A Graham man tried to tell a witness what to say in hopes of escaping five counts of unlawful possession of stolen property, Pierce County prosecutors said.
Now, 37-year-old Ian Schmidt faces an additional count for tampering with a witness. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Schmidt posted $50,000 bail in mid-May and was ordered not to have contact with any witnesses in his case.
According to charging documents:
Schmidt was charged with unlawful possession of stolen property after deputies found five stolen vehicles he was allegedly storing at neighbors’ homes. The neighbors told deputies they allowed Schmidt to park the vehicles on their property but were unaware they were stolen.
One of the neighbors’ sons called deputies June 7 to report Schmidt stopped by their home with instructions for the neighbor to testify that he bought the vehicles off Craigslist rather than stored them for Schmidt.
“The defendant then told (the son) that the defendant had secured other witnesses to testify that the defendant bought the items, suggesting that the defendant has organized a sophisticated scheme of perjury and witness tampering in attempts to avoid being held accountable in this case,” records state.