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Idaho State News

Idaho Sheriff Warns Off Washington 4th of July Vacationers

Timothy Schumann | The Center Square

Photo by Kootenai County Sheriff's Office

(The Center Square) – In Idaho, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to issue an interesting vacation warning for the 4th of July holiday weekend, in the form of a public service announcement.

Addressed to “Washington Criminals and Kootenai County Taxpayers” the PSA warned of a worrying trend from its neighbor directly across state lines.

“Kootenai County Idaho is a preferred destination venue for many Washington residents during July 4th celebrations. In the past, the Kootenai County jail has seen a disproportionate number of jail bookings from our neighbors to the west,” the announcement warned.

A large portion of the greater Spokane metro area directly abuts Kootenai County and during the summer months especially, travel is frequent between the two.

County Sheriff Robert “Bob” Norris went on to welcome “our law-abiding neighbors” but warned that the controlled substance laws across the border to Washington’s east are much stricter.

Fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine are felonies that will get you arrested in Idaho and could very likely result in jail and prison time.

Marijuana is also still an illegal controlled substance in Idaho, and could result in similar penalties.

The announcement went on to warn that “unlike Washington, Idaho law does not restrict Kootenai County Law Enforcement from enforcing the law,” alluding to the fact that behavior in Washington that may get you a slap on the wrist could land you in jail in Idaho.

“This message is clear, if one chooses to possess controlled substances, or engage in any criminal behavior, Seattle, Spokane and the entire state of Washington is a wonderful place to enjoy July 4th celebrations,” it continued.

Sheriff Norris even came up with a marketing slogan of sorts for the 4th of July weekend.

“Don’t come to Kootenai County on vacation, and leave on probation.”

The announcement ended with what seemed like a call to State Legislators for action, asking them to “provide local option taxing authority to the County Board of Commissioners to fund Sheriff Public Safety Operations,” before going on to admonish them for placing undue burdens on local property owners for what is perceived as an interstate problem.