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Charges filed against late-night bicyclist found with weapons

Authorities in Spokane Valley are on the job day and night working to keep crime to a minimum and residents safe from unseen predators who seek to steal at a minimum and often want to do harm to others. Of particular concern is any crime involving a deadly weapon. Any individual caught with a weapon, however, should remember that criminal charges cannot be filed without law enforcement officers following due process procedures.

According to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, deputies recently stopped a 20-year-old man in the residential neighborhood around South Thierman Road and Third Avenue after observing him riding a bicycle in the middle of the street without headlights late at night. A search of his belongings uncovered burglary tools, binoculars, gloves, plastic handcuffs often used by police, five knives and a small quantity of heroin. The man admitted to deputies at the scene that he had two outstanding felony warrants for possession of controlled substances. He was arrested and is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Deputies believe the suspect possessed the tools to commit burglaries in the area. As a result, they expect more charges will be filed against him, including possession of burglary tools and possession of weapons with the intent to conceal. Use of a weapon in a felony crime means a defendant will more likely face a lengthier prison term and larger fines if convicted. The weapons found may be used as evidence by prosecutors against the defendant.

The process of seizing evidence from the suspect has to be done in accordance with due process. The arrest made by deputies cannot violate the defendant's rights. Any mishandling of evidence or law enforcement actions that violate search and seizure laws may be an important element in challenging the charges.

Source: KREM.com, "Wanted felon found with knives, burglary tools, and drugs," June 4, 2014

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