News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

KELSO MAN SENTENCED TO LONG PRISON TERM FOR METH TRAFFICKING
Defendant Repeatedly Sold Meth to People Working with Law Enforcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2011

RANDY S. CHALUPA, 47, of Kelso, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. CHALUPA was a member of a ring in the Longview/Kelso area of Southwest Washington, distributing pounds of methamphetamine each week. On four different occasions in November 2009, and January and February 2010, CHALUPA sold methamphetamine to people working with law enforcement. CHALUPA was arrested March 29, 2010, following a traffic stop. Law enforcement officers searched his car and discovered more than 100 grams of methamphetamine. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “A lengthy sentence is required to protect the public because history shows us he is likely to commit crimes in the future.”

According to records in the case, CHALUPA worked as a drug dealer selling methamphetamine he obtained from Anthony Reisbeck. Reisbeck was trafficking in pound quantities of methamphetamine per day through a variety of sub-dealers operating in the area of Kelso, Washington. Reisbeck will be sentenced later this month. CHALUPA sold the meth from his van, arranging the drug sales outside various stores in Kelso. CHALUPA would have the customer get in the van and he would drive around the block while completing the sale. In February 2010, a person working with law enforcement witnessed Reisbeck sell CHALUPA six ounces of methamphetamine for $10,000. After Reisbeck was arrested he made multiple calls from the jail to CHALUPA and other drug conspirators, trying to get them to collect drug debts from various customers.

CHALUPA has three prior convictions for dealing methamphetamine – in 1999, 2002 and 2004. CHALUPA pleaded guilty October 8, 2010. CHALUPA’s co-defendant Michael Waddington was sentenced last month to ten years in prison.

In his request for a sentence of more than 12 years in prison, Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Backhus noted that CHALUPA took over operating the drug ring after Reisbeck’s arrest. CHALUPA “played a significant role in a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for flooding the streets of Southwestern Washington with methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug, which negatively affects many individuals and families,” Mr. Backhus wrote in his sentencing memo to the court.

The 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 Jeffrey Backhus.

 

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