An early morning drug raid turned into a shootout between two men and Bonner County authorities Wednesday.
No one was wounded in the gunbattle, but several bullets hit a deputy’s hand-held shield, and a bulldog was shot and killed after it attacked officers inside the house.
Authorities initially arrested three people accused of running a methamphetamine lab. Later in the day, a man who fled on foot after shooting at officers was caught at a nearby residence.
As the Idaho drug bust erupted in gunfire, a similar raid unfolded across the state line in Pend Oreille County without incident.
Two suspects who were arrested about eight miles southwest of Newport were sleeping when officers entered their home with a search warrant. Robert P. Todd, 32, and Carol A. Pierce, 38, surrendered without resistance.
Todd was arrested on a warrant charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and Pierce was arrested for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Pend Oreille County sheriff’s deputies were helped by about 80 officers from Spokane, Spokane County, the Washington State Patrol and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration helicopter circled overhead and a medical helicopter was positioned nearby as officers closed in.
In Bonner County, officers arrived at the house on Dufort Road, about 25 miles southwest of Sandpoint, at 4 a.m. Two gunmen were outside in the dark.
“As quick as we made the announcement we were (law enforcement) these guys opened fire,” said Bonner County Sheriff Chip Roos.
Craig Carey, a 44-year-old transient, was arrested for attempted first-degree murder. He allegedly fired twice at officers with a .22-caliber pistol. He is being held on a $500,000 bond. Lonnie Alford, of Diamond Lake, also could face an attempted murder charge when he appears in court today.
Diana Lynn Pass, 38, and Joyce Biby, 55, both of Priest River, were charged with possession of a controlled substance. They are in the Bonner County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
Carey and Alford were about 80 feet from Deputy Rob Rahn when they fired their handguns, Roos said. He said it appears three bullets struck the shield Rahn was carrying for protection.
“It was an odd time of morning for two people to be outside, but they were. We were compromised as soon as we arrived,” Roos said, adding agents expected to catch the suspects asleep.
Authorities exchanged several rounds of gunfire with the two men.
“One suspect (Carey) hit the dirt and stayed there,” Roos said. “The other one split into the brush.”The man who fled laid in a junkyard most of the day and then hid in a nearby residence. He gave up without a struggle after officers found him.
Once authorities made their way inside the suspected drug house, they arrested the women.
An undisclosed amount of methamphetamine was found along with chemicals for making the drug. A hazardous materials team from Coeur d’Alene was called in to remove the chemicals. The chemicals are lethal before they are mixed to make the drug, Roos said.
At least one weapon was also confiscated from the home.
Officials in both states still are looking for Charles V. Huckabee, 34, of Cocolalla. Huckabee is wanted on a Bonner County drug warrant as well as Pend Oreille County warrant to failure to make a court appearance related to a first-degree negligent driving conviction earlier this year.
But Dick Arend, Pend Oreille County undersheriff, said the incident sends a message to drug traffickers.
“Even though this department itself may not have the elaborate resources and manpower that some of the other departments have, we certainly have access to those resources.”
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