SEQUIM — One partner in a two-person Sequim “crime spree” has agreed to a deal with Clallam County prosecutors to serve eight years in prison.
David Michael Brown, 32, of Lakewood waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to nine crimes in Clallam and Pierce counties as part of a global resolution between the two counties. Charges included three counts of motor vehicle theft, three counts of possessing a stolen vehicle, two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.
Two counts of possession of stolen mail were dropped prior to sentencing, while his charge of first-degree robbery was amended to a count of motor vehicle theft.
Some charges crossed over in the global resolution from Pierce County as a stolen truck and firearms from Sequim were recovered at a Puyallup 7-11 in April.
Brown and his fiancee, Joanie Squires, 34, of Tacoma drove to Sequim on May 5 in a stolen truck from Fife to steal or attempt to steal equipment and vehicles.
Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney Sarah Woolman said Aug. 11 the couple attempted to rent a moving truck for stolen property, and that chemical dependency seemed to be an issue as alcohol and drug paraphernalia were found in some of the stolen vehicles.
Woolman referred to the thefts and incidents as a “crime spree.”
“This whole case, investigation, took a lot of department resources,” she said. “It was like whack-a-mole for law enforcement responding throughout (May 5).”
Along with 96 months in jail, Brown will receive 12 months community custody upon release.
Judge Lauren Erickson also ordered a chemical dependency evaluation and any recommended treatment. He’s prohibited from traveling into Clallam County in the future except for mandatory court appearances.
Brown cannot own a firearm, and he was ruled indigent as he hasn’t worked since 2018, and must pay a $500 victim fee at $40 a month.
He has a criminal history dating back to 2015 in Pierce County including convictions of second-degree identity theft, second-degree burglary, second-degree theft and more.
His defense attorney, Lane Wolfley, said Brown “did have a crime spree (and) it was a result of drugs, as is often the case. It’s really sad.”
He said that in conversations with Brown “the best we can hope for is a global resolution” and “eight years in prison.”
“It was a labor on behalf of the state to make this thing work,” Wolfley said.
He added, “I think there’s an opportunity to put the life of drugs behind him. I just hope so. He really is potentially a fine individual.”
When asked if he wanted to comment, Brown said he didn’t have much to say, and “I’m not really good with my words.”
According to court documents, Brown was arrested after his Sequim thefts on May 8 by a State Patrol trooper on Highway 104 in Jefferson County as he was attempting to break into a 2020 Subaru Ascent. Earlier in the morning, he was recorded on video stealing a package off a porch on the 200 block of Cedar Park Drive in Port Angeles.
Law enforcement connected him to the crimes via video, items in his possession and footprints at the scenes, according to court documents.
On April 11, Brown was recorded stealing a 2004 Chevy Silverado from the 7 Cedars Casino parking lot with an unidentified second man accompanying him. He arrived at the casino in a 1998 Chevy pickup truck from John Wayne Marina. He was later arrested at a 7-11 with two stolen firearms and the truck.
In Sequim on May 5, Brown and Squires were first seen stealing landscaping equipment near South Rhodefer Road before stealing a green Dodge Ram, attempting to break into an SUV at the Jamestown Healing Clinic, and stealing a Ford F-450 bucket truck from OlyPen, according to court documents.
Brown reportedly next stole a silver pickup on West Bell Street with the owner attempting to stop both him and Squires as they drove away. The couple drove into traffic along Washington Street, with Brown striking one vehicle, but he continued to drive and he later crashed into landscaping at Westside Pizza as police attempted to stop him, court documents state.
Brown drove out of the area, and Squires was arrested the same day after she crashed her stolen truck in landscaping on North Fifth Avenue.
Both were found with stolen mail; Brown was seen on video breaking into a mailbox, court documents state.
Woolman said all the stolen vehicles suffered some damage but were recovered along with all stolen property.
Squires agreed to a plea deal and global resolution between Clallam and Pierce counties, according to Aug. 11 court documents. Her sentencing is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 23.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.