Lights & Sirens

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Category: Washington


Laptop stolen from Gig Harbor contained privileged information on 652 DSHS clients

A laptop containing confidential information on 652 state Department of Social and Health Services clients was stolen from Gig Harbor and later recovered at a pawn shop, the department announced today.

Officials said the thieves do not appear to have broken the security measures and accessed the files, which includes health information. The affected clients were all receiving services from the department’s Economic Services Administration and have been notified via letter.

“We are unable to determine whether the data was accessed or further copied or disclosed. While there is no information to show that the stolen data has been accessed

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Tacoma radiator shop fined $40,000 for not fixing hole leaking toxins into ground

A Tacoma radiator shop has been fined $40,000 for ongoing “dangerous waste violations,” according to the state Department of Ecology.

Performance Radiator, at 2705 South Tacoma Way, is working to fix a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the floor of their shop that was allowing high levels of lead, copper and zinc to leak in to the environment.

The repair shop is in the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District and is adjacent to a well.

Tim Pavolka, the shop’s general manager, said the company is working to fix the problem and have already removed nine cubic yards of dirt.


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Federal Way man among 6 indicted for prostituting illegal immigrants

A Federal Way man is among six people federally indicted for renting apartments across the state to be used as brothels for women in the country illegally, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Edward Flanigan, 57, is accused of renting apartments in Washington and Arizona that were used for prostitution. He and his co-defendants face various charges of conspiracy to transport individuals for prostitution, conspiracy to use a communications facility to promote prostitution and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

“These defendants exploited vulnerable women immigrants to enrich themselves,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement.

Prosecutors say

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State suspends license of King County nurse convicted of stabbing mother, assaulting co-worker

The state has suspended the nursing credential of a King County woman after she was convicted of several crimes, the Department of Health announced this afternoon.

Sabelita Hawkins first had her license suspended in July after being convicted of fourth-degree assault, felony harassment and malicious mischief. Charging documents show she repeatedly stabbed her mother with an 8-inch knife and assaulted a co-worker while on duty.

“Hawkins reported she’d experienced other psychotic episodes in the past,” a Health Department news release said.

To get her license back, she must complete a psychological assessment.

It’s unclear where Hawkins worked.


Sting involving Pierce County nets 21 suspected thieves, 26 stolen cars

Pierce County arraignments started today after a six-month undercover investigation that ended Tuesday with 21 people in custody and 26 stolen cars recovered, including one owned by a soldier who was deployed.

Detectives from several agencies bought stolen property from suspects as part of the Auto Crimes Enforcement Task Force, an operation they called “Shiny Penny,” according to Lakewood police.

The investigation involved auto theft, firearms violations, residential burglary and fraud across Washington state, including Pierce County, police said.

Officers identified 26 suspects during the investigation and recovered 16 firearms, among other stolen property.

SWAT teams served warrants Tuesday at

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Federal Way counselor accused of having sex with client

The state has suspended a Federal Way counselor’s license after charging him with sexual misconduct, the Department of Health announced today.

Scott Hale cannot practice in Washington until the matter is resolved. He has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing.

Hale was licensed in June 2010 and worked at a mental health clinic in Burien.

According to charging papers, Hale had sex with a female client three times between February 2010 and September 2012.


$82,000 found in Tacoma home of man charged with distributing drugs

Federal agents found $82,000 stashed in the home of a Tacoma man charged Thursday with 11 others in an alleged drug dealing ring that sold heroine, cocaine and methamphetamine in Western Washington over the last five years.

Gilberto Salazar-Rojas is one of 12 people federally charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

Drug Enforcement Agency officers served 16 search warrants on Wednesday, one of which was at Salazar-Rojas’ Tacoma home on E. 56th Street.

They seized 10 kilograms of cocaine, more than four pounds of heroin, more than a pound of meth, about 3.5 ounces of crack cocaine, 10 guns,

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Public hearing held today for bill in honor of Powell boys

The grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell will testify this morning at a Senate committee hearing on a bill that would prohibit murder suspects from being granted custody of their children.

Senate Bill 5162, also called the Charlie-Braden Act, is named in honor of the boys who were killed Feb. 5, 2012, when their father struck them with a hatchet and set ablaze their rental house in Graham.

Josh Powell was in the middle of a custody battle with the boys’ grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, when he killed himself and his sons. The state awarded him supervised visits with

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