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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Washington State Gambling Commission

2 cars, 3 lbs of pot seized in Cheney

A multi-agency marijuana investigation led to the seizure of two cars and 3 1/2 pounds of marijuana in Spokane County recently.

Cheney resident Brandon M. Collins, 27, is believed to have led the operation, which detectives say distributed more than five pounds of pot each week, mostly in Cheney and at Eastern Washington University.

Collins was arrested last Thursday following several undercover drug sales, according to a news release. He left jail on Friday after being released on his own recognizance. Investigators say Collins picked up several pounds of pot in Bellevue and often made deliveries while working for a cellular phone store in Cheney.

A second suspect, identified as a 25-year-old EWU student, has not been arrested or charged.

Investigators working with the Washington State Gambling Commission and Northern Quest Casino say Collins and his associates “appear to have laundered more than $380,000 through the casino during the last three years,” according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The investigation is being conducted by the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police and Spokane Valley Police Departments, Washington State Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

No charges yet in alleged Lilac Lanes theft

No charges have been filed against two former Spokane casino employees who were arrested on suspicion of stealing nearly $175,000 from the business.

Eddie S. Williams, 44, and Shari Cawley, 41, were to be arraigned today in Spokane County Superior Court, but Judge Greg Sypolt canceled the hearing because prosecutors haven’t filed charges.

Williams and Cawley were arrested April 13 at Lilac Lanes, 1112 E. Magnesium Road, after employees said the two ordered them to destroy financial records and erase video tapes to hide their theft, according to the Washington State Gambling Association.

Financial records show $173,000 in missing funds, said Gary Drumheller, agent in charge for the Gambling Commission in Spokane. Investigators say Williams, the general manager, and Cawley, the accounting manager, shorted an ATM daily over the course of a year.

Judge Ellen Kalama Clark released the suspects from Spokane County Jail on their own recognizance April 14. Prosecutors can still file charges, and Judge Sypolt ordered Cawley and Williams to stay in contact with the court.

Their jail release conditions, which prohibit them from contacting each other or going to Lilac Lanes, remain in effect.

Past coverage:

Lilac Lanes managers accused of theft

Lilac Lanes managers accused of theft

The top managers at Spokane’s Lilac Lanes are accused of stealing nearly $175,000 from the business.

Eddie S. Williams, 44, and Shari Cawley were arrested today at the bowling alley and gambling hall, located at 1112 East Magnesium Road.

Washington State Gambling Commission investigators say the two shorted an ATM daily over the course of a year. Employees came forward after Williams and Cawley ordered them to destroy financial records and erase video tapes to hide the theft, said Gary Drumheller, agent in charge for the Gambling Commission in Spokane.

The investigation began Thursday with the help of Lilac Lanes’ owners and an accounting firm that audited the business last year. Financial records show $173,000 in missing funds, Drumheller said.

Drumheller called the tipsters “good employees and honest people trying to just do their jobs.”

Williams was booked into Spokane County Jail Tuesday afternoon on charges of first-degree theft, two counts of gambling (fraud/deception) and obstructing a public officer.

Drumheller said Cawley was booked, but jail officials had no record of her this afternoon. Gambling agents searched her home at 12023 N. Dakota Lane as part of today’s investigation. Investigators haven’t determined if any of the items were purchased with stolen money, Drumheller said.

Lilac Lanes remains open, and Drumheller said the Gambling Commission will work with the owners, who he described as “cooperative,” while they find new management.

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