KALAMA MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
RYAN J. RIVARD, 44, of Kalama, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 48 months in prison, and 3 years of supervised release, for Conspiracy to Obstruct An Official Criminal Proceeding, a felony, in connection with a federal criminal investigation focused upon the unlawful distribution of pharmaceutical controlled substances in the Kelso/Longview, Washington, area during 2007.
The defendant’s wife, Tina M. Rivard, received an identical sentence in March 2008, for her role in the same offense.
According to records filed in the case, during May 2007, RYAN RIVARD became aware that his wife had been arrested in Cowlitz County for prescription drug forgery, and that she had been given an opportunity to work with local law enforcement in an effort to lessen her charges. The RIVARDs then together concocted a scheme to deceive law enforcement and produce false evidence in a criminal investigation in an effort to lessen the charges against Tina Rivard.
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 Bo J. Storedahl, a resident of Cowlitz County, in an effort to deceive law enforcement and produce false evidence against Storedahl indicating that Storedahl was involved in drug trafficking. On May 18, 2007, Tina Rivard met with law enforcement officers in Cowlitz County for purposes of placing a call to Storedahl. Prior to placing the Storedahl call, and unbeknownst to officers, Tina Rivard had warned her husband that she would be meeting with officers so her husband would know to pose as Storedahl when she next called. 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. During the recorded call, RYAN RIVARD answered the phone falsely identifying himself as “Bo” Storedahl, and told Tina Rivard that he would soon be in possession of 100 pills of Oxycodone which he was willing to sell to her at 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 warned her husband in advance and diverted the call to her husband. During this call, recorded pursuant to Court order, RYAN RIVARD 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 engaged in additional recorded calls, posing as Storedahl, with the unlawful purpose and intent of deceiving law enforcement.
Ultimately, following a thorough review of the evidence by federal and state authorities, the criminal conduct by RYAN RIVARD and Tina Rivard was uncovered. Once uncovered, the pending federal charges against Storedahl based upon that tainted investigation were dismissed. Storedahl later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
This case was investigated by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The case was 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.