A Washington real estate agent arrested in a high-profile bust a decade ago is once again on the news — on Tuesday, police in Spokane, Washington, detained more than 20 people in a drug raid at a house co-owned by Joseph G. Ward.
Back in 2009, the local agent and owner of Pinnacle Realty was arrested on 10 stolen property charges after investigators found methamphetamine and property from several burglaries at his home in Nine Mile Falls, Washington.
Two days ago, police once again found piles of cash and the drug methamphetamine in another house, this one at 803 S. Pines Road in Spokane Valley, registered to a company co-owned by Ward, now 70, a local news outlet reports.
In a SWAT raid that took more than an hour, the police detained 20 people, arresting two; Ward was not one of the two arrested. Apparently, the home had been under investigation for more than a year — some witnesses told police that it was used as a place where people would come to buy meth and heroin.
One witness even said one of the rooms had a “gallon-sized bag full of methamphetamine” hidden away in one of the bedrooms.
As a first-time offender in the 2009 arrest, Ward was able to avoid drug charges and get only six days of jail time and $68,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to the stolen property charges.
As part of his release, Ward was prohibited from owning controlled substances and having contact with convicted felons and drug offenders.
At the moment, he is listed as a co-owner of three Spokane-area real estate companies based out of the same house that was raided nine years ago.
At the time, local residents responded in shock about the news of a well-known real estate agent being tied up in a drug bust.
“He’s not your ordinary Realtor,” developer Dave Black said to a local paper at the time. “He’s one of the best.”
Ward did not respond for either Inman’s or other requests for comment.