Perry case before jury Dec. 14
By Jamie Henneman/The Independent Staff
A traffic stop by the Chewelah Police Department last winter resulted in theft and drug possession charges for both the driver and passenger who were towing a stolen trailer and had methamphetamine with them. The passenger, Michael Scott Perry, is being charged with four counts of stolen property, two drug counts and 3 charges of identity theft. Perry’s case is set to go to a jury trial in Stevens County Superior Court on Dec. 14.
Perry, 40, was riding in a Ford Bronco with Jonathan Ray Harper on Jan. 30 when they were pulled over by Chewelah PD officer Watts for driving erratically. Watts was responding to a citizen call that reported the vehicle and a trailer it was towing were “all over the roadway,” according to the police report. Tail lights and brake lights on the trailer were also not functioning.
During the stop, Officer Watts discovered Harper was driving with a suspended license. He claimed the trailer and its contents belonged to Perry and said he had been helping Perry move to a house on Burnt Valley Road. However, a check of the trailer showed it stolen out of Spokane. Officer Watts arrested Harper for driving with a suspended license and Perry for possession of the stolen trailer. After reading Perry his rights, Officer Watts asked if Perry had any weapons or illegal items. Perry said, “No, just the drugs in my pocket.”
Perry had a baggie with 10.9 grams of crystal methamphetamine in the front pocket of his overalls, according to the police report. A snowmobile on the trailer was discovered to be stolen along with credit cards, debit cards and other items located in the vehicle. Various tools with the serial numbers removed, brass knuckles, bolt cutters and multiple garage door openers were also found during a search of the vehicle.