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17-time convicted felon arrested for possession of stolen firearm

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A 17-time convicted felon was arrested Wednesday night after his suspicious behavior tipped a Spokane Valley Deputy off. 

At approximately 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Spokane Valley Deputy Skye Ortiz saw a blue Ford Crown Victoria with what appeared to be a damaged windshield, pulling into the HICO gas pumps, located on the corner of Sprague and Mullan.

Deputy Ortiz was planning to contact the driver for the violation so he drove around the block and later observed the driver, identified as 34-year-old Ryan L. Cheers, exit the still running vehicle and enter the store. As Ortiz pulled close to the record the license plate, he noticed Cheers was walking east from the store. He rounded the corner of the building and walked into a laundromat where he remained.

Cheers continued to stare at the patrol car and despite lacking any laundry, remained in the laundromat while leaving the vehicle unattended and running at the gas pumps. Deputy Ortiz left the area for a position where he could continue to observe Cheers' suspicious behavior.

Several minutes later, Cheers left the laundromat, looking around in the direction of the parked patrol car and made a phone call. He remained in view as he took a seat on an outside bench. At 11 p.m., Cheers began walking northbound on Willow, away from the location, and leaving the car running and unattended.

Due to Cheers' suspicious behavior, Deputy Ortiz pulled on Willow to contact Cheers and saw him get into a Ford Mustang. The Mustang, occupied by two people in addition to Cheers, began driving south on Willow to Sprague where Ortiz pulled the car over for a traffic stop.

Cheers was contacted, identified, and removed from the vehicle. He began to reach into his pockets and was detained in handcuffs. During a frisk for weapons, Deputy Ortiz located an illegal switchblade-style knife in Cheers' back pocket and informed him he was under arrest for possession of a dangerous weapon. 

Sgt. Simmons, who arrived at the scene to assist, checked the vehicle that Cheers had abandoned as the gas pumps and found a pistol in a black holster sitting on the driver's seat.

Cheers, who was advised of his rights, initially denied even driving the vehicle but eventually admitted he borrowed it from a friend. He also admitted his fingerprints might be on the pistol because he pushed everything in the seat to the side when he borrowed the car but denied any actual knowledge of the firearm.

A check of Cheers' criminal history revealed he is a 17-time convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. 

The vehicle which contained additional possible stolen property was seized, pending a search warrant. The pistol, a Glock G43 9 mm, was later determined to have been reported stolen during a vehicle prowl in March of this year.

Cheers was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon, and third-degree driving while suspended. 

His bond has been set at $25,000.


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