Our network

Crime

Spokane developer sentenced for fraud charges

Spokane developer sentenced for fraud charges

Spokane developer Greg Jeffreys was sentenced Monday for fraud charges dating back to 2006.

Jeffrey's pleaded guilty in November 2013 to multiple charges including wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit felony criminal contempt.

Jeffrey's operated several fraudulent schemes in and around Spokane and Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the most notable, defaulting on a $2.6 million loan as part owner of the Ridpath Hotel.

In a statement, US Attorney Micheal Ormsby said, "Greg Jeffrey's became a notorious fraudster in the Spokane area and elsewhere. I commend the FBI and members of my office for their dedication and tenacity in unraveling Jeffreys' fraudulent schemes."

Jeffrey's was sentenced to eight years in federal prison followed by five years surveillance. He was also ordered to pay $9.3 million in restitution.

Police run 'hot spot special' targeting property crimes across the city

Police run 'hot spot special' targeting property crimes across the city

Most of us are lucky enough to never fall victim to violent crime, but property crime can happen to anyone so Spokane Police are trying to stop those responsible.

Over the weekend the police department ran a 'hot spot special,' where officers focus on enforcing a particular crime in a particular spot.

This weekend it was city-wide property theft. They contacted a total of 20 people over the weekend which resulted in three arrests.

Spokane Police recovered a stolen vehicle at Central and Standard and found drugs inside. That incident nabbed two arrests, one of them being felony.

Michael Etue, 34, was arrested on a felony warrant for possession of a stolen motor vehicle and was also charged for possession of controlled substance for methamphetamine.

Spokane Police think that many of the property crimes are drug driven.

"This is what we see. We've seen it for years and years. Property crimes are related in drugs in many ways," Spokane Police Captain Keith Cummings said.

Car prowlings on the rise along Centennial Trail

Car prowlings on the rise along Centennial Trail

The holiday weekend is here and if you're planning on spending it on the Centennial Trail the Sheriff's Office wants you to leave your valuables at home.

Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in the past week they have seen 16 reported incidents.

"It's not specifically located, its all the way from the west planes to the Idaho state Lines," said Chamberlin.

Thieves are nabbing whatever they can get their hands on, from purses to even individual checks. People don't realize they have been victimized until later after they find a missing check, or are notified from their banks.

With the trail heads being so secluded, Spokane resident Austin Becker said it just goes to show, "You're not safe in the daylight."

Becker said that even though he tries to be cautious when out on the trails, "I always have that in the back of my head. I hope no windows are broken and everything is still in there."

According to the Sheriff's Office, that is exactly how the robberies are happening.

"They're wasting no time. Now we are seeing a lot of smash and grabs where they are breaking windows to grab things that are out in plane view," said Chamberlin.

Multiple victims claim they fell victim to online sexual predator

Multiple victims claim they fell victim to online sexual predator

More women are coming forward, five since they beginning of the year, saying they've been a victim to an alleged online predator.

According to court documents multiple victims say 24-year-old Michael McNearney contacts women online, begins a relationship with them and then steals their money. Allegedly he's had a history since 2010 involving at least a dozen women that include charges such as indecent liberties, theft, unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree assault and second-degree assault.

On Tuesday he was in a Spokane courtroom facing another charge: Second-degree rape.

In March a woman came forward after seeing McNearny's photo on the news. She filed a report back in June of 2012 but didn't know who the suspect was other than his name was Mike. According to court documents she met him on a dating website and agreed to meet at a Spokane bar. She told police McNearney took her back to his home in north Spokane and raped her.

Police reports detail how detectives tracked down suspects in Shorty's death

Police reports detail how detectives tracked down suspects in Shorty's death

Investigative reports released in relation to the killing of WWII veteran Delbert "Shorty" Belton are giving a behind the scenes look at how Spokane Police detectives tracked down the two teens suspected of beating Belton to death.

Detectives painstakingly searched for evidence in Shorty Belton's murder and found surveillance video that put both suspects at the scene.

One of the suspects alleged Belton, 88, was a drug dealer, but the reports indicated the exact opposite of that allegation, that there was nothing inside the man's car or background that suggested he was a drug dealer. In fact, detectives were contacted by one witness who said she heard the "drug dealer alibi" was conjured up by one of the suspects' friends in the hopes of sparing the teens the death penalty.

Belton's death still has all the hallmarks of a non-race related strong armed robbery. Scuff marks on his car show Belton was accosted outside his vehicle, shoved in the back seat and then beaten with fists and perhaps a flashlight, that was broken when police found it.

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Newly unsealed court documents are revealing new details of a massive drug ring busted in Spokane last year that shows how a group of California gangsters trafficked thousands of OxyContin pills into Spokane every few days on commercial flights.

The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a series of raids in Spokane in February 2013. At the time, federal prosecutors had the court records sealed, so the only information released was that the drug ring involved OxyContin and that 41 people were arrested. The raid also led to the arrest of Sally Blakely Guthrie, who owns Flamin' Joe's restaurant.

This week, the ringleader of the group pleaded guilty to two federal charges. With that plea, many of the court records were made public. Federal prosecutors say Richard Haynes, aka "Tiny Schoolie," was the leader of the trafficking organization and part of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, a street gang operating in Spokane and Los Angeles.

Police searching for Lion's Lair shooter

Police searching for Lion's Lair shooter

A bouncer at the Lion's Lair was injured after an early-morning shooting Thursday and now Spokane Police are searching for the two suspects involved in the incident.

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. outside the Lions Lair bar at Browne and Riverside. According to Spokane police, witnesses said the two men were kicked out of the bar earlier in the evening following a fight.

The men then came back, driving a silver Pontiac Trans Am, and fired multiple rounds at the bar from the sidewalk, targeting the bouncer through the window. At least two rounds hit a window and the bouncer was hit in the leg. He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injury.

Patrol officers were on the scene in less than two minutes.

"What we found were two bullet holes in [the] front window of the Lion's Lair tavern and one of the employees, a bouncer inside, with a bullet wound to his leg," Spokane Police Lieutenant Dean Sprague said. "Injuries are non-life threatening, he's currently being treated up at the hospital."

The wounded bouncer never lost consciousness and was able to give police a pretty good idea about what had happened.