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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels marijuana archive


Scott Shupe of Change, a medical marijuana dispensary in Spokane, was arrested in Oregon in August with  4 pounds of weed and more than $18,000 in cash.

Shupe, friends protest before sentencing 

Scott Shupe and other medical marijuana dispensary supporters are protesting outside the Spokane County Courthouse right now. They'll be there until at least 4 p.m., when Judge Tari Eitzen is to sentence Shupe, 56, on three felony drug charges. A jury convicted him last month...

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Medical pot bill passes w/o pizza clause

OLYMPIA – Rules for growing, processing and selling medical marijuana passed the Washington state House of Representatives after heated debate Monday on whether the proposed law has enough safeguards to prevent sales to children. Read the rest of Jim Camden's story here. The bill passed...

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Ormsby bros. on 2 sides of medical pot 

There's an odd family dynamic in U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby's shut-down-or-face-federal-prosecution warning to Spokane-area medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday. His younger brother, state Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane, pictured left), is among the Washington legislators trying to legalize and regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana...

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Feds warn local marijuana dispensaries 

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane face federal prosecution if they do not end their operations immediately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Federal authorities hope for voluntary compliance but are prepared “for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” according to a...

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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...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011

Felon arrested w/ pistol, cocaine, weed

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan: A 23-year-old Spokane man was arrested Wednesday evening after a deputy discovered drugs and a pistol inside his vehicle during a traffic stop. Deputy Daryl Smith was southbound on Market from Hawthorne Road about 7:30 p.m. when...

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Pot advocates speak to City Council 

Medical marijuana supporters on Monday urged the Spokane City Council to support local dispensaries after a jury convicted an owner last week of felony drug charges. Representatives from Spokane Indicare and other dispensaries said they fear being shut down after Scott Shupe was found guilty...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011

Verdict a blow to booming pot shops 

Local marijuana dispensaries hoping to earn Spokane the nickname 'Spokansterdam' may be considering a vacation. Jurors on Thursday convicted dispensary owner Scott Q. Shupe (pictured) of possession, delivery and manufacture of a controlled substance for his work at Change, the first commercial dispensary raided in...

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MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011

ederal agents and local authorities raid a medical marijuana operation on Monday, March 14, 2011 in Helena, Mont. Authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Lewis and Clark County sheriff's office and Helena police watched over at least eight people in handcuffs outside Montana Cannabis west of Helena Monday afternoon. The greenhouse is the length of half a football field and packed with marijuana plants.  (Eliza Wiley / (AP Photo/The Independent Record, Eliza Wiley))

Feds raid medical pot shops in Montana 

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Federal agents with guns drawn raided at least 10 medical marijuana operations across Montana on Monday, the same a day that a bill to repeal the state's medical marijuana law stalled in the Legislature. Agents near Helena burst into Montana Cannabis'...

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Scott Shupe of Change, a medical marijuana dispensary in Spokane, was arrested in Oregon in August with  4 pounds of weed and more than $18,000 in cash.

Marijuana dispensary trial begins today

A groundbreaking trial for the area's medical marijuana dispensaries is set to begin today in Spokane. Scott Q. Shupe, 56, faces felony drug charges stemming from a 2009 police raid at Change, a pot dispensary he operated on Northwest Boulevard, near Maple Street. Prosecutors have...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011

Man w/ 50 lbs of pot jailed in Oregon

A Spokane man arrested in Oregon with 50 pounds of marijuana on Sunday remains in jail. Michael Allen Orman, 30, has previous drug convictions in Spokane County in 2007 and 2006. Police say he was driving a rented Dodge Charger when he was stopped about...

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Spokane Police Detective Ben Estes asks Rebeckah Aubertin to leave the Spokane City Council Chambers after she stood and held signs during a presentation from Spokane Police Ombudsman Tim Burns on March 7, 2011.

Pot supporters halt City Council meeting 

Supporters of marijuana legalization briefly halted last night's Spokane City Council meeting. The protesters from Sensible Washington stood during the annual report to the council from Police Ombudsman Tim Burns, prompting City Council President Joe Shogan to order them to sit or leave. Rebeckah Aubertin,...

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Spokane cemetery gunfire leads to arrest

A man upset because he couldn't locate a family member's grave fired a gun in a Spokane cemetery Sunday, leading to his arrest, police said today. Jeffrey B. Holcomb, 32, was arrested after police respond to a report of shots fired at Fairmont Memorial Gardens,...

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2nd man in Hells Angels raid leaves jail

A Hells Angels member arrested on a marijuana charge Thursday in Spokane was released from jail on his own recognizance Friday. Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, 33, was booked into jail Thursday on one felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance after selling marijuana in a...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 25, 2011

Pa. man arrested at 'going away' party

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who threw himself a going away party before his sentencing on drug charges was picked up on an outstanding warrant after police saw information about the party posted on flyers and his Facebook page. Scranton Police Chief Dan...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 24, 2011

Tuna, lost wallet busts robbery suspect

A box of Chicken of the Sea tuna and a lost wallet recently led to felony charges against a Spokane man suspected of robbing a medical marijuana patient at gunpoint. Jesse Ryder Bender, 29, is in jail on $35,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court...

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MONDAY, FEB. 21, 2011

TUESDAY, FEB. 15, 2011

Medical marijuana advocate pleads guilty

A medical marijuana advocate arrested on felony drug dealing charges has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor. Darren J. McCrea, 43, was given a suspended jail sentence and credited for two days already served. He was a given a suspended $5,000 fine, will be on...

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MONDAY, FEB. 14, 2011

Pot provider acquitted of drug charges

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Southwest Washington man who grew marijuana for a dying cancer patient has been acquitted of drug charges. Mark Hensley of Vancouver was arrested a year ago with 133 marijuana plants, many of them small clones. Hensley's lawyer, Douglas Hiatt, says...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 1, 2011

2 cars, 3 lbs of pot seized in Cheney 

A multi-agency marijuana investigation led to the seizure of two cars and 3 1/2 pounds of marijuana in Spokane County recently. Cheney resident Brandon M. Collins, 27, is believed to have led the operation, which detectives say distributed more than five pounds of pot each...

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Hells Angel admits pot smuggling role

A Canadian Hells Angel who fought extradition to Spokane for two years has pleaded guilty to a federal marijuana charge. Brian Lee Hall faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced April 6, but his lawyer said he'll ask that his client receive...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2011

Catapults used to hurl marijuana into US

HERMOSILLO, Mexico (AP) — Drug smugglers are using an ancient invention as a new way to move marijuana across the border from Mexico to Arizona. The discovery of two "drug catapults" in the Mexican state of Sonora marks the latest twist in the cat-and-mouse game...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 21, 2011

Robbery targets medical pot patient

A home-invasion robbery targeting a medical marijuana patient led to the arrests of two suspects this week. Nicholas S. Gardner, 28, and his girlfriend, Jill A. Benton, 26, are in jail on robbery, assault and kidnapping charges for allegedly attacking John J. Beck, 30, on...

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Bill would change medical pot system 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A dozen years after voters approved Washington's medical marijuana system, state lawmakers are debating major changes that would give patients greater protection from arrest and bring the supply chain out of a legal gray area. Patients and advocates packed Thursday's meeting...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 14, 2011

Cop's car probe leads to teen's pot arrest 

A Spokane Valley police officer concerned about a month-old expired license and non-transferred car title ended up arresting a teenager on marijuana charges Thursday night, the police department announced today. Officer Nathan Bohanek identified Justin R. Bavuso, 18, as the owner of a Ford Crown...

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.