Friday, December 12, 2008

Feds: Drug smuggling attempt busted at Birch Point

Federal officials say two Canadians were arrested on a beach in northwest Washington as they were allegedly preparing to smuggle about 260 pounds of cocaine into Canada on a personal watercraft.

Federal officials say two Canadians were arrested on a beach in northwest Washington as they were allegedly preparing to smuggle about 260 pounds of cocaine into Canada on a personal watercraft.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Lorie Dankers, says 48-year-old Dhymitruy Bouryiotis and 36-year-old Montgomery Read Hill, both from the Vancouver, British Columbia, area, were arrested for investigation of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

An agency news release says that at about 1:30 a.m. Friday, federal border agents observed a person, later identified as Bouryiotis, moving heavy objects from a home to the shoreline at Birch Point, southwest of Blaine and a short distance south of the Canadian border.

About 2:30 a.m., a personal watercraft approached the beach and the operator, identified as Hill, met up with Bouryiotis on the beach, where they were arrested.

Agents found five bags on the beach filled with packages of suspected cocaine.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Client assaults public defender


LYNNWOOD, Wash. – He is always on the "other side of the fence" – arguing for leniency for the alleged bad guys.

But this time, a local public defender reportedly fell prey himself to a client's fist.

He didn't see it coming, but there is visual testimony that this unsuspecting lawyer was caught off-guard.

"I have a broken nose, I have the black eyes, and it's kind of bleeding over to the other side," said Jim Feldman. "It doesn't feel great. I'm wondering how I didn't see it coming."

"I leaned down to get to the file. The next thing I experienced was a punch," he continued. "Then he hit me again. I felt the second punch."

Outside attorney Jim Feldman's office door, associate attorney Joseph Jordan responded to the fracas.

"I heard a scuffle and a punch," he said. "I was trying to get into the room, he was trying to get out of the room and he pushed me aside."

The suspect allegedly tried to flee the office, but then other workers attacked him right outside the door.

"I just chased him out to the parking lot and I guess I tackled him in the parking lot," said Jordan.

Tuesday's brouhaha erupted from a seemingly minor complaint. David Linden allegedly visited the office of his former attorney demanding a consultation on an old DUI case.

"He was obviously getting more agitated, his voice was rising somewhat," said Feldman. "I said, just sit down and be calm, I don't want to have to call the police."

Feldman says the suspect hit him twice – the first time on the cheekbone.

Now, this public defender finds himself in a unique position.

"I'm always on the other side of the fence, arguing for leniency for the defendant, and now the level of violence impacted me directly," he said.

Police arrested the suspect for second-degree assault. Feldman is still considering how lenient he now feels.

Attorney Jim Feldman has worked as a public defender for nearly 35 years, and although he's been verbally attacked, he says he's never faced physical violence before.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Police arrest two in home invasion robbery


Snohomish County sheriff's detectives have arrested two men suspected in a home invasion robbery during which the victim was tied up for several hours.

The robbery happened on Dec. 4 sometime between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at a home in the 9000 block of 163rd Avenue SW.

Investigators said the two men overpowered a woman who was home alone at the time and tied her up. They then stole a pickup truck and some guns.

On Monday, Tacoma police stopped a car for a traffic violation and found the passenger, a 40-year-old man, with a bag that had some of the items stolen in the robbery. That man was booked into the Pierce County Jail.

On Tuesday, Snohomish County deputies arrested a 31-year-old Arlington man, also during a traffic stop, and booked him into the Snohomish County Jail. Both are expected to face charges connected with the home invasion robbery, including robbery, kidnapping and burglary.

The sheriff's office said the men likely cased the neighborhood prior to the robbery and selected the victim's home after deciding there would be valuables inside. Detectives have recovered some of the stolen items.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two Port of Seattle executives resign in fraud scanda


SEATTLE – Two Port of Seattle executives have resigned in the wake of the Port fraud scandal and more employees could be punished.

“Both employees submitted their resignation after being confronted with this information and I have accepted their resignation,” said Port CEO Tay Yoshitani.

A disciplinary report was released Tuesday morning. Most of the fraud findings involve the third runway at Sea-Tac Airport and a cozy relationship between several Port executives and contractors which resulted in things like altered invoices and no competition in some of the bidding.

Yoshitani identified the executives who resigned as Larry McFadden, General Manager of Port Construction Services and John Rothney, Project Manager for the third runway.

No further resignations or firings have been announced, but more discipline is expected.

The Port’s chief engineer will receive a three week suspension without pay due to his knowledge of a memo in his possession that identified the misrepresentation of some documents that went to the elected Port commission.

Three senior managers have received one week suspension without pay for failing to mention the contingent nature of these contract adjustments that lowered the value of a bid.

A letter of reprimand has been placed in the files of the deputy CEO, the Sea-Tac Airport director and the general counsel because of their positions of authority.

Through all of it, the lead investigator, former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay, says they found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by individuals.

Though they have no totals, the auditors say millions were wasted. They say one contractor known as TTI made profits on the third runway that were double and even triple the normal amount.

Yoshitani says a lot of people were obligated to blow the whistle on what was happening and didn’t do so.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Marijuana grow operation found


RENTON, Wash. - King County Sheriff's detectives in Renton have discovered what they call a significant marijuana grow operation.

At least several hundred plants were discovered in a home where children live.

Puget Sound Energy crews checked the meters at the Renton home for signs that someone might have diverted the electricity in an effort to hide a major marijuana grow.

It’s not surprising to those who live nearby.

“We know the places to watch out for and it's not surprising that there's a problem down the street,” said Steve Colbeth.

The Sheriff's Department was called after a Child Protective Services worker arrived to do a welfare check.

At some point, someone reporting smelling a strong scent of marijuana. Detectives say soon afterward, they discovered the operation.

Authorities obtained a warrant and expected to be in the house all night, clearing out the marijuana.

It was not immediately known if any arrests were made.