KALAMA WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE IN INVESTIGATION OF DRUG DEALING NETWORK
Confidential Informant Lied about Recorded Telephone Calls and Drug Deal
TINA M. RIVARD, 41, of Kalama, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to four years in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Obstruction of Justice in connection with her activities in the investigation of a Southwest Washington prescription drug network. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said RIVARD’s conduct was “inexcusable, and showed a total lack of empathy.”
According to records filed in the case, RIVARD worked with law enforcement investigators who were concerned about alarmingly high numbers of prescription drug overdoses in Southwest Washington. On May 8, 2007, RIVARD had been arrested for prescription forgery in Cowlitz County, and hoped to reduce her potential sentence by working with law enforcement. She agreed to make recorded phone calls and set up drug deals with suspected drug distributors. After entering into a written agreement with law enforcement that required her to be truthful with them in all dealings, RIVARD conspired with her husband to fabricate evidence against one of the defendants arrested in the investigation.
Judge Leighton said today RIVARD’s conduct “betrayed a cynicism and disregard for a system of justice that is vital to the protection of us all.”
As Leighton announced the four years sentence, RIVARD acknowledged “I have put myself in this position.”
RIVARD and her husband, Ryan Rivard, concocted a scheme whereby he would pretend to be Bo J. Storedahl in recorded telephone calls that were monitored by law enforcement. The scheme worked like this: a law enforcement officer would dial the known telephone number for Storedahl into the cellular phone and hand the phone to TINA RIVARD. RIVARD would divert the call to her husband who would answer the phone as if he were Bo Storedahl and would discuss drug deals on the recorded line. On May 18, May 25, June 1, and July 5, 2007, TINA RIVARD made these calls. When it came time to do an actual drug deal, TINA RIVARD, with law enforcement watching, went to Storedahl’s Cowlitz County home. RIVARD had been given $4,000 by law enforcement to purchase 100 oxycodone pills from Storedahl. Officers who were watching the home were surprised to see Ryan Rivard arrive at the home while his wife was there. TINA RIVARD emerged in a few minutes and gave the pills to law enforcement saying that she had received the pills from Storedahl, when in fact she received the pills from her husband. When she was asked why her husband had been at Storedahl’s residence, RIVARD fabricated an excuse that he had been there on different business. In the recorded call on June 1, 2007, her husband again posed as Bo Storedahl and repeated the excuse they had concocted as to why he had been at Storedahl’s home that day. In fact, inside the Storedahl home, Ryan Rivard delivered the 100 oxycodone pills to his wife.
Relying on the evidence that had been falsified by the RIVARDs, Storedahl was indicted by the grand jury on August 1, 2007, for Distribution of Oxycodone and Use of a Telephone to Facilitate Drug Crime. In early October, the government learned of the possible misconduct by the RIVARDs. A review of the recorded phone calls, voice comparison and review of the telephone logs revealed the scheme. The plea agreement recounts that when confronted by law enforcement on October 14, 2007, TINA RIVARD initially denied any misconduct. However after extensive questioning by both law enforcement and prosecutors, RIVARD admitted she had diverted the calls to her husband, who had posed as Bo Storedahl.
Ryan Rivard pleaded guilty to Obstructing an Official Criminal Proceeding on March 7, 2008, and will be sentenced June 6, 2008.
The cases were 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.