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Hall moves into ‘federal sights’

Fri., Aug. 28, 2009

Persistent offender faces up to 15 years on meth-related charges

Spokane’s infamous career criminal has finally made the big time.

Eddie Ray Hall was indicted by a federal grand jury this month, and he could face up to 15 years in a federal prison.

Hall, along with a Spokane man named Ronald Hipkiss, was charged with possession, distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Hipkiss was arrested in Spokane on Monday. Hall is in jail in Yakima, being held on an unrelated drug charge. Eventually he will be shipped back to Spokane.

It is the first time Hall has been “in federal sights,” U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt said.

“Of course, he’s innocent until proven guilty,” McDevitt said Thursday.

The federal indictment, handed down a few weeks ago, stems from the quantity of meth involved, McDevitt said. The federal charges include distribution and possession of more than 50 grams of a “mixture of a substance containing 5 grams or more of actual methamphetamine.” The alleged crimes occurred in September and October 2008.

Hall’s criminal escapades span nearly three decades and include more than 20 convictions, mostly for drug and property crimes, according to court records.

“I’m surprised I don’t know his DOC number by heart,” said Maria Peterson, a spokeswoman with the Department of Corrections in Olympia.

Hall most recently made headlines in November 2008 after escaping from a Yakima County correction facility by jumping over the front gate and high-tailing it back to Spokane. Detectives here arrested Hall, and he was shipped back to Yakima.

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