May 13, 2011 in City
In brief: Police say student had drugs in car
An East ValleyHigh School student was in the Spokane County Jail on Thursday after an ounce of marijuana, drug scales and drug pipes were found in his car in the school parking lot.
Randall John “RJ” Gardner, 18, faces a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and a misdemeanor count of being a minor in possession of alcohol because a bottle of vodka found in the car.
“School security Officer Tim Ervin was checking the school parking lot Thursday and observed Gardner and other students inside the suspect’s car,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “As the officer approached the vehicle, the students quickly exited, but not before the officer saw partially hidden marijuana inside.”
When a deputy searched the vehicle, he found the drugs and paraphernalia, Reagan said. “The deputy also seized Gardner’s cellphone after the principal told him there appeared to be drug sale-related texts in its memory.”
Man in jail faces federal charges
A Clarkston man will remain in the Spokane County Jail without bail after federal agents found explosive materials at his home during an investigation into online posts advocating jihad.
Investigators believe Joseph Jeffrey Brice, 21, posted comments advocating suicide bombings on YouTube and emailed plans to rob a bank in Lewiston after planting bombs near a school to distract police.
Authorities began investigating Brice after he was injured when a bomb he made exploded last year. Whitman County deputies didn’t pursue charges, but federal investigators looked further after learning Brice posted videos of explosions on YouTube under the name “StrengthofAllah.”
In February, Brice wrote on YouTube that the FBI had singled him out in their investigation into the explosive device left along a parade route in Spokane on Jan. 17. The only suspect in that case, Kevin W. Harpham, remains in jail.
Brice was arrested for manufacturing an unregistered firearm May 9 after a search at his apartment.U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno ordered him held without bail after a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
Chase suspect was nearly shot
A 20-year-old man who sped through downtown Spokane to escape arrest also avoided being shocked with a Taser in a wild chase that nearly led to police gunfire late Tuesday, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Andre R. Hallman was “told he would be shot” if he continued to refuse orders from a trooper after speeding through downtown about 8:50 p.m. and exiting his car at 1921 W. Pacific Ave., according to a probable cause affidavit.
Police say Hallman was trying to open the trunk of his car after repeated orders from the trooper to show his hands. He stood up and showed his hands, but he refused to lay flat on the ground and ran when a police Taser misfired. He was arrested about three blocks away.
Police found an unloaded 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in the trunk. Hallman is a convicted felon, which means he’s prohibited from possessing firearms. He also had a warrant for first-degree robbery from last October.
State bans sale, trade of shark fins
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed legislation that prohibits the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins or derivative products in the state of Washington.
Supporters including the Humane Society of the United States say Senate Bill 5688 reduces pressure on sharply declining populations of sharks.
The group says more than 73 million sharks are killed each year mainly for their fins. The practice of finning involves slicing off the fins of a shark while it is still alive and discarding the severely wounded animal at sea.
State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island, was the bill’s primary sponsor. The measure unanimously passed the Senate. The House voted 95 to 1 in favor of it.
Hawaii and Guam have passed similar measures. Proposed measures are being considered in Oregon and California.
Shark fins often are used to make shark fin soup, a dish considered a status symbol at some restaurants.
Zoo seeks name for new python
SEATTLE – The Woodland Park Zoo is asking the public to help name its new reticulated python.
It’s an 8-year-old male that weighs 100 pounds. Zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic said reptiles don’t usually get names but this python is so beautiful zoo officials thought it might be fun to name it.
The reticulated part of its species name comes from the Latin word for “net-like” and refers to its coloring.
Names can be submitted on the zoo’s Facebook page until noon today.
Zookeepers will pick their favorite submissions and invite people to vote on May 17.
Allianic said the new python is expected to continue to grow. The Southeast Asian species is the longest snake in the world and can exceed 30 feet in length and weigh as much as 300 pounds.