Crime

Deputies say he eluded them twice. They caught up to him in a hidden room in a Roy barn

A 46-year-old man who twice eluded police searches, is in jail on gun, drug and stolen property charges after being captured by a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team.
A 46-year-old man who twice eluded police searches, is in jail on gun, drug and stolen property charges after being captured by a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team. Courtesy

A 46-year-old man who twice eluded police, is in jail on gun, drug and stolen property charges after being captured by a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team.

The sheriff’s department announced the arrest of Jason Stephens on Saturday via Facebook and Twitter.

“Suspect considered a major drug dealer & trafficker of stolen property, arrest is expected to put direct dent in property crime rates,” the department said via Twitter.

Stephens was captured Nov. 10 near Roy when the SWAT team searched the property. Deputies were tipped off by somebody who saw suspected a boat motor they saw advertised on line was stolen. Deputies also were informed that Stephens, featured on the TV show “Washington’s Most Wanted,” was staying at the location.

When the SWAT team saw no response after announcing their 5:30 a.m. arrival with a loud speaker, tear gas was used. Two males and a female exited a barn on the property and a man peeled back the metal roof and climbed out on top of the building.

SWAT team members found a hidden room in the barn and as they pulled down the drywall to enter the room, Stephens reportedly crawled back inside from the roof and was captured.

In the barn, deputies say they found two stolen snowmobiles, a stolen travel trailer, a rifle, ammunition, syringes, a loaded revolver, more $3,900, drug paraphernalia and a surveillance system. The boat motor was not located and a man at the residence said it was sold.

Stephens was booked into Pierce County jail on 20 felony counts.

He was arrested on Aug. 1 after he was found with a stolen truck. He had drugs and $1,500 in his pockets. Two days later deputies requested a search warrant for the stolen vehicle and found $22,000, 46.6 grams of crystal meth, 218 grams of heroin, an opioid overdose kit and drug paraphernalia.

On Sept. 9 and 27, he reportedly fled traffic stops and manged to avoid K9 search teams. During the Sept. 9 incident, a chase reportedly reached speeds of more than 100 mph. He fled, deputies say, but search units found a bag near the car contained 177 grams of meth, 13 grams of heroin, 14 grams of marijuana, 130 OxyContin pills, other drugs and an opioid overdose kit. In the vehicle, they found two handguns, a pellet gun, five different license plates, counterfeit money and drug paraphernalia.

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