News and Press Releases

Pierce County Man was Awaiting Retrial on Murder Charge when Arrested

October 24, 2008

LARRY EDWARD TARRER II, 35, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 10 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute MDMA/Ecstasy, Possession of MDMA/ Ecstasy with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. TARRER was arrested in May 2007, following a series of drug deals with a confidential informant working for the Tacoma Drug Enforcement Administration/ Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team (DEA/TNET). TARRER pleaded guilty on the first day of trial in May 2008. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said TARRER presented a “clear and present danger to the community... and there is a frightening and compelling justification for a sentence of ten years.”

According to records filed in the case, on May 22, 2007, TARRER assisted with the delivery of 900 pills of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, to a confidential source working with the DEA. Agents followed TARRER after he agreed to obtain another 2,000 pills for the confidential source. TARRER and his source of the MDMA, Ronald Lee Banks, were arrested in the parking lot of a Federal Way McDonald’s restaurant. TARRER initially refused to get out of the car, struggled with police and was forced to the ground. A court authorized search of TARRER’s car turned up cocaine, crack cocaine, scales, baggies and more than $8,000 cash. A search of TARRER’s girlfriend’s car turned up a loaded handgun, ammunition, cocaine, and an electronic scale.

Seventeen years ago TARRER was convicted of Second Degree Murder and First Degree Assault, but those convictions were overturned by the Washington State Supreme court ruling in State v. Andruss, related to the felony murder rule. Those charges are pending retrial in Pierce County Superior Court.

Ronald Lee Banks was sentenced September 2, 2008, to 80 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Tacoma Drug Enforcement Administration/ Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team (DEA/TNET), and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Doug Hill. Mr. Hill is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute drug cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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