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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Ten Year Prison Term Imposed for a Fentanyl Distributor

Tri-Cities, Washington Man Sentenced in Federal Court

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Taylor Fertig, age 24, of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 400 grams or more of Fentanyl. Senior United States District Judge Edward Shea imposed a 10-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after release from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Fertig was identified as one of the first major distributors of Fentanyl-laced pills that are unlawfully made to appear to be prescription oxycodone medication. Fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid, is largely responsible for the marked increase in drug overdoses and deaths in this District. As Judge Shea noted during the sentencing hearing, Fentanyl is the most dangerous and insidious drug facing our community today and, based upon the quantity of pills being sold by Fertig and his negative impact on this community, in combination with his possession of multiple firearms, a ten year sentence was appropriate.

Joseph H. Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will aggressively prosecute cases involving fentanyl distribution, and the sentence imposed in this case demonstrates that fentanyl dealers will be held accountable for their illegal conduct. I commend the outstanding investigative work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis was pleased with the sentencing further adding that “Opioid abuse is spreading like wildfire devastating our communities and we will aggressively pursue those most responsible for fueling the flames.”

Today’s enforcement action is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program provides supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved in the investigation of drug-related crimes. This OCDETF investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland Police Departments. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
18-CR-06031-EFS
Updated June 26, 2019