April 5, 2013 in City

Sheriff exasperated with repeat offender

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Nicole Hensley photo

A stack of papers details Mark W. Bush’s criminal history in Spokane County. The stack is about as tall as a quarter dollar detailing each charge per arrest.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

A thief and drug user with 39 arrests has earned the ire of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

Mark W. Bush has been jailed again, this time accused of possessing 11 ounces of meth, and Knezovich wants federal prosecutors to pursue charges and a stiff prison sentence.

The 38-year-old Bush has one of the longest criminal records in Spokane County, a rap sheet that rivals that of notorious convict Eddie Ray Hall, who had bedeviled local police for decades before federal prosecutors went after him and won with a 16-year federal prison sentence last year.

Knezovich said there are about 300 repeat offenders plaguing the legal system in Spokane County, and he is concerned they are not being held accountable with long enough prison terms.

If Bush is convicted in federal court, Knezovich figures he will be locked up for several years.

“He ranks right up to Eddie,” Knezovich said.

“If you’re convicted of a crime in Spokane County – you’re not spending a lot of time in jail,” he added. “The only way we can see breaking that dynamic is breaking the way we look at a sentence.”

Bush was 16 when he was first arrested, and he’s led a life of crime ever since with ties to drug trades, thefts, fights, driving illegally and running from police, according to court records.

He has six felony convictions and has been charged over the years with more than 170 crimes, many of them misdemeanors, records show.

Bush was arrested Thursday by investigators at a home in the 1700 block of East Mallon Avenue along with his spouse, 30-year-old Crystal Peterson.

The pair were involved in a low- to mid-level drug conspiracy, Knezovich said. They intended to deal the meth, according to investigators. The confiscated drugs were valued between $13,000 and $19,000, according to a sheriff’s news release.

Bush currently faces possession of drugs, but could face additional charges of endangering a child after the SWAT Team found a sleeping 14-year-old boy inside the home.

Authorities did not realize there was a child inside when they analyzed the risk of raiding the home, Knezovich said.

The teen told detectives his father brought him up from the Tri-Cities late Wednesday night, and when he woke up, his father had left.

Detectives took Bush, Peterson and an armed man who has not been identified into custody, Knezovich added.

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