BIG Ecstasy Bust Leads To Arrest Of High School Students
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Federal Grand Jury indicted three Spokane friends Wednesday - two of which are in high school - for charges that range from possession of guns and drugs to threatening a federal agent.
This story all started earlier this month when the Drug Enforcement Agency used an informant to catch suspected ecstasy dealer Patrick Wellman, 19. But that investigation ultimately led to the arrest of his two buddies, 18-year-old Jeramy Allen and 20-year-old Vonne Schafer, after the feds alleged the pair made death threats and vandalized the car of the informant involved in Wellman's case.
Allen and Schafer are charged with damaging the agent's property with "intent to retaliate against a federal informant." They pleaded not guilty at their hearing. Wellman, who was also indicted Wednesday, faces Possession with Intent to Distribute Ecstasy and Carrying a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime.
The story started several weeks ago when the DEA began investigating Wellman on suspicion of selling ecstasy in Spokane. An affidavit says, Wellman had told the informant he could get hundreds of pills and that he could buy "as much ecstasy as he wanted."
The affidavit says, on March 11, the informant arranged to buy 100 ecstasy tablets from Wellman for $450. During the sale, Wellman stated that he had been selling a lot of ecstasy and pulled out a wad of cash to prove it. He also displayed a .44 magnum revolver and told the informant he'd "shoot it out with cops" if they ever tried to arrest him. The feds secretly recorded that conversation.
Later that day, Federal and local law enforcement arrested Wellman near Glover Middle School, and within 1,000 feet of Shadle Park High School, where he went to school.
At this point, Allen and Schafer come into the story. Once they realized an informant was involved in their friend's case, court documents show they vandalized the informant's car and called him with death threats. Those are the felony charges that landed Allen and Schafer in federal court.
At the hearing Wednesday, the federal magistrate ruled that Allen and Schafer could go home to their parent's custody on $25,000 bail. They'll be on a home monitoring system and not allowed any cell phones. The judge also ruled that Allen can go back to Farris High, where he attends school.
Wellman also faces charges in Spokane County Superior Court of residential burglary, first-degree theft, second-degree car theft, and six counts of theft of a firearm.
This story was filed by KHQ reporter Chelsea Kopta
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