SPOKANE, Wash. – More than 20 defendants connected to a federal drug investigation appeared in court Thursday. The complex case has more than 60 defendants in total, which have been assigned to three groups to make court matters more efficient.
Eleven of the defendants who appeared in court Thursday were in custody, four of them were not, including owner of the local Flamin’ Joes franchise Sally Guthrie. Seven of them were present on the phone.
Prosecutors say they anticipate introducing their evidence in several stages due to the large volume. That includes approximately 20,000 phone calls, surveillance footage, GPS location data, numerous police reports from multiple jurisdictions and social media communications.
The next group of defendants is expected to arrive in Spokane midweek next week and will have a similar pretrial conference upon their arrival. The same will go for the final group.
The judge set a trial date for Dec. 2, but said that it may be subject to change.
KREM 2 attempted to ask Guthrie questions regarding the allegations, but she declined to answer. Her attorney did speak briefly.
“[Her] business is doing well, as it has been for some time. It’s being operated by members of the family,” attorney Josh Maurer said. “We have no idea what kind of case the government has. The government hasn’t produced any kind of documentation whatsoever, with respect to the allegations made.”
Last month, approximately 30 search warrants were executed in Los Angeles, 16 executed in Spokane and one executed in the Mountlake Terrace area near Seattle connected to this case. Authorities say they were all involved in a large-scale oxycontin ring for years.