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11 felonies for burglary, credit card theft

A Spokane Valley man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft after a police officer recognized him from surveillance photos.

Ryan P. Haddigan, 36, (right, allegedly) is accused of burglarizing a home in the 3600 block of South Vercler Lane and stealing credit cards and two Apple iPhones.

The woman discovered the burglary May 6 and said Haddigan was listed as a possible suspect. She said he'd given an iPhone to an acquaintance at the apartment that day and said the phone would only work for a day or two.

Surveillance video from Washington Trust Bank captured images of a man using one of the stolen credit cards. The victim said Haddigan sometimes babysat chidlren at his ex-wife's home at the Keystone Apartments on East Third Avenue.

Officer Ken Dodge was at the apartment complex Saturday when he spotted a man "who looked and dressed like the suspect in the security photo" and asked him to come talk to him, which prompted the man to throw stolen credit cards on the ground.

Police also found a syringe loaded with meth in Haddigan's clothing. Haddigan was booked into jail for residential burglary, possession of meth and nine counts of second-degree theft.

Camera catches man w/ stolen credit card

Police are asking for help in identifying a potential suspect in a residential burglary.

Surveillance photos at the Washington Trust Bank ATM on Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley captured images of a man in a black hat, dark glasses and jacket using the victim's credit card last Tuesday just before 9 a.m.

The suspect arrived and left southbound on Sullivan on foot.

Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or Spokane Valley police Detective Mark Renz at (509) 477-3330.

Tips sought on prowling suspect’s cohort

Post Falls police are trying to identify a passenger who fled a traffic stop with a burglary suspect.

Charles Allen Gutzman ran from his car after police tried to stop him from driving with no headlights in the area of Howell Road and Radiant Star Road Monday at 3:10 a.m.

Police identified Gutzman as the car's owner and contacted him on Tuesday. They arrested him after finding evidence from three recent car prowling.

"Gutzman admitted to detectives that he lied during his initial interview where he claimed that his vehicle broke down and was stolen," according to a news release. 

Anyone with information on the identity of Gutzman's passenger is asked to call the Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517 or leave an anonymous tip at (208) 777-COPS.

Tips can also be submitted online.

Smash-grab burglar targets cigs in Valley

Police are looking for tips on a smash-and-grab cigarette burglary that damaged a Spokane Valley convenience store early today.

A burglar smashed glass from a front window at the the Broadway Mini Mart, 10304 E. Broadway Ave., early today and stole cigarette packs. 
An alarm sounded a few minutes after midnight; police arrived to find the smashed out window, then viewed a surveillance video that showed the burglary umping onto the counter and grabbing the smokes from a display rack.
A police dog searched the area but came up empty. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

86’d from Walmart, return leads to arrest

A Spokane woman banned from all Walmarts was arrested for felony burglary Sunday after returning to the Spokane Valley store.

Billee Jo Koller, 36, tried to steal more than $80 in men's clothing from the store at 15727 E. Broadway Ave., according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Koller was prohibited from going to the Walmart after she was caught shoplifting last October, police said.
That condition upgraded her shoplifting allegation to a second-degree burglary charge. She also was booked for third-degree theft and warrants for theft and drug possession.

Reward for tips in vacant home burglaries

A $1,500 reward is being offered for tips that solve a burglary ring that preys on vacant homes.

Crime Stoppers already had offered a reward for tips that help solve 23 burglaries in Spokane Valley in which kitchen appliances were stolen from vacant homes.

Now the Spokane Association of Realtors has pitched in to increase the amount of cash available for helpful tipsters.

Police say the thief first steals the real estate lock box from the front door of the vacant homes that contains the key, then returns with a truck to steal ovens, stoves and refrigerators.

"The boxes are designed to be difficult to break open, so the thief does that elsewhere," according to a February Crime Stoppers news release.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

3 men charged in burglary, gun thefts

Three Spokane men have been charged with a series of felonies for their alleged roles in firearm thefts last December.

Steven Charles Corkery, Jr., 27, is accused of burglarizing a home in the 4400 block of East 16th on Dec. 6, then pawning stolen property, including two firearms.

Investigators believe Corkery and his brother, Thomas J. Corkery, 29, burglarized the home and were driven from the scene by Lucky Joe Guzman, 27.

Steven Corkery, who has felony convictions for theft and malicious mischief that prohibit him from possessing firearms, then pawned a stolen shotgun and bow, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Steven Corkery also is accused of pawning a .357 Magnum revolver that had been stolen from a home n the 13500 block of North Muzzy Road on Nov. 23.

He appeared in Superior Court Friday on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm, second-degree theft, two counts of theft of a firearm and two counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Guzman and Thomas Corkery, who also has a felony conviction for theft, are charged with second-degree theft, residential burglary and two counts of a theft of a firearm.

Sex offender registers in Colville

Authorities are warning of a sex offender considered likely to reoffend who recently registered at an address in Colville.

Clifford T. Morton, who was born in 1985, is living in the 1100 block of Basin Road, the Stevens County Sheriff's Office said today.

Morton, a level 3 sex offender, was convicted in Whatcom County of third-degree rape of a child in 2004 and second-degree assault and second-degree burglary in 2006.

He is not wanted by law enforcement, but the sheriff's office wants people to be aware of his presence.

"This notification is not intended to increase fear," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "Rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public."

Suspected serial burglar pleads innocent

A felon accused of stealing the gun used in a gang-related murder last year has been charged with five burglaries.

 Robert J. Frates, 27, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to four counts of felony second-degree burglary and one count of attempted second-degree burglary.

He's accused of breaking into Sunny Buns Tanning, 2821 E. 27th Av., on March 15, Smart Smoke, 12924 W. Sunset Highway, Metro Sign and Banner, 1403 N. Greene, and another building in Airway Heights on March 25.

He's also charged with attempted-second-degree burglary for a break-in March 26 at Super Sonic Blind Cleaners, 3612 E. Broadway Ave.

Police arrested Frates that day after an officer followed him using a GPS tracker affixed to Frates' Bronco.

Last June, Frates told police he'd to traded four stolen firearms to a man for $600. One of the guns was the Ruger mini 30, which was used to kill John S. Williams. Edward L. "TD" Thomas is scheduled to stand trial June 20 for Williams' murder.

Past coverage:

April 1: Police link burglary suspect to gun used in gang slaying

Dec. 14: Man arrested in sports card crime spree

Cops: Missing woman may have drowned

Investigators believe a Kamiah, Idaho, woman missing since April 1 may have drowned in the Clearwater River.

They're not sure if Lavina Hietala's disappearance was the result of foul play and are asking for information on the activities of her grandson, Justin M. Hietala, from March 28 to April 1.

The man has not been named a suspect. He remains in the Lewis County Jail on burglary charges.  

Detectives say Justin Hietala, 27, did not provide "any information concerning his grandmother's whereabouts.

Detectives developed information indicating the 72-year-old woman likely ended up in the river, but police declined to elaborate.

"Due to the potential of her being in the Clearwater River, search efforts have been scaled down," accoridng to a news release from the Idaho State Police. "Because of the low water temperature and high water flows it is unlikely Lavina could survive being in the river since April 1. "

Anyone with information on Justin Hietala's activities is asked to call ISP Lt. Charlie Spencer at (208) 799-5020.

Extreme neighbor dispute ends in arrest

A 47-year-old Cheney man is accused of burglary after his 25-year-old female neighbor said he’d repeatedly threatened to “chop her head off” before bursting into her apartment and trying to pull her shirt off.

The extreme case of a bad neighbor occurred Sunday in a motel on B Street in Cheney, where the alleged victim said a man in a nearby rental unit was harassing her via telephone and had also contacted her in person, according to court documents.

Police arrived to find the woman being consoled by two friends in the room. The woman said she believed the man, identified as Paul A. Columbus, was capable of carrying out the threats. She said he'd burst into her room after she called 911 but she was able to push him outside and lock the door.

The woman said she was never in a relationship with Columbus and that he has never been allowed inside her room. Her two friends told police they witnessed Columbus threatened to cut the woman's head off and kill her dog.

Columbus remains jailed on $7,500 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on a first-degree burglary charge.

Missing woman’s jailed grandson probed

The grandson of a woman missing in the Kamiah, Idaho, area has been named a person of interest in her disappearance.

Justin M. Hietala, 27, was arrested on suspicion of burglary on April 1 and is in the Lewis County Jail in Nez Perce, Idaho.

Police learned his grandmother, Lavina I. Hietala, 72, was missing then.

The two lived at her home in Kamiah.

Anyone who may have seen Justin M. Hietala, 27, in or around Kamiah, east of Lewiston, between March 28 and April 1 is asked to contact Idaho State Police Lt. Charlie Spencer at (208) 799-5020 or by email at charlie.spencer@isp.idaho.gov.

"We're just trying to follow up on a bunch of leads," Spencer said today.

Plea deal drops attempted murder case

A Spokane man whose attempted murder trial ended in a mistrial last week was sentenced this week to nearly 10 years in prison.

Don R. Davis, Jr., 29, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and drive by shooting in a plea deal that dropped the attempted first-degree murder charge.

He was ordered to serve 116 months in prison by Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque on Wednesday. Leveque declared a mistrial last week after a witness offered testimony that Davis' lawyer, Rob Cossey, said was a surprise.

The charges stem from a wild car chase on Oct. 4, 2009, that includes several collisions as Davis attempted to force his ex-girlfriend and former best friend off the roadway.

He also was accused of breaking into an apartment and stealing a handgun that was used in a drive-by shooting.

Police dog busts 3 burglary suspects

A Spokane police dog helped his handler arrest three burglary suspects late Monday.

Arlyanne M. Ellicott, 21, fought with K-9 Maximus before Officer Paul Gorman arrested her on suspicion of burglary in the 5000 block of North Lacey Street, police said today.

Gorman and Officer Michael Russo were responding to a report of a burglary in progress at 11:13 p.m. when they saw a broken window at the vacant home, then saw a man throw a furnace motor out a window. 

Ellicott fled the home and tried to scale a six-foot fence before Maximus caught up with her, police said.

Gorman noticed a large knife discarded on the basement stairs and called for others in the home to exit. He released Maximus when there was no response, police said.

The dog found suspect Bryant T. Graham, 38, hiding in the basement, then on a second trip found Harry D. Lashbrook, 47, hiding in the attic under insulation.

Ellicott, Graham and Lashbrook were treated at a hospital for dog bites before being booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of residential burglary and first-degree malicious mischief, where they remain on $10,000 bond.

In a news release, Sgt. Kevin King said the case "illustrates how quick and effective police K-9s are."

"Police K-9s can perform a search quicker, more thoroughly and more safely than their human counterparts," King wrote.

It's been a busy few days for Maximus, who's pictured with Gorman.

On Saturday, he tracked a domestic violence suspect for two blocks, leading to the man's arrest.

Jury indicts man for cop’s stolen gun

A felon suspected of stealing a handgun from a Spokane County sheriff's detective's squad car last April has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

 James W. Peterschick, 29, faces up to 10 years in federal prison for felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful concealing and storing stolen ammunition and unlawful possession and sale of a stolen firearm.

Investigators believe Peterschick smashed out a window on Detective Leroy Fairbanks' government-issued vehicle April 21 at 5830 N. Division St. and stole fishing poles and a backpack containing electronics, a Glock handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, badge and IDs for the Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

A jail inmate looking for a break on drug charges told detectives of a dumpster at Garland Avenue and Post Street where most of the items had been dumped.

Peterschick, who was arrested in February 2010 for a suspected burglary spree in Pullman, was released from jail after no charges were filed but has been in custody since March on new drug charges.

A grand jury indicted him on the federal charges today in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Thief hits Phillies pitcher’s Wash. home

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Police are searching for thieves who burglarized the Mount Vernon, Wash., home of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick and took his World Series ring.

Lt. Chris Cammock said Monday that the thieves also took other valuable items. He says Kendrick and his family were not home at the time of the burglary, which occurred in late March.

The 26-year-old (pictured in March) graduated from Mount Vernon High School and turned down an opportunity to play quarterback at Washington State to sign with Phillies.

Cammock says he wants to alert the public in case Kendrick's items are resold on the secondary market.

Federal prosecutor’s son jailed in Idaho

The son of a North Idaho federal prosecutor is in the Bonner County Jail for a drunken vehicle prowling spree last December.

Christopher Alan Cook, 22, was ordered this week to serve 30 days in jail for misdemeanor theft after a felony burglary charge was dismissed. He'll be credited for 10 days already served.

Cook was arrested March 20 for a series of car break-ins in Sandpoint between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 335 suspended. He also was fined $1,000 with $700 suspended and will be on unsupervised probation for two years.

Alcohol was a factor in the crime, said Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank.

Cook, of Dalton Gardens, is the son of Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook. He is being housed away from federal inmates at the Bonner County Jail, according to the court documents. Jailers told him he can be placed in a single cell if problems arise, but only as a last resort.

April Fool’s Day burglary arrest ‘no joke’

A suspected burglar told police he'd been suspended from work without pay and had gambled away most of his paycheck trying to win money to pay rent.

Police spotted Luqman F. Muhammad, 32, running from the Pines Manor Apartments office, 512 N. Pines Road, with a lockbox under his arm two minutes after midnight today, said Sgt. Dave Reagan.

A witness had called 911 to report hearing and seeing someone break into the manager's office. Police found cash, checks, rental receipts and paperwork in the box.

Muhammad is due in Superior Court this afternoon on a second-degree burglary charge.

In a news release, Reagan called the April Fool's Day arrest "no joke."

Burglary suspect linked to murder gun

A suspected serial burglar tracked by police using a GPS device is believed to have stolen the gun that was later used in a gang-related murder.

Robert J. Frates’ arrest on Tuesday is his third since December, when police picked him up on suspicion of breaking into several sports card stores in Spokane Valley.

No charges have been filed in that case, but Frates, 27, has a trial scheduled in June for charges related to the sale of stolen property, including several firearms.

One of those firearms, a Ruger Mini rifle, was used in the shooting death of John S. Williams on Jan. 17, 2010, police said.

Read the rest of my story here.

Plea deal expected after shooting mistrial

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against a Spokane Valley man who was facing up to 50 years in prison following an attack on his ex-girlfriend and his former best friend.

Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque declared the mistrial Wednesday after a witness offered testimony that the defense said was a surprise.

The witness said defendant Don R. Davis, 29, admitted possessing a gun that investigators said was used in a drive-by shooting as part of the case.

Defense attorney Rob Cossey objected because that information had not been presented to him by the witness or by Deputy Prosecutor Gayle Ervin in preparation for the trial.

“It was completely out of the blue. It was out of the witness’s mouth before I could do anything,” Cossey said. “I asked for a mistrial and the judge granted it.”

Davis is expected to plead guilty to some of the charges on April 6.

“We think we can reach a resolution,” Cossey said, “but it doesn’t include the attempted murder charges.”

Ervin had charged Davis with 10 criminal charges, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder, following a series of events that began on Oct. 4, 2009, with wild vehicle chase on Interstate 90 that included several collisions as Davis attempted to force his former best friend, Clayton Cooper, off the roadway, according to court testimony.

Davis was also charged with breaking into an apartment and stealing a shotgun that witnesses said was used in a drive-by shooting. Just minutes after that event, deputies conducted a search warrant and found the stolen gun in the trunk of the car Davis was driving, according to court testimony.

If convicted of all charges, Davis faced as much as 411 months in prison plus about 200 months for the weapons charges.

2 arrested in car dealership prowlings

Two teenagers were arrested for breaking into vehicles at a Spokane Valley car dealership early today, police said.

William Russell Kelly and Mecayla Ann Santjer, both 18-year-olds living at 8100 E. Appleway Ave., are due in Superior Court this afternoon on a second-degree burglary charge

A private security guard for Gus Johnson Ford told police about 2:15 a.m. that two people were prowling cars at Appleway Honda on East Sprague Avenue.

Officer Mark Benner arrived to find Kelly and Santjer crawling under a fence. They said they'd been drinking and decided to look at vehicles.

Kelly pocketed disposable face masks, a key fob and several keys while prowling 10 to 15 cars, police said.

3 arrested in Cheney home robbery

Three suspects have been charged  in a gunpoint home-invasion robbery in Cheney last week.

Merle Leon Weeks, 17, Meshion M. Woodruff, 19, and Samuel Chavez, 23, are accused of breaking into their marijuana dealer's home, handcuffing and binding him with an iPod cord and stealing cash, pot and electronics.

Weeks appeared in Superior Court today on charges of second-degree assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment. Woodruff appeared in court Tuesday. Both are in the Spokane County Jail, along with Chavez.

The robbery occurred at March 21 at 15 N. 3rd St.

The victim, David K. Lindsay, 25, went to the Cheney police station at 2:30 a.m. and said two men broke into his home with guns and told him they were the police before ransacking him home. .

Weeks "was a bit emotional" when he was arrested Friday at 620 W. 7th St., in Cheney, and apologized to his mother as he was led to the police car, according to court documents.

He gave a detailed interview to police and has been charged as an adult.

Ex-lover on trial after shooting, chase

The criminal trial began Tuesday in a case the prosecution presented as an angry, drug-induced ex-lover threatening both his former girlfriend and his former best friend.

Don R. Davis, 29, faces a total of 10 charges, including first-degree burglary, drive-by shooting and violation of a no-contact order, in a trial being argued in front of Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Gayle Ervin told the jury that Davis disapproved of the new relationship between his former girlfriend, Nicole Allen, and his former best friend, Clayton Cooper.

The dispute culminated on Oct. 4, 2009, when Davis confronted the couple as they tried to leave Cooper’s home.

Read Tom Clouse's full story here.

Suspects keep showing up after burglary

Suspects in a south Spokane County burglary continued to show up after deputies were called, leading to the arrest of six people Tuesday.

Blaze E. Smith, 40, and William George Tapio, 35, were arrested after a 61-year-old home and shop owner on West Purvis Road blocked them with his vehicle and called Crime Check.

The homeowner had discovered the buildings, which were unoccupied but filled with property, burglarized Monday. The burglars left a hand cart behind; the victim told Deputy Matt Gould he suspected they might return to retrieve it, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Gould responded Tuesday about 12:20 p.m. and found the victim in a Dodge Ram pickup truck on the front lawn as a Chevrolet Lumina tried to leave.

Smith and Tapio were inside, along with 34-year-old Christina Marie Simmons, aka Johnson. Johnson was not arrested but will be charged with burglary later, Detective Dan Blashill said.

At 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, the victim's daughter called Crime Check to say her father was again at the property blocking additional burglars.

Three deputies, a K-9 team and Patrol Sergeant Kris Thompson arrested  Richard C. Rasmusan, 33, who also had an outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrant; Scott G. Klassen, 24, who was driving on a suspended driver’s license; and Joseph A. McKee, 35.

Klassen’s Mazda pickup was also seized pending a search Wednesday.

Burglars wheel away bakery’s safe

Burglars used a wheeled dolly to steal a safe from a Spokane Valley bakery early today or Wednesday, police say.

Employees at Oroweat Bakery, 5424 E. Sprague Ave., believe the theft occurred between 6:45 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. today. An employee arrived at 7:30 a.m. to find the garbage man standing by the unsecured front door.

Police believe the burglars disassembled the front door locket, then rifled desk drawers and files before pulling the "large and heavy" safe from its concrete fixture and rolling it outside on a dolly, according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan. The safe contained cash, business keys and paperwork.

Police also are looking for tips on a burglary that occurred early Wednesday at Spokane Quik Lube,  14704 E. Sprague.

Police responded to an alarm about 1:45 a.m. and found loose change scattered on the floor. The manager said the suspect entered the officer but did not steal cash.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Condom machine stolen in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A burglar who broke into vacant sports bar in Bellingham got away with a condom machine.

Police spokesman Mark Young also says an ATM machine was damaged in the break-in early Tuesday at the old Quarterback Pub. It's been closed for more than a year and fixtures are being auctioned.

The Bellingham Herald reports an auction company employee discovered the burglary. It's unknown if any condoms were left in the machine.

Police: Teens stole $123k in silver, gold

An accidental shooting last summer was linked to a suspected burglary ring involving $123,000 in stolen gold and silver coins, court documents allege.

Joseph S. Denison, 19, brought the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver to a party in Deer Park on Aug. 21, where it accidental discharged and caused a non-life threatening injury to a young woman, according to court documents.

The gun was one of 10 stolen from a home at 5501 E. Handy Road in August, detectives say.

Denison pleaded not guilty to 31 felony charges Wednesday that include several counts of burglary and theft of a firearm. He is not in custody.

Patrick Hayes Wellman, who is in federal custody on Ecstasy and gun charges, is charged with 10 felonies related to the case.

The alleged burglary spree between April and September, including a burglary on Sept. 7 in the 32000 block of North Rimrose Drive in which seven firearms, 85 ounces of gold coins and 1,500 ounces of silver was stolen.

The home belongs to Denison's ex-girlfriend's father, who told police Denison knew of the valuables and knew how to access them.

Detectives believe Wellman also participated in that burglary, along with Anthony D. Fuerte, 18, and Denison's brother, George A. Denison, 20, who also face felony charges.

Hamper hinders burglar in Arizona

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A man is in custody after police say he broke into an Arizona townhome and got stuck in a clothes hamper underneath the window he climbed through.

Mesa police say 20-year-old Michael Trias was arrested on suspicion of burglary and criminal damage.

The East Valley Tribune reports a resident inside the home heard the commotion of Trias becoming entangled in the hamper at about 9 a.m. Thursday.

The owner of the home restrained Trias and was able to take him outside and call police.

Authorities say no property was taken from the home, but there was some damage done to the window.

It was unclear Friday whether Trias has legal representation yet.

Teen arrested on Ecstasy, gun charges

A 19-year-old Spokane man is in custody after a federal drug informant recorded him discussing how he'd stolen firearms and would "shoot it out with the cops" if he was approached.

Patrick Hayes Wellman was arrested on Friday just yards from Glover Middle School and within 1,000 feet of Shadle Park High School, where he attended, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks.

He appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday and is being held without bail at the Spokane County Jail.

Investigators found hundreds of Ecstasy tablets in a safe at Wellman's apartment at 221 S. Adams in Spokane Valley, as well as marijuana on a coffee table and several bongs that "all smelled pretty bad," Drug Enforcement Administration agent Sam Keiser testified on Wednesday.

The DEA began investigating Wellman after a confidential informant told them Friday that Wellman sold large quantities of Ecstasy and repeatably said he could obtain as many pills as he wished.

The informant was to buy 100 pills from Wellman for $450. During a recorded conversation, Wellman allegedly boasted to the informant of stealing firearms; when the informant asked what he would do if stopped by police, Wellman responded "Well, I'm not going to go down easy. I'm going to shoot it out with the cops," Keiser testified.

That comment led police to initiated a traffic stop after tailing Wellman as he drove in Spokane last Friday. Five police vehicles blocked Wellman's car, and he was arrested without incident, Keiser said. He had  a loaded .44 revolver in the car, Keiser said.

Wellman called his girlfriend from jail and told her a possible name of the informant, then asked her to inform two of his friends. The informant told the DEA he received a message from an unknown number saying "We know you're a snitch. You're dead."

Asked by Wellman's public defender if the informant, who was previously arrested on drug charge, won't face criminal charges because of his cooperation, Keiser said, "if it's enough to warrant that, then yes."

Wellman faces federal charges of possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. He's also charged in Spokane County Superior Court with residential burglary, first-degree theft, second-degree car theft, and six counts of theft of a firearm.

Man arrested in post office burglary

A 20-year-old Metaline Falls man faces federal charges for allegedly burglarizing the town's post office last weekend.

Derick Ray Hughes is in the Spokane County Jail without bail after investigators determined he stole a digital camera and three money orders worth $585 from the post office between closing Saturday and opening on Sunday.

Two people who cashed the money orders at a bank in Ione, Wash.m, told a U.S. Postal Inspector that they'd cashed them for Hughes. Hughes admitted to breaking into the post office and stealing the items from packages.

Authorities found other stolen items in his apartment at 109 E. 5th Ave. on Monday, according to court documents.

Two men arrested in a similar break in at a Spokane Valley post office in February are to be sentenced in June.