SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Six people were detained and a man was arrested for a burglary warrant November 27th when law enforcement served a search warrant at a Spokane Valley residence. Officials said the residence should have been vacant but had been a neighborhood problem for several months due to squatters.
Officials said in the early morning hours of November 27th the Spokane Valley SWAT team with assistance of Spokane Valley Investigative Unit Detectives and Spokane Valley Deputies served a warrant at a residence located in the 8500 block of East Cataldo Avenue.
The search warrant was obtained as part of an ongoing investigation of possession/sales of controlled substances, stolen vehicles, and unlawful possession of a firearm by several suspects who were believed to be squatting at the vacant residence owned by an out-of-state mortgage company. Officials said the residence had been the focus of more than 25 calls for service since the beginning of the year. The calls included complaints about drugs, assaults, warrants, and suspicious person calls.
SWAT team members successfully detained six people without incident and Jesse R. Adams, 51, was arrested for an outstanding warrant. The warrant stemmed from another residence in the 8400 block of East Cataldo where he was believed to have been squatting. Officials said there was no power at the residence and generators were running from a shop to keep the squatters warm.
SVIU detectives recovered a stolen vehicle, methamphetamine, numerous pills, stolen checks, stolen firearms cases, stolen ammunition, and other ammunition for three separate firearms. Detectives also collected evidence of a drive-by shooting which was believed to have occurred prior to Thanksgiving, but the stolen firearms were not located.
During the investigation, detectives went to another house frequented by known criminals in the 9600 block of East Broadway. Detectives did not locate weapons but contacted Frank R. Martinez, 35. Officials said Martinez is a well-known suspect to law enforcement. He was arrested for a Washington State Department of Corrections warrant. Martinez’s original charges were 1st degree robbery and 1st degree burglary, according to officials.
Detectives said they believe several individuals and known criminals are squatting at these and other vacant residences in the area. Officials said vacant residences seem to be a “hotbed” of criminal activity, causing citizens in surrounding neighborhoods to be victimized.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected. Anyone with information about the criminal activity at the locations mentioned is urged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.