Crime

Homeless man arrested for suspected trespassing, but a search revealed much more

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The Bellingham Police Department enforces the law within Bellingham city limits.
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The Bellingham Police Department enforces the law within Bellingham city limits.

A homeless man suspected of breaking into the construction site at the former Blackburn Office Furniture and Equipment building in downtown Bellingham was found with 2.2 ounces of methamphetamine, meth pipes, a small scale, small plastic baggies and a “large sum of cash,” Bellingham police say.

Cory James Hill, 56, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary and manufacturing, delivery or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, police responded to the 200 block of West Chestnut Street for the report of a burglary in progress.

The building is currently under construction, Murphy said, and Hill was found in the part of the building where work was being done and was initially arrested on suspicion of trespassing.

But a search found that he was in possession of the methamphetamine — “an amount larger than personal use,” Murphy said — as well as the pipes, scale and baggies. Murphy said police also recovered more than $1,000.

Hill also was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a Bellingham Municipal Code violation for repeatedly setting up a temporary living structure around his parked car that interfered with a city sidewalk.

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records, Hill pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in January and was sentenced to 10 days electronic home monitoring. He also has a previous convictions for third-degree possession of a stolen property from 2017 and felony protection order violation in 2010.

According to the Blackburn Office Furniture and Equipment website, the business has relocated to 4071 Hannegan Road, Suite G.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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