GOVERNMENT INFORMANT PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG TRAFFICKING IN CONNECTION WITH SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON INVESTIGATION
LEO BRITTON BUNKER, 47, of Washougal, Washington, pleaded guilty Friday, April 18, 2008, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to the felony charge of Possession of Pseudoephedrine For Purposes of Manufacturing Methamphetamine in connection with a drug trafficking investigation in southwest Washington.
The offense is punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment, a two hundred fifty thousand dollar fine, and a period of supervised release of three years to follow imprisonment.
According to court records filed in the case, during November 2007, BUNKER approached state law enforcement officers with information relating to illicit trafficking of pseudoephedrine in the southwest Washington area. Pseudoephedrine is a regulated chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. It is a federal felony offense to possess pseudoephedrine, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe, the chemical will be used to manufacture methamphetamine. BUNKER elected to cooperate with local and federal law enforcement authorities in a continuing investigation focused upon the source of the pseudoephedrine residing in Tenino, Washington. As part of his agreement to cooperate, which was in writing and signed by BUNKER, BUNKER agreed to engage in no illegal conduct and to only act at the direction of officers conducting the investigation.
During November 2007, at the direction of officers, BUNKER met with the source, Craig Nelson, of Tenino, Washington, and participated in recorded conversations with Nelson. BUNKER also introduced an undercover agent to Nelson who was able to buy large quantities of pseudoephedrine from Nelson. During this same period of time, officers began receiving information that BUNKER himself was offering jars of pseudoephedrine for sale in the Washougal area.
On December 6, 2007, Nelson was arrested. That same day, BUNKER met with a separate undercover officer in a parking lot in Washougal, and attempted to sell the officer a large jar of pseudoephedrine tablets for $2,400.00. BUNKER was arrested at the scene and the jar of pseudoephedrine was seized.
At the time of his arrest on December 6, BUNKER knew that he was acting unlawfully, in abrogation of his cooperation agreement, and in violation of law.
Nelson has pleaded guilty to trafficking in pseudoephedrine, and is awaiting sentencing.
Sentencing for Nelson is set for June 6, 2008. Sentencing for BUNKER is set for July 11, 2008.
This matter was investigated by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.