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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

SWAT team raids Spokane Valley home deemed a trafficking hub for meth, stolen motorcycles

 (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
(Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team raided a home in Spokane Valley early Thursday after investigators determined it was a trafficking hub for stolen motorcycles and methamphetamine, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detective Jeff Thurman learned in early February about illegal activity at Gary B. Olive’s house, 612 N. Farr Road, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Olive, 50, has eight prior felony convictions and is “well known to deputies and detectives for his decades of law enforcement contacts,” the sheriff’s office said.

Olive and four other people were arrested during Thursday’s raid, and a sixth suspect was pulled over shortly before the raid after deputies observed him driving away from the area, the sheriff’s office said.

The SWAT team staged near Olive’s residence, accompanied by detectives, patrol deputies and fire-rescue personnel.

At about the 7 a.m. deputies watched Michael R. Sisneros, 33, leaving the area in a Nissan Altima. Deputy Jason Karnitz learned Sisneros had a suspended license and followed him onto Interstate 90 before pulling him over near the U.S. Highway 195 interchange, 11 miles west of Olive’s residence. Karnitz also found a bag of meth in Sisneros’ pants pocket, the sheriff’s office said.

At about 7:30 a.m., with the sheriff’s office helicopter circling overhead, the SWAT team moved in and cleared the house, arresting Olive as well as John P. Oak, 50; Kamiel K. Gallagher, 25; Ashley A. Mahome, 27; and Zenediah M. Oswalt, 21.

Olive faces three counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and three counts of “unlawful use of a building for drug purposes.” The five other suspects face charges of drug possession, and Oak was also wanted on a felony warrant.

The sheriff’s office said detectives were still investigating and would likely recommend additional charges. A black 1988 Chevrolet Corvette convertible and a 2001 Honda street bike were also seized by investigators who will begin the asset-forfeiture process, the sheriff’s office said.

Olive’s criminal record dates back more than two decades. In December 1997, he was present for the shotgun slaying of 20-year-old Jeremy Moore.

Olive and Christopher C. Gober, who pulled the trigger, were both initially charged with first-degree murder in connection with Moore’s death. Gober later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter. Olive was sentenced to 331 days in jail, with credit given for the same number of days served, after he pleaded guilty to rendering criminal assistance.

In March 2004, Olive allowed two deputies to search his home on North Farr Road for items that had been reported stolen from a nearby motel. The deputies found meth residue on Olive’s briefcase, a toolbox with “Quality Inn” stenciled on the lid and a motorcycle with the vehicle identification number filed off. Olive ran from the home and tried to avoid arrest by climbing a tree.

In May 2004, a man was stabbed shortly after leaving Olive’s house on North Farr Road. Olive was not charged in connection with the attack.

In July 2011, Olive and five other people were arrested when the Spokane police SWAT team raided a home in the Hillyard neighborhood. He was charged with drug possession.

And in January 2016, Deputy Jeff Thurman, along with other deputies and his police dog, Laslo, arrived to arrest Olive on a felony warrant at a home in Spokane Valley. Two dogs, apparently pit bulls, ran out of the house and attacked the deputies, the sheriff’s office said at the time.

Laslo was wearing a ballistic vest and was uninjured in the attack, but Thurman suffered a puncture wound on one of his legs.

Now a detective, Thurman led the investigation that resulted in Thursday’s SWAT raid.

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