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Man wanted for stealing from grandfather

A Spokane man accused of stealing from his grandfather by forging his checks is wanted by Crime Stoppers.

Bryan Henry Morales, 32, was to begin trial this week on a leading organized crime charge for allegedly directing men to cash the forged checks, which cost his grandfather, John Camacho, more than $7,000, according to court documents. He also faces separate charges of forgery and delivery of a controlled substance

Morales never showed up for a pre-trial hearing, and a $10,000 warrant for his arrest was issued Jan. 31.

Crime Stoppers on Wednesday offered a reward for tips that lead to his arrest.

Tod Michael Ives, 49, is charged with nine counts of second-degree identity theft for allegedly cashing the checks. Thomas D. Plante, 28, faces 10 counts.

Morales, 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, last gave an address in the 1200 block of South Rotchford Drive in the Spokane Valley.

Anyone with information Morales' location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Man accused of leading organized crime

 Spokane man has been charged with leading organized crime for an alleged counterfeit check operation.

Henry Patrick Bevans III, 28, pleaded not guilty today to the felony charge in Spokane County Superior Court where he was sentenced in October to a year in jail for drug and escape from community custody charges.

The investigation by U.S. Postal Inspector Shannon Saylor, a member of the Financial Crimes Task Force, began when a Jiffy Lube corporate employee reported to police in October 2010 that someone had used the business' Banner Bank account to manufacture counterfeit payroll checks.

The checks, between $487 and $2,230, were cashed at locations in Spokane and Spokane Valley. But the business notified police when the checks were returned as counterfeit. In November 2010, police arrested Bevans on a felony warrant at 2820 N. Cherry and, along with methamphetamine, found items related to the counterfeit check operation after obtaining a search warrant.

According to court documents, Bevans told police in January that he helped find people to cash checks for Ronald R. Foreman, who also is charged with leading organized crime. Bevans said a lot of people owed him money for drug debt. (Bevans was arrested again in March after a feed store employee noted his lack of teeth when he purchased two pounds of a substance commonly used to cut methamphetamine.)

Leading organized crime charge can carry 10 to 15 years in prison. The charge alleges a defendant directed three or more people to participate in criminal activity. Bevans is accused of directing eight people to cash the counterfeit checks, according to court documents.

Facing theft and/or forgery charges are Artem G. Kuznetsov, 20; Jenelle L. Cuculich, 25; Charles E. Spetter, 47; Jessica R. Edie, 24; Jeremy L. Cronk, 27; Jayde M. Hines, 26; Ryan L. McDowell, 25; and Erin R. Fredrick, 23.

Man accused of leading organized crime

An alleged counterfeit check and identity theft ring has led to a leading organized crime charge against a 30-year-old Spokane man.

Kyle R. Aiken is one of 14 people facing charges in the case, which involved Aiken creating counterfeit checks using stolen bank account and personal identification information stolen during car prowlings by co-conspirators in Spokane County. The checks were cashed at stores throughout the county in August and early September, according to court documents.

Investigators believe Aiken, who lives in the 4000 block of North Cannon Street, directed at least six people to engage in forgery, theft and identify theft, which led prosecutors to charge him with lading organized crime.

The charge can carry a sentence of about 10 years.

Also facing charges are Donnelle C. Velasquez, 41, and her juvenile son; Alicia M. Rumburg, 22; Samuel J. Aldrich, 28; Alexander R. Jarman, 19; Sarah E. Perrenaud, 24; Stephanie R. Kutulas, 32; Charles W.B. Walrath, 26; Ronda M. Mason, 28; Tyler C. Berens, 19; Chelsea R. Barnes, 23; Kirk P. Robinson, 21; and Kristina M. Centorbi, 23.

Two search warrants were executed during the investigation, one by the Spokane Police Department’s Targeted Crimes Unit and Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT), and one conducted by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Task Force.

Alleged burglary ring leads to 17 charges

A 21-year-old Spokane man was arraigned on 17 felony charges Tuesday for a burglary spree that initially prompted authorities to consider charges of leading organized crime.

Trevor J. Haugen pleaded not guilty to nine counts of residential burglary, one count of first-degree theft, and seven counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property for a series of burglaries in the Nine Mile, Indian Trail and Five Mile Prairie neighborhoods in north Spokane County.

Haugen and a 17-year-old boy are accused of stealing jewelry, silverware, TV, iPods and other electronics from homes between May 6 and June 27, then selling the items at pawn shops.

Several people are believed to have sold items for Haugen and suspect Bo R. Poffenroth, 25, prompting authorities to file leading organized crime charges that have since been dismissed.

Haugen is at Geiger Corrections Center on $100,000 bond.

Organized crime suspect arrested again

A woman awaiting trial on a charge of leading organized crime was arrested early Sunday after a sheriff's deputy found her inside a stolen car.

 Kristina L. Fricke, 41, of Spokane Valley, told Spokane County sheriff's Deputy Phil Pfeifer about 3:30 a.m. that she'd stopped her white Ford Escort alongside East Upriver Drive at East Fruit Hill Road because the exhaust sounded funny, according to a news release.

But Pfeifer didn't believe the exhaust was the only thing that sounded funny - Fricke claimed to have just purchased the car, but a check of its license plates revealed it had been reported stolen.

Fricke had a bill of sale for the car, but it was missing a date of sale and the name of a purchaser, according to the Sheriff's Office. The key used to start the car was shaved, along with two other keys on the ring. Fricke was arrested and booked into jail for driving with a suspended license, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and three counts of possession of motor vehicle theft tools.

Fricke is scheduled for trial next month on a leading organized crime charge and a slew of identity theft charges for allegedly directing at least seven people to commit identity theft and check fraud in a drug-fueled scheme that victimized dozens of people, according to police.

Man wanted for leading organized crime

A suspected methamphetamine dealer who investigators say equipped his Spokane Valley home with surveillance video and a tripwire while orchestrating an identity theft scheme is wanted by police.

 Detectives spent months building a case against Ronald R. Foreman, (left) who left jail on $40,000 bond after a SWAT team raid at his home on 21st Avenue off Evergreen Road last March.

Crime Stoppers this week issued a reward for tips that lead to his capture on a new charge of leading organized crime in a case that depends on testimony from convicted criminals, including a woman who identified herself as the ex-girlfriend of Foreman and his wife.

Foreman faces about 10 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

March 5: Massive check fraud ring uncovered in Valley

The same Valley property crime unit that investigated Foreman investigated another major stolen check ring that led to leading organized crime charges against two women.

Kimberly L. Fawver, 37, (right) and Krstina L. Fricke, 41, are accused of directing at least seven people to commit identity theft and check fraud in a drug-fueled scheme that victimized dozens of people, according to police.

Both women also face a slew of burglary and identity theft charges.

Other defendants in the case include Allen S. Easley, who was sentenced to 100 months in prison in December. He had been arrested at pawn shop in May with Fawver's daughter.

The leading organized crime charge has been filed a number of times in Spokane County Since its inception in 2001.

Read about a woman sentenced to 12 years here.

Meth maker accused of check fraud ring

A multi-state check fraud ring police say was masterminded by a convicted methamphetamine maker led to the SWAT-team arrest of the suspect Thursday night.

Ronald R. Foreman, 43, is to appear in Superior Court today on one charge of leading organized crime via video feed from the jail and could face an additional felony for allegedly possessing methamphetamine, police said today.

Foreman is thought to be the ringleader of up to a dozen people who, since December, have been writing fraudulent checks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, police said. More arrests are expected.

Court records show he was arrested on similar charges two months ago, as well as bank robbery charges in 2008. The robbery charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of riot, according to news archives. In 2003, he was sentenced to 29 months in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Foreman surrendered peacefully Thursday about 6 p.m. as the SWAT team was preparing to enter his home at 13718 E. 21st Ave.

Detectives think Foreman manufactured counterfeit check and identifications “which were used by confederates to bilk banks and businesses out of thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise,” according to a news release. Checking account numbers often were stolen from outgoing mail at residential and roadside mailboxes, police said.

“Victim businesses included Leo’s Studio, Our Golden Flax, Vorpahl-Wing Securities and Sterling Savings,” the news release said. “Some checks were produced to look like payroll checks while other phony checks were used to purchase merchandise.”

Investigators also seized 15 computer hard drives, a safe, at least 13 laptop computers, a pair of flat-screen televisions and other computer components from Foreman’s home Thursday, which was wired with surveillance cameras.

Authorities found ingredients that could be used to make explosives at a building in Spangle, but no evidence was found that Foreman intended to do so and the substances were not seized, police said.

Leading organized crime carries a hefty sentence. Read about a conviction that sent a woman to prison for 12 years here.