For weeks, a 73-year-old Spokane resident would sit on his front porch along Frederick Avenue and witness what he thought was a drug deal take place across the street. So, he called the police early this week.
“They keep saying, if you see something suspicious, call it in,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.
But the police didn’t show up, he said.
Determined, the resident called 911 again about noon Thursday when he saw the suspicious pickup pull into a parking lot, just like it had every day.
“I don’t know why they hurried up this time so fast,” the man said.
The police were ready. Spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said officers didn’t respond to the informant’s previous call possibly because no one was available. On Thursday, they were ready.
In about five minutes, officers in two patrol cars arrived and watched as a neighbor walked up to the pickup and appeared to give the driver a baggie filled with drugs, just like every day.
But this time, once the transaction was complete, the officers pulled in and busted the suspects, the informant said.
Officer Terry Preuninger patted down the pickup driver and a bag of black-tar heroin fell out of a back pocket, the court records state. When asked, the driver told Preuninger he had just purchased the heroin from Robert A. Hutton for $40. Police arrested the driver, 21-year-old Reese A. Molvin, on suspicion of possession and Hutton, 49, on suspicion of delivery.
The man who called in the deal said the officers also talked to a young female who was in the pickup’s passenger seat. Her name was unavailable, and it was unknown Friday whether she was arrested.
“I look out for the kids,” the resident said. “I don’t want to see anyone get hooked on heroin.”
But the bust wasn’t over. The informant rode one block down the residential street in a patrol car and pointed out Hutton’s residence in the upstairs apartment at 1214 W. Frederick Ave., he said.
Police obtained a search warrant for the apartment, hoping to find Hutton’s supply. About 3 p.m., they found quite a bit, according to court documents: Large amounts of heroin and marijuana. Methadone. Unidentified pills. Liquid-filled syringes. Two piles of cash, totaling $656. Three scales. And other evidence of narcotics sales.
Police also arrested Hutton’s roommate, 43-year-old Terri A. Cranston, on whom they found a crack pipe, the documents state.
“(A) cop, when he called back, said, ‘You sure took a lot of heroin off the street,’ ” the anonymous tipster said.
Hutton, Cranston and Molvin were all booked into Spokane County Jail on drug charges. Authorities will also request that Hutton and Cranston be evicted from their apartment, according to a police news release.
That’s good news for the informant, who said his neighborhood is shady. But his house is paid off; he’ll wait it out.
“I tell ya, I’m going to keep my hand on my 10 millimeter,” he said.