News and Press Releases

LEADER OF COCAINE AND OXYCODONE DISTRIBUTION RING SENTENCED TO LONG PRISON TERM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2007

IAN ELTON FUHR, 25, of Federal Way, Washington, the leader of a drug distribution ring centered in Federal Way, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. FUHR pleaded guilty March 17, 2006, to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and to being a Drug User in Possession of a Firearm.

This investigation, which included Court authorized wiretaps, resulted in the prosecution and conviction of some 30 defendants in the Western District of Washington on drug-related offenses. Among those prosecuted were numerous distributors, including multiple 74 Hoover Crip gang members, and a criminal defense attorney for offenses committed in relation to the drug distribution network.

IAN FUHR played a center role in the conspiracy presiding over numerous individuals who acted as cocaine distributors for him. As part of his guilty plea, FUHR acknowledged participating in the distribution of up to 50 kilograms of cocaine. FUHR supplied cellular phones to his distributors in fictitious names, and took steps during the conspiracy to insure their allegiance to him. In a recorded conversation during the wiretap, FUHR, referring to his distributors, stated: "My people are loyal, my people don’t jump ship. Plus, they know if I catch them jumpin’ ship even one time, they are out of the game."

At the same time that FUHR was presiding over this distribution network, he maintained numerous dangerous weapons, including semi-automatic pistols and assault-type weapons, such as an Uzi.

As part of his sentence FUHR forfeited to the government valuable property he acquired with his drug money, including property in King County worth more than $380,000, $40,000 in cash, and sixteen firearms valued at $9,000. In all, defendants in this case forfeited an estimated $2.3 million in property, cash and goods to the government.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Department, Washington State Department of Corrections, Des Moines Police Department and U.S. Marshal Service. Assisting in the arrests this morning were the Washington State Patrol, Federal Way Police Department, and the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ron Friedman and Richard Cohen.

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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