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In brief: Sentence 10 years for meth courier

Thu., March 1, 2012

A  Spokane man who transported large amounts of methamphetamine to the Inland Northwest from Southern California is to spend 10 years in federal prison.

James Stewart, 50, also is to forfeit drug proceeds of $180,000, perform 120 hours of community service and be on probation for 10 years after his release under a sentence imposed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Stewart’s co-defendant, Shad Alan Johnson, of Rathdrum, was sentenced Sept. 7 to five years in prison. Stewart, who pleaded guilty in July, traveled to California several times to pick up meth and transported the drugs to Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane.

Johnson was arrested with a stolen Jeep and a handgun on Jan. 7, 2009, as detectives staked out Pinnacle Realty founder Joseph G. Ward’s home on Long Lake.

Ward was arrested that day, too, in a massive Washington State Patrol investigation into a methamphetamine- and sex-fueled criminal enterprise allegedly operated out of his home. Ward pleaded guilty in October to possession of a stolen motor vehicle and nine counts of first-degree possession of stolen property.

Spokane police are looking for information regarding a man who died of a suspicious head injury.

Officials from a local hospital called police Saturday and told them Jeffrey Hardwick, 45, died after being treated for the head injury, which they called suspicious.

Hardwick was staying at the House of Charity in downtown Spokane.

Major Crimes detectives are investigating the death. Anyone who has had recent contact with Hardwick is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Indecent exposure cited at Valley store

Five people were cited for indecent exposure during an undercover police investigation at a Spokane Valley adult boutique Tuesday.

Undercover detectives walked through the Hollywood Erotic Boutique in the 9600 block of East Sprague Avenue and observed five acts of indecent exposure, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives also checked for criminal activity at the boutique in May 2009 and May 2011. Seven violations were reported during those visits.

The five people identified Tuesday were cited for indecent exposure and released at the scene. Their names have not been released.

Detectives checked other adult stores in the area, but no other violations were reported.

Restitution, prison for embezzlement

A woman who embezzled $400,000 from the bank she managed in North Idaho for 12 years is to spend 2 1/2 years in prison.

Mary Ann Head, 59, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene after pleading guilty in December to making false entries in the books and records of the Hayden Lake Bank of America, a federally insured financial institution.

In addition to 30 months in prison, Head will be on probation for five years after prison and is to pay $400,000 restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

Head began misappropriating ATM funds in 1997 to cover overdraft fees for a longtime customer, according to court documents.

The man never repaid her the $100,000, starting a series of financial discrepancies that became a routine way for Head to pay her credit card debt.


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