News and Press Releases

ABERDEEN MAN SENTENCED FOR MARIJUANA GROW ON TRIBAL LAND
Defendant Prosecuted a Third Time for Illegal Grows; Captured on Surveillance Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2009

DUSTY WAMBOLT, 38, of Aberdeen, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to four years in prison and three years of supervised release for Manufacturing Marijuana. WAMBOLT was arrested in October 2008 and pleaded guilty on May 4, 2009, following the investigation of a marijuana grow on Quinault Tribal Land. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle noted it was the third time WAMBOLT has been prosecuted for illegal marijuana grows, telling WAMBOLT that the “relatively lenient sentences” he had received in the past had not made an adequate impression on him and that “You need to be deterred and the public needs to be protected from you.” As part of the term of supervised release, WAMBOLT will also have to serve 60 hours of community service, which the judge said should benefit the Quinault Nation.

According to records filed in the case, in June 2008, a person scouting timber on the Quinault Reservation encountered a marijuana grow. The information was reported to the FBI and the Washington State Patrol Hotline. The WSP referred the case to the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force for investigation. The site, on land reserved for tribal hunting and logging, contained about 100 plants. Investigators set up hidden cameras to monitor the site and obtained surveillance video of WAMBOLT watering and tending the plants. WAMBOLT was well known to task force officers for two previous arrests for marijuana grows. On August 14, 2008, the grow on the Quinault land was dismantled. On October 22, 2008, WAMBOLT’s home in Aberdeen was searched and he was arrested. During the search officers seized a small amount of processed marijuana and a variety of ammunition. Because of his prior convictions, WAMBOLT is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber wrote to the court “.... this is a defendant who has previously been prosecuted for this very same offense. He has had his second, and indeed, third chances. Yet he still repeatedly commits the same crime..... (He) has repeatedly shown over the last seventeen years nothing but disrespect and utter contempt for the law and those who enforce it, short stints in jail and small fines were not enough to get his attention or change his behavior. Thus, stronger measures are called for this time.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and Grays Harbor Drug Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

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

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