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Man’s possessions seized over alleged drug money

Detectives dismantled a Spokane Valley man’s expensive lifestyle Wednesday, claiming it was created using drug money.

Detectives loaded Daniel A. Flaherty’s stereo system, his plasma television, a large leather couch and other household goods into a trailer. The seized items – which also include a 1998 Dodge truck – are valued at between $25,000 and $30,000, said Russ Dowdy, an asset forfeiture investigator assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Flaherty could also lose his home, Dowdy said. The tri-level house at 2209 S. Calvin Road was bought by Flaherty for $137,000 in May, according to county records.

Flaherty earned approximately $14,000 a year working at Pristina Pine, Dowdy said. Yet he was making expensive purchases that included a $5,000 stereo for his truck.

“It didn’t all add up,” Dowdy said.

Flaherty has been the subject of an investigation since early September when he allegedly traded drugs for items stolen from construction sites, according to law enforcement agencies. Officers with the Spokane County Sheriff Office’s property crimes task force served a search warrant on Flaherty’s home on Sept. 3 and found the allegedly stolen items.

A second man, Hugh A. Shawgo, is accused of having stolen the items and trading them for drugs, according to sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan. Shawgo allegedly left stolen light fixtures and a window with Flaherty and got methamphetamine in exchange.

Flaherty was previously arrested in a 1998 incident in which he allegedly used a stolen credit card to buy a $1,000 gold necklace at a jewelry store. He was arrested again in 1999 after nearly $10,000 in cash, crack cocaine and a gun were allegedly found when officers stopped him for speeding.

Flaherty was on probation at the time of the early September raid at his Calvin Road home and is now in jail for violating the terms of his release. Detectives believe they have probable cause to also bring drug and stolen property charges.