission Ave., which is near Stevens Elementary School.

Tabitha D. Creel, 29, also was arrested but was released on her own recognizance Monday after appearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Price.

Villegas is jailed on $10,000 bond and driving while suspended charges; Tevlin and Martinez have $5,000 bond and unrelated charges also.

Police searched the home a confidential informant bought heroin from Villegas on several occasions. They recovered a money, scales, a small amount of heroin and several syringes.

Police arrest heroin suspects near school

Spokane police arrested four people today on suspicion of selling heroin across the street from an elementary school.

Drug detectives had used a confidential informant to conduct undercover purchases at the apartment, located in the upstairs of a home at 1723 E. Mission Ave., before police raided the place about 1 p.m., said Officer Tim Moses.

The home is near Stevens Elementary School.

“They were literally across the street from that playground,” Moses said. “You can throw a rock and hit a kid.”

Police recovered a small amount of heroin and arrested two men and two women. Their names were not immediately available. Moses said the group sold heroin from the home during the day while children played nearby

He said the suspects had syringes loaded with heroin when police arrived.

“It looked like they tried to unload some of their syringes by spraying them against the wall, but it didn't work,” Moses said.

Crack cocaine suspect arrested w/ $15k

A suspected crack cocaine dealer was arrested with $15,000 at his East Central Spokane apartment this week.

Joseph K. “J” Davis, 32, was arrested on Wednesday after selling crack on four occasions in an undercover police sting, according to a search warrant prepared by the Spokane Police Department.

Police believe Davis imports cocaine to Spokane from California, where he is wanted on an extraditable drug warrant in Redding.

An undercover detective used a “cooperative individual” to buy crack from Davis on Dec. 2, Jan. 11, Jan. 14 and on Monday, according to the search warrant. Police also attached a GPS tracker to Davis' 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

They searched his apartment at 1019 N. Crestline St. on Wednesday and recovered $15,895, a cell phone, drug scale and suspected crack cocaine.

Davis appeared in Superior Court on Thursday via video feed from the jail with his lawyer, Chris Phelps. He was given $1,000 bond for the drug charge but remains in jail on the California warrant.

Cops search jailed sex offender’s home

A sex offender has been jailed on child rape charges after three children told Cheney police he’d assaulted them. 

A forensics technician and a Cheney police detective searched a trailer belonging to Bruce L. Austin, 55, at 2225 1st St. in Cheney Tuesday, where they seized a computer, cameras and other evidence, including a letter from New York about sex offender registration.

Austin (pictured in 2002) is in Spokane County Jail on $250,000 bail, where he was booked Oct. 8 after his alleged victims described the abuse in interviews with child specialists.

Two girls said Austin had molested them while they were at Cheney Baptist Church and at Austin’s trailer.

A boy said Austin had raped him after giving him alcohol and night-time medication. Detectives obtained a search warrant for Austin’s home after the boy said he’d seen Austin viewing pornography in the trailer, according to the warrant, filed Wednesday in District Court.

Austin has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation.

A news article in 2002 described him as a level 3 sex offender who served a year in prison after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct with boys. He has a previous conviction in Alaska for sexual abuse of a child and first-degree sexual assault.

Police get search warrant for man’s rectum

Spokane police officers recently obtained a search warrant for a man’s rectum.

The 31-year-old Spokane man was arrested Sept. 10 on misdemeanor warrants after a traffic stop just before 1 a.m.

Police found a knife, marijuana, a digital scale and cash in his backpack, according to court documents. He was being booked into Spokane County Jail on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver when a corrections deputy noticed a foreign object “possibly inside his anal cavity.”

“The suspect refused orders to bend over, spread his buttocks and cough,” according to the warrant. “He stood with his buttocks clenched tightly and refused to cooperate with any further instructions.”

A judge then signed a search warrant authorizing officers to search the man’s body cavity, and he was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. The search came up empty.

“A jailer thought he saw something,” said Officer Brian Eckerlsey, spokesman for the Spokane Police Department. “But for whatever reason, it didn’t come out.”

Police seize bank records after UPS finds pot

Detectives are investigating a 20-year-old Spokane man for money laundering after they say he tried to mail a pound of marijuana to Missouri.

A search warrant authorizes detectives to access Johnathon A. Delay’s Bank of America account, “and to seize any and all U.S currency located therein.”

Delay was arrested last week on one felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance after a United Parcel Services employee smelled marijuana on a package he mailed. A police officer with the Spokane County Regional Drug Task Force posed as a UPS employee and told Delay to go to a UPS store to report the package stolen.

Investigators searched Delay’s cell phone after his arrest and found pictures “of large quantities of u.s currency, as well as photographs depicting a large scale, indoor marijuana grow operation,” according to a search warrant used to seize Delay’s records with Bank of America.

“Detective McClary believes that photographs of this nature present on Delay’s cell phone strongly suggest that he may be involved in the illegal growing and/or distributing of marijuana….(and) that drug traffickers often utilize bank accounts to collect drug debt over long distances quickly,” according to the warrant.

Judge Sam Cozza authorized the warrant on Thursday. It was filed Friday in Spokane County Superior Court.

2 men sought in gunpoint home invasion

Two men held another man at gunpoint in his Spokane apartment last night while demanding drugs, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Now the SWAT team is looking for the suspects, Taveus M. Brown (left), 30; and Wesley I. Veazie (right), 22.  The SWAT team searched a home at 1921 E. 4th Ave. about 4 p.m. today but didn’t find them. Police say Brown lives there with a woman, who was arrested today. Officers then shot at least three rounds of tear gas into the home before discovering the home empty.

Brown and Veazie are accused of bursting into the victim’s apartment at 2500 E. South Riverton about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The men face charges of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

Brown’s extensive criminal history includes convictions for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, theft, riot and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Veazie has convictions for making a false statement, fourth-degree assault, obstructing an officer, conspiracy to possession of a controlled substance, theft, riot and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm

Meth found in car involved in fatal crash

Detectives investigating a car crash that killed a teenager in south Spokane last weekend found methamphetamine in the vehicle in which the victim was riding, according to newly filed court documents.

Jacoby Bryant, 19, (left, picture from KHQ.com) died early Feb. 14 when the 1999 Pontiac Grand Am she was riding in collided with a 2005 BMW in what police believe was a race between the vehicles on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue.

Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives found meth in a purse in the Grand Am, and the car’s driver, Brooke A. Reese, 18, told police she’d had four shots of Vodka that night, according to a search warrant filed in District Court.

Reese told investigators she was driving “too fast” when she tried to make a left turn on 54th Avenue and collided with a tree after being struck by the BMW about 2:24 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

She called deciding the race the BMW’s driver, 18-year-old Taylor D. Marean, “the worst decision of my life,” according to court documents.

“His car was faster, faster than I would have ever thought,” Reese reportedly said.

Reese was treated and released from a local hospital. Neither Marean nor his passenger, Ryan Perrizo, 19, were injured. Marean, who Reese said had been drinking “a lot,” refused to talk to investigators.

Detectives are investigating the three for possible vehicular homicide charges.

DNA on fake beard nabs robbery suspect

A seven-month-old robbery may be solved thanks to DNA from a fake beard worn by the culprit.

Donald R. Wright, 35, was arrested today in connection with the June 23 robbery at the Grocery Outlet at 7810 N. Division after the state crime lab matched his DNA to DNA found on the beard.

Wright is accused of robbing the store while wearing the wig and beard. He ran from the store and through a nearby backyard before telling the homeowner that he needed a ride because he was being chased, according to a search warrant filed today in Spokane County District Court.

When the homeowner returned to the area, he learned of the robbery and told police he may have inadvertently driven the culprit from the scene, according to the search warrant.

Police found the wig and beard in the man’s backyard. The Washington State Crime Lab reported a match with Wright on Jan. 29. His DNA was on file because of a previous felony conviction. The robber’s getaway driver picked out Wright’s mug shot in a line up, according to the search warrant.

Detectives used the search warrant to obtain a new DNA sample from Wright today. He’s in Spokane County Jail and is excepted to appear in court tomorrow on a second-degree robbery charge.

Police have said the Grocery Outlet robbery may be connected to a robbery at the Cash Store at 5920 N. Division, but Wright is accused of only the Grocery Outlet incident right now.

Raid had ‘toothless’ connection

A sheriff’s raid last week that sought guns stolen from a firearms collector has a connection to the suspected toothless burglar.

Kevin McMaster reportedly told sheriff’s detectives that he’d stolen guns, tools, coin sets and stamps from Kerry Miller’s Newport Highway home with Victor Hackett.

Hackett is the same man thought to have helped suspected toothless burglar Shawn Michael Westlie rob two Quizno’s stores in October.

According to a search warrant, McMaster told detectives that he and Hackett stole the items from Miller, then McMaster sold a gun and stable saw to William H. “Farmer Bill” Gearhart, 47.

Gearhart, who has felony convictions that prevent him from possessing firearms, lives at 4905 E. Deer Park-Milan Road.

Detectives raided that home Jan. 21, along with a home 1311 W. Dalton. Other items from Miller’s home were found at 1621 E. Dalke on Jan. 7, according to a search warrant.

A $1,000 tattoo machine was recovered on Jan. 15, according to the warrant.

No arrests have been made in connection that the raids; investigators said they’re waiting for the prosecutor’s office to file charges.

Past coverage: Sheriff’s raids target stolen guns

Pot conviction is least of teen’s problems

The teenage roommate of a murdered marijuana dealer was sentenced to time served in jail on a drug dealing charge last week.

But Miguel A. Rodriguez-Barbosa won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon. He was in the country on a work VISA and faces deportation after being convicted of a felony.

He also faces an ongoing investigation into a murder that detectives believe he knows all about.

The 18-year-old was credited for 72 days served in Spokane County Jail on Thursday.

Search warrants filed that same day show detectives are convinced he was involved - not just a ‘person of interest’ - in the shooting death of his roommate, 25-year-old victim Jesus Torres Valdovinos.

Valdovinos was found dead and wrapped in a blanket and plastic bags along Day-Mount Spokane Road Oct. 18.

Rodriguez-Barbosa declined comment to a reporter when reached by cell phone shortly after Valdovinos’ body was found. He was arrested Oct. 27 on one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

An acquaintance, Marco Antonio Noriega-Lopez, 27, was arrested on drug charges late last month and also is a suspect in the case, according to a search warrant filed last week seeking phone records.

“Based on the known association between Barbosa and Noriega, the numerous phone calls between their phones the day of the murder and their fingerprints being found on the plastic bags from the victim’s body, your affiant believes they are both somehow involved with the victim’s murder,” according to the search warrant.

Past coverage

Murder victim’s roommate eyed as suspect

 Homicide victim linked to drug sales

 Homicide victim’s roommate arrested on drug charges

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