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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Washington
For Immediate Release
Vanessa R. Waldref , United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-edwa
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Spokane Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking

SPOKANE, Wash. — Today, U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Jody Lee Wallette, 36, of Spokane, Washington, to 20 years in federal prison for distribution of 50 grams or more of actual (pure) methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge Rice also ordered Wallette to serve 5 years of supervised release following his release from prison. In pronouncing sentence Judge Rice told Wallette, “Your distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine kills people. The amount of drugs you had was atrocious.”

According to court documents, in January of 2023, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) developed information that Wallette was selling fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine and was in possession of a gallon-size bag of fentanyl pills. A confidential informant was subsequently utilized to conduct two audio and video recorded controlled buys of methamphetamine and fentanyl pills from Wallette in January and February 2023. During the January 2023 controlled buy, Wallette was captured on video holding a very large bag of crystal methamphetamine (below) in addition to the pound of methamphetamine he sold that day.

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Man holding a gallon bag of drugs

In March of 2023, Wallette was federally indicted by a Grand Jury and a warrant was issued for his arrest. A short time later, Wallette was contacted during a traffic stop and arrested. During a search of Wallette’s vehicle, agents located several hundred more fentanyl-laced pills, methamphetamine, cocaine, a loaded firearm, multiple rounds of miscellaneous ammunition, body armor, several cellphones and more than $4,500 in cash. Also located in Wallette’s vehicle was information pertaining to Randy Coy James Holmes regarding the investigation into the shooting of an ATF agent in Spokane and discussing the identity of a suspected confidential informant in that case.

The ATF and DEA also executed a search warrant at Wallette’s storage unit where they seized additional methamphetamine as well as numerous rounds of ammunition.

According to court documents, Wallette is a multiple-time convicted felon, and in fact, qualifies as a federal “Career Offender” based on several prior significant drug trafficking convictions.

“Mr. Wallette brought dangerous drugs into our community that put our neighborhoods at risk, stated U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref. “I am grateful for the efforts of our law enforcement partners to identify Mr. Wallette’s repeated drug trafficking activities, to prevent him from further distributing this poison, and to protect our families from drug-related violence.”

At sentencing, Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard stated, “Mr. Wallette’s conduct was egregious. This was not a one-time instance. Mr. Wallette’s drug trafficking and violent conduct occurred over the past 20 years.”

“Mr. Wallette knew his actions endangered our community and this sentence reflects that danger,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “Firearms, fentanyl and methamphetamine are a losing combination that only harms society as a whole.”

“Drug crime and gun violence too often go together, so I am gratified by our partnership with ATF and other law enforcement agencies as we confront this threat together,” said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “This case is another example of our unified resolve to keep our community safe from drug poison and gun violence.”

The case was investigated by the ATF and DEA Spokane Task Force consisting of DEA, HSI, USCBP and BIA. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Caitlin Baunsgard and Stephanie Van Marter.

ATF.gov

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