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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Man pleads guilty to running ring

A Spokane Valley man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and agreed to a prison sentence of 22 to 25 years.

Daniel Allen Flaherty, 38, admitted running a large, family-based drug trafficking organization that had been operating out of the Tri-Cities. Last October, federal agents seized more than 4 pounds of meth from Flaherty’s storage unit in Spokane Valley.

In all, Flaherty acknowledged with his plea that federal prosecutors could show that he distributed more than 33 pounds of meth as a member of a conspiracy that has included 44 defendants, U.S. Attorney James McDevitt said in a news release.

Prosecutors will seek a 25-year prison term for Flaherty at sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 8.


Man charged with City Hall threat

A Spokane man who police say threatened to blow up Spokane City Hall after being asked to sign in as a visitor Thursday was arrested on a felony charge.

Officers arrested Thomas D. McMillan, 44, at City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., about 12:50 p.m. after staff called police.

According to KHQ TV, police searched McMillan’s home near Gardner Avenue and Elm Street and discovered bomb-making materials.

The materials were disposed of by authorities. No one in the area was evacuated during the disposal, KHQ said.

McMillan faces one count of threatening to bomb or injure property.

“City Hall staff is trained to take all such statements very seriously to protect the public and city employees within the building,” according to a police news release.

Bankruptcy fraud leads to prison

A Spokane man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to fraudulently concealing assets and property during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in 2004.

David M. Pitts, 51, pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court to one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of mail fraud in connection with the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice said in a news release.

Pitts admitted that he failed to list his stock and interest in 3’B’s Management Corp. and the Happy Hooker 2, Limited Partnership, which both owned and operated The Oasis Restaurant and Lounge in Davenport. Pitts also falsely misrepresented his interest in Ray and Sam’s Tavern in Hillyard.

The Oasis burned on May 28, 2005, and the fire was determined to be arson. Pitts denied any involvement in the fire, but he admitted that he inflated his lost income, submitting a false claim for $100,000 after the fire, Rice said.

Killer’s boyfriend fights extradition

The boyfriend of convicted killer Shellye L. Stark, accused of helping her devise a plan to kill her husband, will remain in California for at least a month as he fights extradition to Spokane County.

Brian L. Moore, who turned 43 last week, was due in Orange County Superior Court this morning, but that hearing was postponed until June 11, court records show.

Spokane police now must get a governor’s warrant. That process can take 90 days. Moore, a paralegal, is being held without bond in Orange County, Calif.

He is charged in Spokane County Superior Court with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting of Dale Robert Stark in his Spokane home.

A jury rejected Shellye Stark’s self-defense claim March 18, and she was sentenced to 50 years in prison April 30.

Sex offenders register in area

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware of three Level III sex offenders who have registered new addresses within Spokane County.

Jonathan Lester Cox, 34, will be living in the 4800 block of East Sprague Avenue, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, sheriff’s spokesman. Cox was convicted of first-degree child rape involving a 9-year-old girl in Pierce County. He is white, 6 feet tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Allan R. Cruz-Masga, 22, has registered an address in the 300 block of North Vista Road in Spokane Valley. He was convicted of indecent liberties in Spokane County in May 2002. His victim was an 11-year-old girl. Cruz-Masga is Hispanic, 5-foot-5 and 215 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Shawn De Nelson, 34, will be living on Fifth Street in Cheney. Nelson was convicted in 1995 of first-degree child molestation involving a 4-year-old girl in Grays Harbor, Wash. Nelson is white, 5-foot-7 inches tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

None of the offenders is wanted by law enforcement at this time. However, all are considered likely to re-offend, Reagan said.

North Idaho

Health, dental care available

Free health and dental care are available Saturday at separate events in North Idaho.

Kootenai Health is hosting a health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kootenai Medical Center’s health resource center. Adults can get free evaluations of their cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglyceride and glucose levels, although reservations are required by calling (208) 666-2083. There also will be children’s activities and information booths.

Panhandle Health District is sponsoring free molar sealant service for kids ages 6 to 12 at Dentistry for Kids, 1027 W. Prairie Ave. in Hayden.

Eligible children are those who have no dental insurance, Medicaid coverage or a regular dentist. They also cannot have fillings or decay on the surfaces of their permanent molars. Call (208) 659-7335 for an appointment by today.

Coeur d’Alene

Event to feature Pulitzer winner

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Book Award winner Timothy Egan will speak in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 8, presenting the Idaho Humanities Council’s sixth annual Northern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture.

The event, to be held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, includes dinner, the lecture and a book signing. Tickets are $45.

Egan has written five books. His most recent, “The Worst Hard Time,” about survivors of the 1930s Dust Bowl, won the 2006 National Book Award for nonfiction.

He also shares a 2001 Pulitzer Prize, as part of a New York Times team, for the series “How Race is Lived in America.”

Egan will speak about the book he is releasing this fall, “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America,” about the blaze of 1910 that destroyed North Idaho forests.

Egan is an online, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, writing his “Outposts” feature once a week.

Tickets are available online at, under “IHC Events,” or by calling (888) 345-5346.

From staff reports

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