News and Press Releases

DRUG SHIPMENT ORGANIZER PLEADS GUILTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2005

ROBERT V. KESLING, 26, of Seattle, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a felony indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana in violation of federal law.

As part of his guilty plea, KESLING admitted that during 2004, through his arrest on May 10, 2005, KESLING took delivery of multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from others in the United States, and thereafter assisted in shipping that cocaine to Canada. In addition, he took delivery of 100 pound shipments of marijuana from Canada, and assisted in distributing that marijuana in the United States. The cocaine and marijuana were stored at various locations, including a residence in Woodinville, Washington, controlled by KESLING, and others. On February 28, 2005, several suitcases containing kilogram bricks of cocaine (in excess of 150 kilograms of cocaine) were seized by law enforcement from a vehicle in Monroe, Washington. This cocaine, valued at $34 million, was intended by KESLING for delivery to others in Canada. On March 1, 2005, 450 pounds of packaged marijuana were recovered by law enforcement from the Woodinville residence, intended by KESLING for distribution in the United States.

As part of his guilty plea, KESLING also agreed to forfeit and abandon his interest in vehicles associated with him, multiple firearms, personal belongings of value, property, and cash paid to others including his attorney.

The offense to which KESLING has pleaded guilty is punishable by a period of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years, and up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to four million dollars ($4,000,000), and a mandatory period of supervised release to follow imprisonment of five (5) years. His presumptive sentencing range under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is from 17 years to 21 years imprisonment. Sentencing is set for December 2, 2005 in front of U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez.

In related cases, Douglas Spink, Wesley Cornett, and attorneys James L. White and A. Mark Vanderveen have already pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.

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