News and Press Releases

Spokane Man Sentenced for Distributing Meth in North Idaho

February 28, 2012

COEUR D'ALENE – James Stewart, 50, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Stewart to serve 10 years of supervised release following his prison term, perform 120 hours of community service, and forfeit cash proceeds from the illegal drug activity in the amount of $180,000. Stewart pled guilty to the charge on July 12, 2011.

According to court documents, Stewart made multiple trips to California to pick up methamphetamine. Following his arrival in California, Stewart would swap vehicles with a coconspirator. Members of the conspiracy would then hide packages of methamphetamine behind the door panels of the vehicle Stewart had driven to California. Stewart and his co-conspirators would then meet to exchange vehicles, after which Stewart would transport the methamphetamine to Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, and Spokane, where it was broken down for distribution and sold.

Stewart's co-defendant, Shad Alan Johnson, of Rathdrum, Idaho, was sentenced on September 7, 2011, to 60 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Johnson was also ordered to forfeit $180,000, or substitute property equal to the money judgment.

“These two defendants received lengthy prison sentences for bringing this dangerously addictive drug to Idaho communities,” said Olson. “The U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to work with state and federal law enforcement officers throughout Idaho and our neighboring states to ensure that drug traffickers are caught, prosecuted and convicted.”

The case was investigated by the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force (NIVCTF), a Federal Bureau of Investigation sponsored Safe Streets Task Force comprised of law enforcement from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, Coeur d’Alene City Police Department, Post Falls Police Department, Idaho State Police, Bonner County Sheriff's Department, Shoshone County Sheriff's Department, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The task force also participates with the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and coordinates as needed with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Forest Service.