10,000 Pills Per Week Coming Into Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

10,000 Pills Per Week Coming Into Spokane

Posted: Updated:
Court records show how a massive Oxycontin drug ring, run mostly by gang-members from Los Angeles, infiltrated Spokane, sold their drugs, and then got away again. Court records show how a massive Oxycontin drug ring, run mostly by gang-members from Los Angeles, infiltrated Spokane, sold their drugs, and then got away again.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's long been no secret that many people in Spokane have issues with drugs. But for a long time, what was a well-kept secret was where those drugs were coming from, especially narcotic painkillers. New court documents, filed this week in Spokane, finally pull back the covers on those closely guarded secrets.

The court records show how a massive Oxycontin drug ring, run mostly by gang-members from Los Angeles, infiltrated Spokane, sold their drugs, and then got away again. All of it happening in just a matter of hours.

One of the suspected ringleaders, Richard Haynes, pleaded guilty in federal court to multiple criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking. If the plea deal is accepted, he will spend at least 20 years in prison.

Court documents show that in June, 2011 the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force began investigating illegal oxycontin trafficking by L.A. street gang "Eight Trey Gangster Crips." The gang was selling pain pills between L.A. and Spokane. In August, the DEA Spokane office joined the investigation. In October, both the L.A. DEA and the LAPD also joined the investigation.

During that investigation, agents found evidence that the group had been dealing the pills in Spokane and L.A. since 2008. Court documents show that the pills were obtained by using suspect doctors and/or medical staff who prescribe medications for profit, suspect pharmacists and/or pharmacies who fill the illegally obtained prescriptions for profit, and numerous elderly people and/or medically disabled people who help obtain the prescription drugs for profit.

Once the gang had the pills, the group had women wear "body packs" with about 2,000 pills each. They'd travel commercial airlines from L.A. to Spokane, bringing in as many as 10,000 illegal pills every week. In L.A. the pills cost $10-12, but in Spokane the pills went for as much as $20-22. The proceeds, often as much as $100,000 a week, was then sent back to L.A., hidden in the checked bags of the same women.

Evidence found that Richard Haynes (aka Tiny Schoolie, Swag) worked as an upper-level leader, and eventually he was found to be the ringleader.

From August 2012 to December 2012 investigators wire-tapped two cell phones used by Haynes. During that four-month period they intercepted 4,100 drug-trafficking related conversations. While monitoring one of the women who flew from Spokane to L.A. DEA agents used a search warrant and found 73 rubber-band wrapped bundles of $1,000 bills in a suitcase. They put the money back in the suitcase, then LAPD followed the woman that picked up the suitcase to a money stash house.

Later that summer, DEA agents monitoring text messages sent between Haynes and female drug courier Erika Wood decided to check Wood's suitcase as she was leaving Spokane. They used a 'sneak and peak' warrant to search her bag, and found $107,000 in a plastic bag, along with 200 oxycontin pills. Agents took both, to use as evidence. When she got to L.A., Woods was told her bag was misplaced, but would be on the next flight. Woods then contacted Haynes and said she is nerbous and plans to keep walking when they give her the bag. Woods tells Haynes to take care of her son if anything happens to her, and that she is going to delete his messages now, and don't text back. Woods then contacts Haynes and says she received her bag, but isn't going to look at it until she's out of the airport and knows where to go. Later, Woods tells Haynes her bag has has been searched, and there is no money or drugs. At first they believe law enforcement seized the money and pills, but as time passes and Erika Woods is not arrested, they believe that TSA agents took the money and drugs.

In March of 2013, DEA agents served a dozen federal warrants across Spokane and L.A., nabbing nearly 60 suspects, including the owner of the Flamin' Joes restaurants in Spokane.

Haynes is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:42:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Idaho boy recovering from rattlesnake bite

    Idaho boy recovering from rattlesnake bite

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:26 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:26:12 GMT
    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A 6-year-old western Idaho boy who suffered a rattlesnake bite on his big toe is recovering in the intensive care unit at a Spokane hospital. Courtney Hines of Culdesac tells the Lewiston Tribune  that her son, Kaden McKenzie, was bitten on Saturday afternoon at the beach, about nine miles south of Asotin.>>
    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A 6-year-old western Idaho boy who suffered a rattlesnake bite on his big toe is recovering in the intensive care unit at a Spokane hospital. Courtney Hines of Culdesac tells the Lewiston Tribune  that her son, Kaden McKenzie, was bitten on Saturday afternoon at the beach, about nine miles south of Asotin.
    >>
  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:42:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
  • Action Cam: Lunch Ladies Convene In Spokane!

    Action Cam: Lunch Ladies Convene In Spokane!

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:19 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:19:32 GMT
    KHQ.COM - “You Are the Stars of Child Nutrition!” is the theme for the Washington School Nutrition Association’s annual state conference. The theme emphasizes the fact that, just like principals and teachers, by doing what they do every day, the 2300+ individual members of WSNA play an important role in student learning.>>
    KHQ.COM - “You Are the Stars of Child Nutrition!” is the theme for the Washington School Nutrition Association’s annual state conference. The theme emphasizes the fact that, just like principals and teachers, by doing what they do every day, the 2300+ individual members of WSNA play an important role in student learning.>>