Federal Warrant Arrest in Port Angeles Uncovers Burglaries, Theft and Arson

On January 21, 2015 the Port Angeles Police Department (PAPD), the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department, OPNET Detectives, BATF Agents, Sequim Police and the US Border Patrol assisted the U.S. Marshal’s Service in the execution of a U.S. Probation arrest warrant at a residence in the 1200 block of I Street in Port Angeles. Leo C. Blanton (32 years old and from Port Angeles) was taken into custody without incident. This arrest warrant stemmed from Blanton’s previous federal conviction related to a being a convicted felon in possession of multiple firearms. During this arrest two firearms believed to be possessed by Blanton were recovered by federal agents. Blanton was later transported to a federal detention facility in Tacoma, Washington.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Department and Port Angeles Police Department investigators then received information that Blanton had been involved in several burglaries and thefts in Port Angeles around Christmas of 2014. They were able to identify three particular houses that had been burglarized or victimized by theft and multiple incidences where Blanton allegedly discharged a firearm in Port Angeles. This information allowed officers to begin an investigation and identify specific items that had been reported to be stolen. Later that day they obtained a search warrant for Blanton’s residence. During service of the warrant they located and seized a stolen compound bow and a stolen barbeque. Other stolen items sought by investigators were not found.

Additional investigation revealed the following facts:

On December 24, 2014 Blanton reportedly stole a barbeque from a residence in the 1000 block of East Second Street. This theft was not originally reported but was confirmed by the resident once contacted by police. This barbeque was recovered during the search warrant service at Blanton’s residence on January 21, 2015.

On December 24, 2014 Blanton, while reportedly armed with a .22 caliber rifle, entered the garage of an occupied residence on the 3400 block of S. Wabash Street in Port Angeles and stole a compound bow and two empty rifle cases. This burglary was not originally reported but confirmed by residents once contacted by police. The compound bow was recovered at Blanton’s residence during the service of the search warrant on January 21, 2015.

On December 24, 2014 Blanton reportedly removed a wood stove from a vacant house that was for sale near 13th and B Street in Port Angeles. This burglary and theft was not originally reported but was confirmed by the realtor once contacted by police.

On December 24, 2014 Blanton reportedly removed a trolling motor from a boat parked in the driveway at a residence near 9th and G Streets in Port Angeles. The sudden removal of the motor from the fuel line and battery caused sparks and a subsequent boat fire which completely destroyed the boat. The Port Angeles Fire Department responded and was able to extinguish the fire after it substantially damaged a parked vehicle and an adjacent house. Total property loss and damage in this incident was estimated to be over $30,000.

On February 15, 2015 the Port Angeles Police Department referred to the Clallam County Prosecutor two felony burglary and one arson case with Leo C. Blanton as the principal suspect in all these crimes. An additional misdemeanor theft case has also been referred to the City Attorney’s Office.

While all these cases have been referred for prosecution the investigations continue. PAPD is also working jointly with special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) relative to Blanton being a convicted felon and in possession of firearms. As of February 16, 2015 Blanton remains in federal custody in Tacoma.

PAPD Corporal David Dombrowski has been the principal investigator in these cases. Clallam County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant John Keegan, Clallam County Detective Shaun Minks, Clallam County Detective Brian Knutson, Clallam County Detective Jeff Pickrell and US Border Patrol Agent Keith Fischer have also done substantial work on these investigations.

Brian S. Smith David Dombrowski

Deputy Chief of Police Patrol Corporal

Phone: 360 912 0184 Phone: 360 417 4935

bsmith@cityofpa.us ddombrowski@cityofpa.us

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