By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Prosecutors dropped a felony case they had filed against a Chehalis business owner, alleging after they searched his warehouse and his residence he’d used an alias, illegally possessed a gun and falsely declared his qualifications as a voter.
Elvis A. Matias-Lopez, 34, of Chehalis, was charged at the end of April in Lewis County Superior Court.
According to court documents, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office found Matias-Lopez was illegally in the country and eligible for deportation.
A sheriff’s detective began looking into Champion Greens located on Northwest West Street in Chehalis based on information that arose pursuant to an investigation by multiple agencies into organized criminal activity in Washington state, according to court documents.
Law enforcement conducted surveillance on on Matias-Lopez for about a year, ending last October, court documents relate.
Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead wouldn’t say what kind of organized crime was being looked into, but yesterday said he asked a judge to dismiss the charges earlier this month because he anticipates the case will be transferred to a federal jurisdiction.
The local charges were first-degree criminal impersonation, false declaration as to qualifications as a voter and alien in possession of a firearm without an alien firearm license.
They were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be re-filed at a later date, Halstead said.
For background, read “Probe into unspecified “organized crime” nets local resident eligible for deportation” from Sunday May 1, 2016, here