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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man Guilty Of Weapons, Drug Charges

A Spokane Valley methamphetamine dealer faces at least 15 years in prison after being convicted by a U.S. District Court jury of drug and firearms charges.

Richard Pollard, who hid loaded handguns in his baby’s crib, was tied to at least 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine, commonly call crank, testimony revealed.

The amount is valued at $20,000 wholesale, but could be worth much more if broken down and sold as an estimated 5,000 dosage units.

The case against Pollard, 38, developed in May after an undercover officer bought methamphetamine from a 35-year-old woman who is a Coeur d’Alene mortgage company loan officer.

Surveillance officers followed the woman, Tammi Putnam, to her source of supply, who turned out to be Pollard.

When drug officers searched Pollard’s Greenacres home at 505 S. Coach on May 25, they found one pound of methamphetamine in a tool chest.

They also found five firearms, including two pistols hidden in the baby crib and a sawed-off shotgun near the door, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolf Tangvald.

Putnam, who lived four blocks from Pollard, faces 42 months in prison when she is sentenced Friday for distributing methamphetamine.

The Spokane Valley woman cut a deal with federal prosecutors and agreed to provide “substantial assistance” to avoid a harsher prison sentence.

After a week-long trial, Pollard was convicted Friday of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute the drug.

The auto mechanic also was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a sawed-off shotgun and use of a firearm during drug trafficking.

The jury case was the first federal criminal trial handled by new U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley. He set sentencing for Feb. 9, and ordered Pollard held in jail until then.

As part of the same investigation, Heath Hutchings, 26, of Spokane, pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Ronald Henke, 38, of Loon Lake, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

, DataTimes

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