KALAMA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE IN FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Man Fabricates Evidence in Order To Implicate Another in Criminal Activity
RYAN J. RIVARD, 44, of Kalama, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to the felony charge of Conspiracy to Obstruct An Official Criminal Proceeding in connection with a federal criminal investigation focused upon the unlawful distribution of pharmaceutical controlled substances in the Kelso/Longview, Washington area.
The defendant’s wife, Tina M. Rivard has already pleaded guilty to a similar federal offense and is awaiting sentencing.
According to records filed in the case, RYAN RIVARD knowing and intentionally conspired with Tina M. Rivard to influence and obstruct an official criminal proceeding, by participating in the making of fabricated evidence for use in a criminal proceeding, and which evidence resulted in federal charges being filed against an individual in a criminal proceeding.
In pleading guilty, RYAN RIVARD acknowledged that during May 2007, he became aware that his wife had been arrested in Cowlitz County for prescription forgery, and been given an opportunity to work with law enforcement in an effort to mitigate her charge. Tina Rivard and RYAN RIVARD together conceived of and executed a plan to deceive law enforcement and to produce false evidence in a criminal investigation relating to Bo J. Storedahl, a resident of Cowlitz County. It was the intention of the RIVARDS that the false information they produced would be used and relied upon by law enforcement to bring formal criminal charges against Bo J. Storedahl in an official proceeding, and that Tina Rivard’s state forgery charge would be mitigated.
In furtherance of this unlawful plan, Tina Rivard and RYAN RIVARD agreed that Tina Rivard would place phone calls to her husband, which both RIVARDs knew were going to be recorded by law enforcement, and that during such calls, RYAN RIVARD would pose as Storedahl in an effort to deceive law enforcement and produce false evidence against Storedahl. On May 18, 2007, Tina Rivard met with law enforcement officers in Cowlitz County for purposes of placing a recorded call to Storedahl. Prior to placing the call, Tina Rivard called and told her husband that she was on her way to meet with law enforcement. She did this so her husband would know to pose as Storedahl when she next called him. Both Tina Rivard and RYAN RIVARD knew that the purpose of these recorded calls by law enforcement was to document Tina Rivard’s claimed criminal interaction with Storedahl and to obtain evidence of Storedahl’s criminal participation for use in a criminal prosecution. An officer dialed into Tina Rivard’s cellular phone a phone number known to be utilized by Storedahl. Upon receiving the phone back into her hands, but unbeknownst to law enforcement, Tina Rivard diverted the call to the cellular phone used by RYAN RIVARD. RYAN RIVARD answered the phone falsely identifying himself as “Bo” Storedahl, and advised Tina Rivard that he would soon be in possession of 100 pills of oxycodone which he was willing to sell to her for a specified price.
On May 25, 2007, Tina Rivard again met with officers for purposes of placing a recorded call to Storedahl. Tina Rivard again led officers to believe a phone call was being placed to Storedahl, whereas she diverted the call to her husband. During this call, recorded pursuant to Court order, RYAN RIVARD again answered the phone posing as “Bo” (Storedahl), and told Tina Rivard that he would meet her at his (Storedahl’s) residence later that day to deliver the 100 pills to her.
Later on May 25, 2007, Tina Rivard arrived at Storedahl’s residence in Cowlitz County and met with Storedahl under surveillance by federal and state officers. RYAN RIVARD also arrived at Storedahl’s residence. All three were surveilled by law enforcement to enter Storedahl’s residence. Tina Rivard had been provided $4,000 law enforcement buy money to make the oxycodone purchase from Storedahl. While inside the residence, Tina Rivard was handed approximately 100 pills of oxycodone by her husband RYAN RIVARD. Tina Rivard then exited Storedahl’s residence, and delivered the pills to the officers, falsely reporting that she had received the pills from Storedahl.
During the remainder of May and early June, 2007, RYAN RIVARD participated in additional recorded calls, posing as Storedahl, and with the purpose of implicating Storedahl in criminal activity.
Unaware of the misconduct by Tina Rivard and RYAN RIVARD, federal charges were initiated against Bo Storedahl in August 2007. These charges included multiple counts of using a telephone to facilitate a drug delivery, in reliance upon the recorded calls referenced above.
Ultimately, following a review of the evidence by federal and state authorities, to include a review of phone logs and a voice comparison, and with the benefit of information provided to law enforcement by counsel for Storedahl, the criminal conduct by RYAN RIVARD and Tina Rivard was uncovered. Once uncovered, the pending federal charges against Storedahl were dismissed.
On November 16, 2007, Storedahl pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of oxycodone, a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison, and is awaiting sentencing on that charge.
Both RYAN RIVARD and Tina Rivard face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine upon their federal convictions for obstriction of justice. Tina Rivard is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2008. RYAN RIVARD is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 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.