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Spokane/East. Wash/North Idaho News Releases for Mon. Oct. 25 - 6:23 pm
Police & Fire
DEA Holds National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Turn the Tide Against the U.S. Opioid Epidemic - 146 Collection Sites in the Pacific Northwest
DEA Seattle - 10/19/21 2:48 PM

SEATTLE - The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

This Saturday, is another opportunity for the Pacific Northwest to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medication at one of the 146 collection sites throughout the region.  Currently there are 18 collection sites in Alaska, 29 collection sites in Idaho, 26 collection sites in Oregon and 73 collection sites in Washington. Last April, residents of the Pacific Northwest turned in 36,259 pounds.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed—that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 7,000 tons of medication from circulation since its inception. These efforts are directly in line with DEA’s priority to combat the rise of overdoses plaguing the United States.

“The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic—drug overdoses are up thirty percent over the last year alone and taking more than 250 lives every day,” stated DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “The majority of opioid addictions in America start with prescription pills found in medicine cabinets at home. What’s worse, criminal drug networks are exploiting the opioid crisis by making and falsely marketing deadly, fake pills as legitimate prescriptions, which are now flooding U.S. communities. One thing is clear: prevention starts at home. I urge Americans to do their part to prevent prescription pill misuse: simply take your unneeded medications to a local collection site. It’s simple, free, anonymous, and it can save a life.”

“The DEA Drug Take Back is more important than ever and is a great opportunity for citizens of the Pacific Northwest to dispose of their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medications,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “Properly disposing of these medications will prevent them from falling into the hands of our children. Please help keep our citizens and communities safe by taking the time to responsibly dispose of your unwanted prescription pills during National Drug Take Back Day.”

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is more important than ever before. Last month, DEA issued a Public Safety Alert and launched the One Pill Can Killpublic awareness campaign to warn Americans of a surge in deadly, fake prescription pills driven by drug traffickers seeking to exploit the U.S. opioid epidemic and prescription pill misuse. Criminal drug networks are shipping chemicals from China to Mexico where they are converted to dangerous substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine and then pressed into pills. The end result—deadly, fake prescription pills—are what these criminal drug networks make and market to prey on Americans for profit. These fake, deadly pills are widely available and deadlier than ever. Fake pills are designed to appear nearly identical to legitimate prescriptions such as Oxycontin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Xanax® and other medicines.Criminal drug networks are selling these pills through social media, e-commerce, the dark web and existing distribution networks.

Along with the alert came a warning that the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly. DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will also continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at www.DEATakeBack.com for easy reference to nearby collection sites. Beyond DEA’s Take Back Day, there are also opportunities to regularly and safely dispose of unneeded medications at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses working to help clean out medicine cabinets throughout the year.

Walla Walla Woman Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison After Fourth Child Pornography Offense
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 10/25/21 4:03 PM

Spokane – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Monica Linker, age 32, of Walla Walla, Washington, was sentenced on October 21, 2021, after pleading guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography.  Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Linker to 5 years in federal custody, to be followed by a 10-year term of court supervision after she is released.  Chief Judge Bastian calculated Linker’s sentencing range under the United States Sentencing Guidelines at more than 12 years – in part because this was Linker’s fourth child pornography offense – but exercised his discretion to depart downward to 5 years.  Linker’s sentence is 8 years shorter than the 13-year sentence the United States recommended.

According to court documents, an FBI Special Agent went online in an undercover role to locate people in the community who were trading child pornography. The agent downloaded more than 80 videos of child pornography from Linker’s residence in Walla Walla, which led to a search warrant and the removal of all digital devices from her home.  A forensic review confirmed significant child pornography evidence on her devices.  Then, approximately ten months later, FBI executed a second search warrant at Linker’s new residence, recovering new images of child pornography from Linker’s new digital devices.  In all, FBI recovered a significant amount of child pornography, as well as other indicia of Linker’s sexual interest in children and technical sophistication.  This evidence included peer-to-peer, cleaning, encryption, and hacking software, and a Japanese Anime child pornography comic book. FBI also found evidence that Linker had burned images of child pornography onto disks.  By the time FBI located Linker online, she had sustained three child pornography offenses under Washington law.  In fact, she was on supervision with the Washington Department of Corrections when FBI downloaded child pornography from her.  During prior probation searches of Linker’s residences, officers recovered 25 pairs of girls’ panties, anime books and videos, anime pornography, and a book on child gynecology.

United States Attorney Waldref condemned the exploitation of children: 

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington works closely with our local and federal partners to apprehend the most serious child exploitation offenders in our community. I commend the Walla Walla Police Department and the FBI, whose excellent investigation in this case has protected children by keeping a recidivist offender off the streets for years.  Sadly, there is an entire community of people who use the Internet to collect and trade crime-scene photos of children’s abuse for their own sexual gratification.  Those images often travel around the Internet forever, ensuring that child pornography victims are never truly free. To those who use peer-to-peer networks to exploit children while seeking to evade detection by law enforcement, today’s sentence puts you on notice: undercover FBI agents are online at all hours of the day and night looking for child pornography offenders.  We will continue to prosecute child exploitation as vigorously as the law allows.  I encourage anyone who sees or suspects any form of child abuse to contact law enforcement immediately.”

Donald Voiret, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Division, which encompasses the Spokane, Walla Walla, and Yakima areas, said “Ms. Linker is a repeat offender who has obviously not learned her lesson from her past convictions. Her compulsion to engage in this activity, even after being aware of law enforcement scrutiny, indicates the importance of keeping her away from the children in our communities.”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood (“PSC”), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. PSC has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

Detective (Ret.) Tim Hollingsworth led the investigation by the Walla Walla Police Department and Special Agent (Ret.) Lee McEuen led the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  David M. Herzog, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, prosecuted the case.


Prosser, Washington Man Sentenced to 78 Months in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and other Controlled Substances
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 10/25/21 3:22 PM

Spokane – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that David Barnes Nay, age 42, of Prosser, Washington, was sentenced on October 20, 2021, after having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute eight controlled substances (fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone, hydromorphone, methylphenidate, amphetamine mixture, carisoprodol and alprazolam) and six counts of distributing fentanyl and oxycodone.  Senior United States District Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced Nay to a 78-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to court documents, Dr. Janet Sue Arnold owned and operated Desert Wind Family Practice in Richland, Washington.  Dr. Arnold pre-signed hundreds of blank prescription forms which enabled Nay, an addict and drug dealer, and other members of the conspiracy to distribute large quantities of opioid medications and other controlled substances. 

United States Attorney Waldref said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington and our federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to combat the opioid epidemic in our community.  The sentence imposed sends a stern warning to those who may seek to illegally distribute fentanyl and other prescription medications that they will face significant consequences. I commend the diligent work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, agents who investigated this case.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III and Dominique Juliet Park, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.


School Districts
Clarkston DECA "Spike for the Cure" Volleyball Tournament (Photo)
Clarkston School District - 10/22/21 4:20 PM
Clarkston DECA Spike for the Cure T Shirt
Clarkston DECA Spike for the Cure T Shirt

CORRECTION: Event date is Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Clarkston, WA – Clarkston DECA’s 10th annual “Spike for the Cure” volleyball tournament will be played on Wednesday, October 27, at 5:30pm in Kramer Gymnasium. Spike for the Cure pink t-shirts, sponsored by Brady and Trevor Arnone of Edward Jones, will be sold with all proceeds donated to the Gina Quesenberry Foundation. 

Spike for the Cure is an opportunity for the students of Clarkston High School to come together to raise funds for the Gina Quesenberry Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide financial assistance to local patients with breast cancer. Eighteen teams -- 108 players, including high school students and faculty members, will be competing against each other in this "Spike for the Cure" event. 

The community is invited to attend the “Spike for the Cure” event. Donations will also be accepted at the door. Clarkston DECA has donated over $50,000 to the Gina Quesenberry Foundation through this community service event over the past nine years.

Please join us, Clarkston High School and Clarkston DECA, as we “Spike for the Cure!”



Attached Media Files: Clarkston DECA Spike for the Cure T Shirt