Driver Learns the “Name Game” is Ineffective
During a suspicious vehicle contact, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies contacted a driver who continued to provide a false name even after he was positively identified. The driver, 22-year-old Brandon D. Authier, who’s license was suspended, was additionally charged for Making False Statements and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
On May 30, 2018, at approximately 4:20 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Leavenworth observed a Toyota pickup pull into the parking lot of the Lutheran Church at Graves and Division and parked in the middle of the lot. The vehicle’s lights went dark and no one exited the vehicle.
Deputy Leavenworth, being familiar with the area, knew the church was closed, had never observed vehicles at the church at this time of day during the week, and coupled with his knowledge of criminal activity in the area (drugs, vehicle prowling, burglaries, etc.), he pulled behind the suspicious vehicle to contact the driver.
Deputy Leavenworth activated his emergency lights and observed the driver’s door of the Toyota suddenly open. Deputy Leavenworth told the driver, later identified as Authier, to stay in the vehicle, but Authier exited the vehicle anyway. Deputy Leavenworth told Authier to get back into the vehicle. Authier ignored the directions, stood facing the Deputy, and began reaching in his pockets. Not knowing if Authier was armed, Deputy Leavenworth ordered him to show his hands, but again Authier did not comply. Authier placed something on the driver’s seat, closed the door of the vehicle, and continued to dig in his pockets. Deputy Leavenworth order Authier to show his hands and place them on top of the car. Authier complied but as Deputy Leavenworth approached, Authier removed his hands and reached for his pockets. Deputy Leavenworth took control of his arms and detained Authier in handcuffs.
When asked his name, Authier provided a different name and date of birth. A check of the name Authier provided showed no record found. Deputy Leavenworth confirmed with Authier the name, correct spelling, and date of birth. When asked why no record of the name he provided could be found, Authier stated he didn’t know and said he had a Washington driver’s license.
As Deputy Leavenworth explained again no record of that name could be found, Deputy Cinkovich, who had arrived to assist, indicated the driver’s real name was Authier. Deputy Cinkovich located a picture of Authier by checking the vehicle’s license plate and checking names associated with the registered owner’s name. Authier said his driver’s license could have been issued by Alaska but a check of the information he provided showed no record found in Alaska.
Deputy Leavenworth asked if his name was Brandon Authier but he said no and continued to identify himself using the false name. After viewing the picture Deputy Cinkovich located, Deputy Leavenworth confronted Authier with his real name but Authier remained defiant.
A check of Authier’s name showed his driving status was suspended. Deputy Leavenworth advised Authier he was under arrest for Driving While Suspended and Making False Statements. During a search incident to Authier’s arrest, a small container was located on a set of keys found in his pocket. Inside the container was a small plastic bag which contained a brown tar like substance believed to be heroin. Also located in the container was a Suboxone strip and a pill, later identified as Buprenorphine/Naloxone. A field test of the tar like substance showed a presumptive positive result for heroin.
Looking through the windows of the vehicle, Deputy Leavenworth observed several pieces of aluminum foil, commonly used to hold and smoke heroin. On one of the pieces, he also observed a brown tar like substance.
After being advised of his rights, Authier said he had a prescription for the medications and the substance wasn’t heroin. When asked about the items in the vehicle and for consent to search, Authier said, “You aren’t going in my truck!”
Authier’s vehicle was seized pending a search warrant.
During the transport to the Spokane County Jail, Authier began yelling he couldn’t breathe. Deputy Leavenworth pulled over and requested medics for an evaluation while he monitored Authier’s condition. After Authier was cleared by medics, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for three counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Making False Statements and Driving While Suspended.
After a search warrant was obtained, an additional small amount of heroin was located inside the vehicle.