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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Children found at meth raid

Two children were taken from a squalid home in Mead early Monday during a methamphetamine raid that netted two arrests.

Child Protective Services took custody of a 7-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy while the two adults were being booked into jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine, said Sgt. Dave Reagan of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The inside of the small home in the 12500 block of North Freya Street was filthy, Reagan said. Dirty clothes were strewn around, there was little food in the refrigerator and the septic system was backed up, apparently plugged for years, Reagan said.

Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, sheriff’s detectives and members of the SWAT team raided the home near the former Mead Middle School about 6 a.m.

They were looking for a methamphetamine lab but found only user amounts in a bedroom of the two adults. They were identified as the children’s mother, Heather Luding, 31, and her boyfriend, Brian L. Mann, 41, a felon with a lengthy criminal history.

The drugs were easily accessible to the children, Reagan said.

The property was raided for methamphetamine twice in 2009, and Jerry F. McDowell, Jr., 49, is serving a 55-month prison sentence for manufacturing meth there. McDowell’s father owns the property; the informant told police Mann began making meth there after the younger McDowell was imprisoned.

Detectives are also undertaking a drug-endangered child investigation that could result in additional charges against the adults.

“They are being exposed to things children that age shouldn’t be exposed to,” Reagan said.

Detectives reported that the little girl said she had trouble sleeping at night because of mice in the walls and spiders that bit her, Reagan said.

In addition, county zoning officials have obtained a court agreement to have the property cleaned, Reagan said.

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