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Police provide more details on day care pot bust

Following citizens’ questions about the amount of time it took detectives to arrest a woman charged with selling marijuana to high school students, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office released more information Friday about how the investigation progressed.

Detectives on Thursday raided a home at 7820 E. Buckeye Ave. and arrested 35-year-old Tina M. Jones on multiple drug charges. They found 58 marijuana plants and learned Jones had been operating an unlicensed day care at that address.

Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin said Thursday that the case began through the work of Deputy Ed Cashman, who is the school resource officer at West Valley High School. Chamberlin said students told Cashman they were buying marijuana from Jones.

The Sheriff’s Office received questions about “why it took nearly a year to arrest Tina M. Jones for running an unlicensed day care and growing marijuana inside the residence,” Chamberlin said Friday in a news release.

Although Cashman began making arrests for marijuana possession about a year ago, it wasn’t until May that a student specifically identified Jones as the source, Chamberlin said. Drug detectives used a confidential informant to buy marijuana from Jones in June.

A second informant reported seeing five children in the home July 16 and told investigators “Jones said she had a baby-sitting business.”

Two weeks ago, an informant made a marijuana purchase from Jones and told investigators she had seven children in the home. That information was used to obtain a search warrant that was executed Thursday.

A case worker from Washington’s Child Protective Services told drug detectives that the state Department of Social and Health Services had recently started an investigation into allegations that Jones was operating an unlicensed day care. The grow operation wasn’t discovered until the raid, Chamberlin said.

Detectives are recommending charges of three counts of delivery of a controlled substance, one count of possession with intent to deliver and one count of manufacturing a controlled substance, he said.