$100,000 in Artifacts and Fossils Found With a Cache of Stolen Cars in Eastern Washington


Franklin County deputies followed a car driving erratically to find a jackpot of stolen cars and other items, including artifact and fossil collection worth nearly $100,000 on Saturday night.

Undersheriff Monty Huber said in a news release Sunday evening that five stolen vehicles, several thousand dollars worth of stolen tools and construction materials, and the artifact and fossil collection were found on a property in the Clark Addition just north of Pasco, Wash.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office posted on social media that it would be releasing more information about the artifact and fossil collection in the next few days. The collection was inside a large trailer stolen from a storage facility in Kennewick, Huber said.

On Saturday night county deputies assisted the Connell Police Department with a car theft that had just happened, Huber said.

The car was seen on Highway 260 but the driver did not stop for law enforcement. It was being driven erratically, leading deputies to suspect the driver was impaired.

Deputies followed the car to a home that was already under surveillance due to suspicion that it might be linked to multiple vehicle thefts and surrounded the home, Huber said.

Five individuals were detained at the resident and camp trailers on the property.

Although the names of those arrested were not immediately released, the Franklin County jail log shows that Jaclyn Rene Israel-Peterson and Jerome Edward Wright were booked into the jail Sunday on suspicion of three counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and one count of possession of stolen property.

The car deputies followed to the Clark Addition was one of five vehicles believed to be stolen.

One person posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page that a Mustang that was stolen from him earlier was also one of the vehicles recovered.

The sheriff's office will be working to track down owners of recovered property in the coming days.