by Jacob Jones
Spokane Police announced a fruitful search warrant and arrest Friday by laying out a public spread of guns, drugs, counterfeit cash and $200,000 in stolen cell tower diagnostic equipment.
Police Chief Frank Straub says the SWAT team arrested 33-year-old Kevin R. Chastain this morning after conducting a search of his home on South Haven Street near the Libby Center gifted school.
"This is a bad apple," Straub says. "This is a guy who's a few hundred feet away from where our children are going to school."
Straub describes Chastain as a nine-time convicted felon and self-proclaimed white supremacist. Despite his felony history barring him from possessing firearms, investigators alleged he had constructed an indoor shooting range in the basement of the home.
Police officials presented a table full of guns, drug paraphernalia, counterfeit bills and stolen goods recovered in the search. Straub pointed out a stack of stolen computer equipment that is used to maintain and repair cell phone towers. He listed its estimated value at about $200,000.
Laying out evidence buffet-style for news conferences is a common police practice that was cynically referred to as putting the "dope on the damn table" in HBO's The Wire.
Straub says the SWAT team surrounded the South Haven home at about 7 am today. Officers used a public address system to call the occupants out of the home without incident. Chastain was arrested. Three others in the home were questioned and released.
"Today's search warrant once again demonstrates the bravery and dedication of our officers who went into a residence where they knew firearms would be present," he says. "They put their lives on the line again to reduce crime and violence in this community."