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May 19, 2022

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Vancouver man, Longview woman in court facing animal cruelty, drug charges

By , Columbian staff writer

A Vancouver man and a Longview woman accused of distributing drugs and abusing a 6-month-old puppy appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court.

Riley M. Walters, 23, and Chloey A. Cairns, 19, each appeared on suspicion of three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one count of second-degree animal cruelty.

Judge Derek Vanderwood set bail at $5,000 for each. They are scheduled to be arraigned April 22. Vanderwood also ordered they not own or possess any animals while their cases are pending.

At about 1:30 p.m. April 6, detectives with the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force saw a car associated with Walters in a store parking lot in the 11300 block of Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard. A search of Walters’ name showed he had outstanding warrants for driving without a license and hit-and-run, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Walters and Cairns were also listed as suspects in a Clark County Sheriff’s Office case for drug violations, court records state. Detectives followed Walters’ car to another store on Chkalov Drive and detained him when he exited the store. They identified Cairns as the passenger in the car.

Cairns asked detectives if they could remove Walters’ puppy from the car, which she said was in the trunk, according to the affidavit. A detective noted in the affidavit that he had not seen anyone access the trunk since police arrived two hours prior. Court records also note it was 70 degrees outside that day, and the car was not running during that time.

“As Detective Fields and Detective Vejo opened the trunk of the vehicle, they were shocked by what they observed,” the affidavit states.

The detectives found a gray puppy inside of a softshell storage container with zip ties holding the zippers shut. A drill was also weighing down the bag. They could see the puppy’s snout through a small opening in the bag, and it appeared to be panting heavily. The puppy also appeared to be undersized for its age, and the detectives noted a strong odor of urine, court records state.

The detectives removed the puppy and gave it food and water. The puppy appeared extremely thirsty and hungry, according to court records.

The vehicle was towed so that officers could search it for evidence of drug violations and animal cruelty, and Walters and Cairns were released. Inside the car, investigators found 80 fentanyl pills, 500 Xanax pills and 14.6 grams of methamphetamine. Detectives also searched the pair’s phones and allegedly found messages arranging to sell drugs, the affidavit states.

Officers again pulled over Walters and Cairns on Thursday afternoon and interviewed them. They both allegedly admitted to distributing drugs, court records state.

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