UPDATE: Tina Jones was released from jail on Friday. The judge made that decision because she has no criminal history whatsoever. She will be back in court on Sept. 17th.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE VALLEY POLICE DEPT: There has been questions from citizens, with respect to this investigation, why it took nearly a year to arrest Tina M. Jones for running an unlicensed daycare and growing marijuana inside the residence.
Here is a synopsis and time frame of the investigation which will clarify any concerns with these questions:
Nearly one year ago West Valley School District Resource Deputy Ed Cashman advised investigators he was making several arrests for possession of marijuana at West Valley High School and Centennial Middle School. Deputy Cashman continued to make similar arrests throughout the 2011-2012 school year until he was told by one of the students on May 22, 2012, that students were purchasing marijuana from Tina Jones. Through Deputy Cashman's investigation he found out Jones lived at the 7820 E. Buckeye address. Deputy Cashman forwarded this information on to the Sheriff's Office Investigative Support Unit (ISU). Sheriff's Office ISU detectives initiated an investigation, utilized a confidential informant and made their first purchase of marijuana from Jones on the week of June 4, 2012, at her residence. The informant positively identified Jones as the one who was selling the marijuana but did not know anything about a marijuana grow. On this date there were two children at the residence, Jones teenage daughter and one other child. On the week of July 16, 2012, the informant made a second purchase of marijuana from Jones at her residence. The informant told investigators there were five children in the residence on this occasion. The informant also told investigators Jones said she had a babysitting business, which was why there were so many children present. On the week of August 20, 2012, the informant made a third purchase of marijuana from Jones at her residence. The informant told investigators there were seven children present on this occasion. As a result of these controlled purchases, investigators established enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the residence, which was served Thursday morning, August 30, 2012. Present at the warrant was a case worker from Child Protective Services (CPS). The case worker advised ISU detectives that the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) had recently started an investigation into allegations Jones was operating an unlicensed daycare out of her residence. It was not confirmed until serving the warrant that Jones was in fact operating an unlicensed daycare. Investigators also had no information Jones was actively growing marijuana inside her residence until the warrant was served and the grow was located in a hidden location inside the residence. Today, Friday, August 31, 2012, ISU detectives are charging Jones with the following crimes: Three counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, marijuana. One count of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent To Deliver One count of Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance, marijuana. All charging affidavits will be filed with the prosecutor's office after noon today, August 31, 2012.
UPDATE: The mother of one of the children at the daycare spoke with KHQ right after she picked up her little girl. She said she'd been inside the home several times and never had a clue.
"I can't believe this is going on, and I can't believe I allowed my daughter to be in a place where this was happening," she said. "But I didn't know anything about it."
Neighbors in the area were also shocked; many of them know Tina Jones and said there was never an indication something was wrong.
"I'm shocked," one neighbor told KHQ. "I'm disappointed in the community. You would have never known unless the cops would have come today, I didn't know."
The mother who picked up her daughter told KHQ she was referred to Jones' daycare by a co-worker, and she was told Jones used to work in a daycare before starting one in her own home.
"You can't trust anybody," she added. "Her friend didn't even know she was doing this, and they've been friends for several years."
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A 35-year-old woman has been arrested for manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and running an unlicensed daycare. She's identified as Tina Marie Jones.
The arrest happened in the 7800 block of E. Buckeye around 9am Thursday after a year long investigation that started at West Valley High School. A School Resource Officer at the school busted kids for possession of marijuana and when asked where they got it they told officer that they bought it from Jones.
Upon further investigation a member of the Spokane Co. Investigative Support Unit determined that Jones was running an unlicensed daycare where she was taking care of 3-7 children at any given point in time. Jones denies that allegation saying that she was simply watching her friends' kids.
The ISU used an informant to confirm that marijuana was being sold from the residence. When they served the search warrant Thursday morning they found 58 actively growing marijuana plants at the home and 3 children.
A CPS worker that was assisting police contacted the parents of the 3 children and had them picked up. The ISU also worked in conjunction with other Spokane Co. Sheriff's deputies.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE VALLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT:
On Thursday, August 30, 2012, at about 9:15 a.m., the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Investigative Support Unit served a drug search warrant at 7820 E. Buckeye Road in Spokane Valley. The search warrant concluded a yearlong investigation that started with a Sheriff's Office School Resource Deputy's investigation at West Valley High School.
Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy Ed Cashman, who is assigned to West Valley High School, made several arrests during the 2011-2012 school year of students possessing marijuana. Several of the students told Deputy Cashman they had purchased the marijuana from 35-year-old Tina M. Jones who lives at the East Buckeye address.
The Sheriff's Office Investigative Support Unit's yearlong investigation revealed Jones was selling marijuana out of her residence as well as running an unlicensed daycare.
Thursday's search warrant resulted in locating 58 actively growing marijuana plants as well as several children at the residence. Three of the children were being watched by Jones, who claimed she was watching them for friends. All three of the children's parents were contacted and picked up at the residence.
Jones rationale for selling the marijuana to the students was to keep them away from "worse" drugs. As far as the marijuana grow, Jones said she was under the assumption marijuana was going to be legalized in the near future so she was getting a head start for her personal usage.
Jones was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the charges of Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance, marijuana, and Possession of Marijuana With The Intent To Deliver.