Spokane Valley detectives, SWAT team members and patrol deputies served a search warrant at a house that was supposed to be vacant, but has been a problem in the neighborhood for several months due to squatters. In serving the warrant, officers detained six people and arrested 51-year-old Jesse R. Adams Jr. for a burglary warrant.
The search was obtained as part of an ongoing investigation of possession and sale of controlled substances, stolen vehicles, and unlawful possession of a firearm by several suspects who were believed to be squatting at the vacant house owned by an out of state mortgage company in the 8500 block of E. Cataldo. Deputies say the neighbors have reported problems at the house 25 times since the beginning of the year. Those reports included drugs, assaults, and suspicious person calls. At the time there was no power at the house and generators were used to help keep the people inside warm.
SWAT team members successfully detained six people without incident and Adams was arrested for his outstanding warrant. That burglary warrant stems from another house on E. Cataldo where he was believed to be squatting.
Detectives recovered a stolen car, meth, pills, stolen checks, stolen gun cases and ammo. They also collected evidence of a drive-by shooting which was believed to have occurred before Thanksgiving, but the stolen guns themselves were not found,.
In the course of the investigation, Detectives went to another house frequented by known criminals in the 9600 block of E. Broadway. They did not locate the weapons, but contacted a suspect well-known to law enforcement, identified as 35-year-old Frank R. Martinez. Martinez was arrested on a Washington State DOC warrant (original charges of Robbery 1st degree and burglary 1st degree).
Detectives believe several people and known criminals are squatting at these and other vacant houses in the area. Deputies say the vacant houses seem to be a hotbed for criminal activity, which causes people in the surrounding neighborhoods to be victimized. Deputies say they are aware of the issues as well as frustration and worry by neighbors in the area. Deputies want to assure those neighbors the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.
Anyone with information regarding criminal activity at these houses should call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 and provide as much detail as possible without putting yourself at risk.