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Car chase suspect had $18,000 worth of meth, says Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says this bag of meth was part of a stash of more than 9 ounces of the drug that deputies found while arresting 30-year-old Trevor J. McLaughlin on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office)
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says this bag of meth was part of a stash of more than 9 ounces of the drug that deputies found while arresting 30-year-old Trevor J. McLaughlin on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office)

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says deputies used a Taser to stop a suspect who led them on a car chase while in possession of more than half a pound of methamphetamine Sunday evening.

Trevor J. McLaughlin’s head hit the ground as the Taser shocked him, and he was taken to the hospital to be treated for a cut, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The 30-year-old was booked into jail Monday afternoon on charges of eluding police, resisting arrest, drug possession and possession of a stolen vehicle.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the pursuit began at about 6:20 p.m. Sunday, when Deputy Brad Humphrey checked the license plate of a beige Kia with two men inside that was traveling slowly near the intersection of Maple Street and Fourth Avenue. Humphrey’s computer showed the car had been reported stolen on Friday, so he followed it and requested assistance.

Once other deputies and Spokane police officers were behind him, Humphrey flipped on his emergency lights to pull over the Kia as it turned east onto 14th Avenue, and McLaughlin immediately accelerated, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Humphrey got in position to ram the Kia as it traveled around 25 mph, but McLaughlin slammed on the brakes and turned in front of Humphrey, causing the deputy’s car to hit the Kia’s rear end, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Spokane police Officer Mark Brownell threw a spike strip in front of the Kia as it headed north across the Maple Street bridge, deflating its two front tires, and McLaughlin stopped the vehicle just south of Maxwell Avenue, the Sheriff’s Office said. As McLaughlin ran away, Humphrey spotted a container fall to the ground, and officers detained the passenger, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputy Natalie Woolard caught up to McLaughlin near Maxwell and Ash Street and ordered him to stop running before deploying her Taser, the Sheriff’s Office said. He fell to the ground but continued to resist while Woolard, Humphrey and some police officers put him in handcuffs, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Humphrey returned to the Kia and found the container he had spotted earlier. Inside, he found two bags of a crystalline substance that later tested positive for meth, the Sheriff’s Office said. It weighed more than 9 ounces and had a street value of about $18,000, the Sheriff’s Office said. Authorities believe McLaughlin planned to sell it.

McLaughlin’s passenger was released from the scene and was not charged with a crime. A search of the Kia turned up scales, hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The incident is under investigation by the Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force, a team of local, state and federal authorities that combats gang activity and drug trafficking.

Newspaper records show McLaughlin has previous convictions for drug possession and driving with a suspended license.

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