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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

Monday, February 12, 2018

Drug Dealer Sentenced to 235 Months Imprisonment

 Spokane– Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Daniel Woolem, age 49, of Moxee, Washington, was sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and for Distribution of Methamphetamine. United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Woolem to a 235-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by five years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, in July 2015, a task force was created to investigate suspected drug trafficking organizations operating within Yakima County. During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Woolem was selling methamphetamine out of his residence in Moxee. In addition, law enforcement officers learned that Woolem was supplying street level drug dealers with methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers obtained multiple photographs of Woolem meeting with street level drug dealers at his residence. The investigators gathered evidence which resulted in the filing of a criminal Indictment.

On October 26, 2016, a search warrant was executed at the Woolem residence. In addition to other items, law enforcement officers discovered an elaborate security system, multiple firearms, loaded magazines, a suppressor, a bump stock, and drug paraphernalia.

In August, 2017, the case went to trial. Multiple witnesses testified concerning personal observations of Woolem selling methamphetamine at his residence. Several law enforcement officers testified and described the organization. The jury was provided with evidence obtained during the investigation. Woolem testified that he never sold drugs and that he was essentially a Good Samaritan who assisted the less fortunate. Woolem described how he occasionally would bring homeless people from Walmart to his home to bathe, and that he would provide them with food, cigarettes, and other items. On August 24, 2017, the jury found him guilty of all the charges.

At the February 7, 2017 sentencing hearing, Judge Bastian observed that Woolem lied when he testified under oath, which resulted in an obstruction of justice Enhancement. Judge Bastian determined that it was clear Woolem had a leadership role in the distribution of methamphetamine. It was based, in part, on Woolem’s obstruction of justice and leadership role that resulted in the 235-month term of imprisonment and five years of court supervision following release from federal prison.

Joseph H. Harrington stated, “I commend the law enforcement officers who worked on this case. Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome in this matter. The United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Washington is, and will continue to be, committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for offenders who distribute drugs in this District.”

This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Yakama Nation Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Yakima Police Department, the Union Gap Police Department, the Moxee Police Department, the Toppenish Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and the Law Enforcement Against Drugs Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Tom Hanlon, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Press Release Number: 
Updated February 12, 2018