Reckless Driving Arrest Leads to SIX Illegally Possessed Firearms

Sgt. Teresa Fuller


Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:59 p.m.


A Spokane Police Officer from the DUI Unit, on a break from court Monday afternoon, witnessed a reckless driving incident on North Division at Sharp. The driver, later identified as Joshua A.L. Smith (38), was initially uncooperative once he was pulled over. The officer spotted what appeared to be illegal drugs and a handgun in the car and placed Smith under arrest. Smith, a convicted felon, is prohibited from having firearms, so the vehicle was towed as evidence in order to secure a search warrant to seize the contraband in the vehicle. Once all was said and done, Smith was booked for six counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 2nd Degree, three counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon, DUI, and Reckless Driving.

Just before 3:00pm, Monday, August 24th, 2020, Ofc. J. Yen, one of two full time DUI Enforcement Officers for the Spokane Police Department, had left court on a break when he witnessed Smith driving recklessly in the intersection of Division and Sharp. Ofc. Yen, who is also a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), initially placed Smith under arrest for Reckless Driving but determined through further investigation he was also Driving Under the Influence of a controlled substance. As Smith was being placed under arrest, Ofc. Yen noticed contraband in the vehicle, so it was towed for evidence.

Later that evening, Ofc. Yen executed a search warrant on the vehicle locating 4 handguns and 2 rifles. Smith has a previous felony conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance and is prohibited from possessing firearms. Officers also located dozens of magazines for the various firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two ballistic vests and illegal controlled substances.

With the arrest of two drive-by shooting suspects last night, and another drive-by shooting suspect on Monday, that makes at least 8 illegally possessed firearms removed from the hands of convicted felons in the last three days. We are still looking for information on a drive-by shooting that occurred around midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning in the area of 600 S. Howard Street. In that incident, numerous shell casings were recovered at the scene but no vehicles were located. It was reported a white sedan was involved. If you have information on that incident or surveillance video of any  of these incidents and have not been contacted by police, please call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

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Officer John O'Brien
509.835.4568
jobrien@spokanepolice.org