Tag: Whatcom County
By Caleb Hutton
A 49-year-old drunk driver must serve one year in prison for crashing into a utility pole along Blaine Road, sending his girlfriend to St. Joseph hospital for a compound leg fracture.
Jack A. Smith Sr., of Birch Bay, showed signs of “extreme” impairment on the night of Nov. 19, after he crashed his Plymouth Voyager into the pole, according to charging documents. He admitted to troopers he was drunk.
His 48-year-old girlfriend — who attended several recent court hearings still bound to a wheelchair — suffered injuries to both legs. Neither Smith nor his girlfriend wore a seat belt.
Smith pleaded guilty earlier this month. He was sentenced last week to a year behind bars. He had two past felonies out of of Nebraska for possessing illegal drugs.
By Caleb Hutton
A warrant sweep of gang members and wanted criminals ended with 24 arrests in a matter of hours Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Here’s a full list of the arrests made during “Operation Chimney Sweep,” via the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office,
And here’s the full press release:
On December 12th, 2012 the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office led a multi-agency warrant emphasis that targeted gang members, their associates and other high risk offenders living within Whatcom County. All 62 offenders and suspects identified and targeted had outstanding active arrest warrants or probable cause issued for their arrest. A total of 56 Federal, State and local law enforcement officers, from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Bellingham PD, Ferndale PD, Everson PD, Lynden PD, Sumas PD, Washington Department of Corrections, FBI, DEA, US Marshalls Service and Homeland Security Investigations participated in the 10-hour operation, which took place from 0900-1900 hours.
During this operation, teams of deputies, agents and officers deployed throughout the County. Arrests took place within the city limits of Bellingham, Blaine and unincorporated Whatcom County. A total of 23 adults and one juvenile were arrested with 39 warrants and PC’s being served. The most serious charges were for Kidnapping, Escape and Delivery of Methamphetamine. A variety of gang members and associates were arrested, including affiliates of the Bloods, Crips, Brown Pride Surenos, Tiny Rascals and Insane Clown Posse.
The most significant arrest of the day was that of James Michael Craver who was wanted on Probable Cause from Bellingham PD and Everson PD for Kidnapping 1st, Robbery 1st, Assault 2nd Domestic Violence and Burglary 2nd. He was also wanted for a Felony Department of Corrections warrant. Craver had been responsible for a multi-day crime spree and was considered a high risk offender.
This operation was the fourth in a series of warrant sweeps that targeted serious offenders and known gang members. The cooperative program was launched in October of 2011 and combined with the three operations in 2012, (April, August and December) have resulted in a total of 64 persons being arrested on a variety of criminal charges and warrants, and over 100 warrants served. Local, State and Federal law enforcement agencies have partnered in Whatcom County in response to increased gang incidents and activity and to also focus on repeat dangerous offenders known to be active here. This cooperative effort sends a message, supported by the community, that criminal organizations, drug dealers and other violent criminals will not be tolerated in our towns and neighborhoods.
Sheriff Elfo has stated: “This is another example of the tireless efforts of our deputies and our State, Local and Federal partners to rid Whatcom County of criminal gang activity hold offenders accountable and maintain community safety.”
By Caleb Hutton
Prosecutor Dave McEachran is not taking a stance, at this point, on how to move forward with active charges of marijuana possession in Whatcom County, he said Friday, Nov. 9.
“We’ll be looking at all the pending cases,” McEachran said. “But the law certainly is not retroactive.”
In King and Pierce counties, prosecutors announced Friday they would drop misdemeanor marijuana cases, according to the Associated Press.
Washington voters legalized possession of the drug Tuesday after passing I-502. Possession is not technically legal under state law until election results are certified on Dec. 6. The new law sets up a clash between state and federal authorities.
McEachran’s decision could affect more than 50 possession cases in Whatcom County. Almost all of those cases have other more serious charges attached to them.
By Caleb Hutton
A ban on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County has been lifted as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.
We got a healthy dose of rain in the past couple days, so this shouldn’t come as too surprising.
From the desk of Deputy Fire Marshal Wain Harrison:
Due to the recent rain and increase in fuel moisture levels, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office will be lifting the restrictions on all open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting 09:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012.
A permanent ban on open burning remains in effect in the Cities of Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine, Everson, Nooksack, Sumas, Birch Bay, Kendall, the Cherry Point area and their Urban Growth areas.
If you live in an area where open burning is allowed and want to have a fire you can call (360) 676-6934 to get up to date information on obtaining a burn permit or stop by the Permit Center located at the corner of Northwest and Smith Rd.
If you have any questions on open burning in Whatcom County, please contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-676-6907. Always use extreme caution and follow all regulations when burning.
By Caleb Hutton
Two American Indian tribes in Whatcom County were awarded about $1.5 million in grants to combat drug abuse this week.
Lummi Nation was given $998,500 by the Department of Justice to build low-security housing as an alternative to jail time. Residents are monitored by a GPS system. Some of the money will go toward mental heatlh therapy and job training.
The Nooksack Tribe’s grant of $465,700 will go toward curbing alcohol and drug abuse by tribal youth aged 10 to 17 in the Deming area, according to the DOJ. That money will pay for the hiring of a drug prevention worker, canoe journey curriculum and after-school programs.
Both grants were bundled into an announcement of $101 million for tribes around the country Thursday, Sept. 28.
Spokespeople for both local tribes did not return calls seeking comment.
By Samantha Wohlfeil
Fire crews were able to put out a Chevrolet Caprice that caught fire Monday morning, July 30 at Haxton Way and Kwina Road.
The fire was caused by a vehicle malfunction, said Chief Dean Whitney of Whatcom County Fire District No. 8. The driver was not injured, but the car was totaled.
The driver reported that smoke started coming out through vents in the dash before the fire, Whitney said.
Via scanner traffic: About 8:10 a.m. Monday, crews were dispatched to reports of a vehicle on fire in a field off Haxton Way at Kwina Road. Reports of traffic backing up on Kwina Road.
Reports the fire was nearly extinguished were made about 8:19 a.m.