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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Spokane County

‘Sovereigns’ gaining attention locally

Deputies were prepared for the worst as they stood by in a Spokane County courtroom earlier this month during routine hearings for mostly low-level felonies.

Their focus was on one of the more benign cases – possession and distribution of marijuana.

But it wasn’t the nature of the allegations that got their attention. It was the defendant, a self-proclaimed “sovereign” who doesn’t consider himself a citizen of the United States even though he was born and raised here.

Adrian B. Shannon, 30, is among a growing number of people who question the legitimacy of federal, state and local government agencies and employ a series of legal maneuvers they believe exempt them from driver’s licenses and birth certificates, paying taxes, or even criminal charges.

“People call it a movement, but it’s individuals, literally sovereigns, that are all learning, ‘Hey we don’t have to put up with these ridiculous laws, because we are the government,’ ” Shannon said.

Read the rest of my Sunday story here.

Crime Stoppers sought tips on jail inmate

Crime Stoppers offered a reward this week for information on a suspect who's already in jail on a U.S. Marshal's hold.

 Douglas Ray Mobley, 30, (left) is to be sentenced May 26 for extorting now former sheriff's Deputy Velven York, who worked at the Spokane County Jail.

A jury convicted Stephanie A. Strong of second-degree extortion last November. She's serving 55 months in prison. 

York alerted authorities to the extortion attempt last June after he was contacted by a caller threatening to disclose his improper off-duty contacts with Strong, a former inmate.

Police believe that caller was Mobley, who was dating Strong.

Sheriff’s policy prohibits employees from contacting criminal suspects when off duty. York had been giving Strong rides from a drug treatment program to a halfway house where she was living and meeting her while she was a jail inmate.

York (right) resigned from the sheriff's office in July, Sgt. Dave Reagan said today.

Strong and Mobley were arrested after they retrieved $5,000 York left for them in an undercover sting at Dick's Hamburgers.

Strong was under supervision for a federal mail theft and fraud conviction from 2007. Mobley was on federal probation for a gun conviction. He's in jail on a federal hold for that case, so prosecutors requested a bench warrant be issued to ensure his appearance at sentencing.

Crime Stoppers issued the reward offer Tuesday but rescinded it today. Still, it gave me a good opportunity to check up on the case.

Past coverage:

June 30: Convicts deny extortion plot against jailer

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