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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Oregon
Natalie K. Wight, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Portland Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Large Quantities of Methamphetamine and Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills

MEDFORD, Ore.—A Portland, Oregon man with a prior drug trafficking conviction was sentenced to federal prison today after he was found driving on Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon with more than ten pounds of methamphetamine, nearly three pounds of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, and two firearms.

Jonathan James Lawson, 29, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on March 6, 2021, law enforcement learned Lawson was traveling from Southern California to Josephine County, Oregon with a large quantity of drugs. The next day, law enforcement spotted Lawson driving northbound on Interstate 5 near Grants Pass, Oregon and conducted a traffic stop. Inside Lawson’s vehicle, officers located a large tool case containing approximately ten pounds of methamphetamine, 700 grams of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, body armor, and a revolver. Officers located an additional 480 grams of fentanyl pills, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and a second firearm elsewhere in the vehicle.

On May 4, 2021, Lawson was charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Later, on March 15, 2022, Lawson was charged by criminal information with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. On May 9, 2022, he pleaded guilty to the single charge.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) task force, Grants Pass Police Department, and Oregon State Police. It was prosecuted by Marco Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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