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Traffic Stop Yields Cash, Drugs

Posted 9/24/2012 11:13 AM by KWESTBERG

On September 23, 2012, at 2:17 a.m., Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Howe was patrolling the area of 3rd and Carnahan when he stopped a vehicle for multiple traffic violations. Deputy Howe contacted the female driver, identified as 34-year-old Lanelle Whitaker. Whitaker initially provided a different name to Deputy Howe. Whitaker's identity was later verified and she was subsequently placed under arrest for No Valid Driver's License Without Identification.

Deputy Howe noticed the front passenger was clutching a black pack between his legs. Deputy Howe asked the passenger, who identified himself as 50-year-old Tracy Thornton, to keep his hands where he could see them.

Deputy Howe provided dispatch with Thornton's information and was advised he had nine outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. Deputy Howe placed Thornton under arrest and placed him in the back of his patrol vehicle.

Deputy Howe re-contacted Whitaker and placed her under arrest for NVOL w/o ID. Deputy Howe requested a female deputy search Whitaker incident to arrest. Deputy T. Walker searched Whitaker and located over $1,500.00 in U.S. currency in her groin area. Whitaker gave Deputy Howe permission to search the vehicle and inside the black pack Thornton had been holding, he located a large amount of drugs. The drugs consisted of nineteen prepackaged bags of a white crystal substance, six bags of a tar substance, one bag of a white powdery substance, three bags of a green leafy substance and two bags of pills. There were also multiple pipes used for smoking methamphetamine and marijuana, a scale, Fentanyl patches and other empty packaging materials. Deputy Howe field tested the methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine and received positive results for all three tests. Deputy Howe found another $120.00 in cash in the black pack totaling $1,640.00 in U.S. currency.

Thornton was booked into the Spokane County Jail on three counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance With the Intent to Deliver, three counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance and the nine outstanding felony warrants. Whitaker was cited and released for NVOL w/o ID.