SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Tina Jones, 35, was released from jail Friday in her first court appearance in Spokane County Superior Court. She was arrested early Thursday on five drug-related charges after a yearlong investigation.
It began when a school resource officer reported to Spokane County Sheriff's Detectives he was making several arrests for students possessing marijuana at both West Valley High School and Centennial Middle School.
However, police say it wasn't until May 22nd that one of those students told the officer the drugs came from Tina Jones' home.
That's when the Sheriff's Department began its investigation. They used a confidential informant who made three separate ‘buys' at Jones' home – one in early June, the second in mid-July, and the third within the last few days.
It wasn't until that point the SCSO had enough evidence to determine probable cause for a search warrant of Jones' home.
The confidential informant (CI) told police on each of those occasions, there were between two and seven children at the home, and said Jones told him she had a babysitting business.
While detectives believed Jones was selling the drug to area teens, they tell KHQ they did not know she was growing the drug until the search warrant was executed on her home, and a secret grow-room was discovered concealed behind a bookcase in the basement.
At her court appearance Friday, Jones appeared by video-link from the jail, and was visibly upset. She cried prior to her case being called, and was shaking. While prosecutors said Jones poses a risk to community safety, the defense said she's not a flight risk, and asked she be released. Jones is a life-long resident of Spokane County, and has two children of her own.
Because she has no criminal history, Judge Maryann Moreno agreed to her release. Jones is expected back in court in mid-September, and the Sheriff's Department says more charges are expected to come in the case.