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ISP gun found in Del Taco drive thru

(AP) — The Idaho State Police is investigating after an off-duty officer's loaded service weapon was found in the parking lot of a North Idaho taco restaurant.

Officials say the officer took off his holster to change his license plates, placed the .45-caliber gun on the top of his truck and drove off without retrieving the weapon. It eventually fell off in the parking lot of Del Taco in Post Falls.

Customer Greg Wiltse spotted the gun as he was pulling into the drive-thru at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He says he put the holstered gun on the floorboard of his truck and called police.

ISP Capt. Curtis Karstens says the case is being treated as a personnel matter and declined further comment. He says it's possible the employee could face disciplinary action.

FBI: Racist felon had ammo, 5 firearms

A Whitman County man arrested on federal gun charges last month had several guns and a large collection of ammunition when investigators searched his properties, a new indictment alleges.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop, 29, faces two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and a forfeiture charge that demands he give up four rifles, a 12-gauge shotgun, and more than 150 rounds of shotgun shells and other ammunition.

A grand jury indicted him on the new charges this week in U.S. District Court.

Hop was convicted in California of third-degree rape of a child in 2005, a felony that prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation April 20 for allegedly possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25.

His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting.

Hop has bragged online about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County. He remains in custody without bail at the Spokane County Jail.
  

Brother: FBI set up taco truck protester

The man who boasted online about taking part in racist protests of taco-trucks in Coeur d’Alene and now faces an illegal weapons charge was the victim of government entrapment, his brother says.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop, 29, was set up earlier this month by an FBI informant who suggested the two of them go shooting and even supplied the shotgun that federal authorities now accuse him of illegally possessing, said Michael Hop, the suspect’s younger brother.

J.D. Hop has a previous felony conviction, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.

“The FBI took him out shooting and then arrested him,” Michael Hop said. “If an informant hands you a gun and asks you to shoot it, that’s entrapment in my book.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage: April 20: Felon targeted by FBI linked to taco truck protests

Reward for tips on taco stand vandalism

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of those responsible for vandalizing a Coeur d'Alene taco stand.

The owner of Tacos Los Panchos in Coeur d'Alene discovered the trailer's power line, propane line and heater line severed when he arrived for work about 8:30 a.m. Feb. 11.

The taco stand also was burglarized Dec. 6, some time after 6:30 p.m. Someone pried open the trailer's main door and stole cash, laptop computer, an MP3 player and DVD player.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (208) 667-2111 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Tipsters do not have to use their name to collect a reward.

The stand also has recently been picketed by white supremacists.

Spokane taco truck attack called hate crime

A man accused of trying to rob a Spokane taco truck owner may have targeted the victim because of his race, new court documents allege.

Michael A. Brewer, 22, has been charged under Washington’s hate-crime law after police say he yelled racial slurs while trying to rob Jonas J. Perez-Lopez at knifepoint last week.

Brewer is to be arraigned on charges of attempted first-degree robbery and malicious harassment April 13 in Spokane County Superior Court. He’s being held at Geiger Corrections Center on $7,500 bail after appearing in court this week.

Charging documents filed Monday accused Brewer of targeting Perez-Lopez because of “his perception of the victim’s race, color, (or) national origin.”

Brewer declined an interview request.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage: Taco seller escapes knife-wielding robber

Taco seller escapes knife-wielding robber

Two men armed with a knife and rock tried to rob a taco stand on Thursday.

The owner of a stand on North Division Street at Walton Avenue said the men approached him about 9:20 p.m. as he was leaving the business with cash. The man with the knife charged him, but the taco seller escaped to a nearby house and called police.

Officers Shawn Kendall and Ben Green found a suspect on foot at Lacrosse Avenue and Addison Street, which led them to a house in the 400 block of East Walton, where a second suspect was located.

Michael A. Brewer, 25, and Tyrelle J. Bailey, 25, were booked into Spokane County Jail each on a charge of attempted first-degree robbery. They’re due in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon via video from the jail.