April 4, 2013 in City

Warehouse lessee accused of dealing meth, charged

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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A federal indictment for drug trafficking charges has been filed against a man leasing a Spokane Valley property where a shooting took place on Tuesday morning.

Ian M. Harris, 41, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal methamphetamine charges.

Harris leases a warehouse at 316 S. Dishman Mica Road. Spokane County Sheriff’s Office investigators searched the building Tuesday morning after a man identified as Shawn Mertes, 36, reportedly fired a shot at another man near the property around 7 a.m., according to reports.

When several cars with Idaho license plates arrived at the crime scene, deputies then learned the property was part of an active investigation with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force.

Federal Bureau of Investigation senior agent Frank Harrill confirmed that a Safe Streets task force was involved with the investigation because the Dishman-Mica property is tied to a North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force investigation that is gang-related, reports said.

It’s still unclear if the federal investigation is connected to the shooting or Harris’ charges.

Deputies arrested Mertes on weapons charges. He posted bail at Spokane County Jail Wednesday on $1,000 bond.

Harris’ charges stem from incidents beginning in early 2012 when he allegedly conspired with others to deal meth. Those co-conspirators have not been named yet because a motion was filed to seal the indictment until further arrests have been made.

Documents show Harris allegedly dealt more than 50 grams of meth on June 14 of last year and his accomplices dealt meth on March 13, March 22 and June 14, according to investigators.

The accomplices also named in the grand jury are alleged to have used a Spokane Valley residence to distribute drugs, court documents show.

Harris was sentenced in 2006 to two years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of meth, court records show. He was also sentenced to 13 months in prison in 2004 for possession of meth, in addition to several other felony charges, according to records.

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