Local news

OxyContin busts piling up

An ongoing investigation into OxyContin distribution in Spokane has led to at least four arrests and raids at several Valley apartments this month.

Suspects Kevin D. Miles, 28, and Tashina A. Perkins, 26, are believed to be large distributors of the powerful pain medication.

They were arrested Thursday after an early-morning raid at their apartment at 12112 E. Alki Ave.

Spokane Valley police detectives found almost 700 OxyContin pills and nearly $160,000 in cash.

They believe Miles, who moved to Spokane from California about five months ago, was preparing to return to California to get more pills.

Miles rented a trailer for the trip, which detectives searched Thursday. Perkins’ 5-year-old daughter was taken in protective custody.

Three other suspected OxyContin dealers have been arrested in Spokane Valley since May, but police are tight-lipped about an ongoing investigation that Sgt. Dave Reagan said could result in additional arrests.

Reagan said arrests “in the not too distant past” aided in Miles and Perkins’ being identified, but he declined to comment further.

“Some of that stuff is under investigation,” he said.

Miles and Perkins were released from Spokane County Jail on their own recognizance Thursday after appearing in court on one count each of possession of a controlled substance. Miles did not return a voicemail left on his cell phone.

Detective Russ Dowdy said 499 OxyContin pills were found the trunk of the couple’s 2000 Buick Regal. About 30 pills were located inside the apartment, and about 150 pills were found in the trailer. Detectives also seized four cell phones and three semi-automatic pistols, one of which had been reported stolen.

Dowdy participated in raids at three other Valley apartments since May 4.

In those cases, a paid confidential informant helped police develop probable cause for the searches. Arrested on May 6 was Terrance L. Smith, 24, at 823 S. Willamette. James R. Tillett, 24, was arrested May 4 at 726 N. McDonald,

A 22-year-old woman targeted in a search May 12 at 15620 E. Valleyway has not yet been arrested.

Police suspect each defendant sold mostly 80 mg OxyContin pills – one of the highest, and most expensive, dosages. Typical prices were $65 to $70, according to search warrants.

Miles is believed to be selling the same dosage pills for $50 apiece, police said. Investigation into Miles began May 5 when a confidential informant bought OxyContin from him, according to police.

OxyContin use has surged in Spokane in the past few years, marked by a series of pharmacy robberies in late 2008 and throughout 2009, after a Deer Park doctor was arrested on federal charges that he overprescribed the drug to patients and contributed to overdose deaths.

No pharmacy robberies have been reported in the Spokane area since Walgreens began locking the drug in time-release safes in September. However, three pharmacy robberies in Hayden and Post Falls, Idaho since September remain unsolved.

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