Former legislative candidate, 18, accused of drug crimes

Anthony Bittner lost in Aug. 17 primary

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: September 17, 2010, 8:06 PM

 
photoAnthony Bittner

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In his bid for the state House of Representatives, Anthony Bittner portrayed himself to voters as an aspiring youngster devoted to conservative values.

Eliminated in August’s primary election, police say the 18-year-old now has established himself in a new, equally high-profile arena: the drug and forgery world.

Clark County sheriff’s detectives arrested Bittner on Thursday after executing a search warrant at the apartment he shares with friends in the Salmon Creek area. Inside the apartment, deputies said they found marijuana plants, pipes, fake $100 bills, scanners and printers used to make counterfeit bills.

Bittner spent the night in jail before making a first court appearance Friday. He was released to his parents’ supervision by Clark County Superior Judge Roger Bennett.

He is being investigated on suspicion of eight charges: possession of marijuana with intent to deliver; manufacturing marijuana; possession of a controlled substance; using a building for drug activity; unlawful possession of narcotic medication; forgery; possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of payment instruments.

He will be arraigned Sept. 29.

The case emerged following a residential burglary Tuesday in the 25000 block of Northeast 188th Court. A victim said she saw “numerous” males wearing masks in her home who fled when they were confronted. Deputies traced the license plate number of the getaway car, a Subaru Forester, to the mother of one of Bittner’s roommates, Nathan Combs.

After serving a search warrant at Bittner’s apartment in the 13700 block of Northwest Second Avenue, deputies said they found six counterfeit $100 bills, drug paraphernalia, and numerous stolen items, according to court documents. More counterfeit $100 bills were allegedly found next to Bittner’s bed.

“Also in (the bedroom), I located a large stack of campaign stickers, stating Anthony Bittner for State Rep. 18th District position,” according to the affidavit. “There were also campaign shirts found in the bedroom.”

On the patio, deputies found two potted marijuana plants, weighing 74.7 grams, according to court documents.

So far, three of Bittner’s friends — Combs, Jorgen Cattin and Jeffrey Garlington — also face burglary or drug and forgery charges, according to a deputy prosecutor.

It’s unclear from court records whether Bittner was involved in the burglary or when his alleged drug use and forgery began.

“Combs said ... he has witnessed Bittner sell marijuana to associates and that all residents of the apartment were aware the marijuana plants were there, though he claims the plants were owned by Cattin,” the affidavit said.

Attempts to reach Bittner or his parents Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Bittner, a 2010 Skyview High School graduate, launched his campaign in March for Jaime Herrera’s open 18th District House seat.

Last spring, Bittner described himself as a Republican with independent ideas and conservative values, saying he feels burdened by the state’s budget deficit. In an interview with a Columbian reporter, he said he was a member of the Young Life Christian club and a finalist in the Mr. Skyview Pageant, which raises money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

He campaigned sporadically, raised $4,571.77, and finished last in a seven-way primary race, attracting 575 votes.

He said he was taking a law and justice course during his final semester of high school.

Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516 or laura.mcvicker@columbian.com.