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Press Release

Yakima Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington
Investigation Into Stolen Skis for Sale on Craigslist, Led Investigators to Large Quantities of Fentanyl

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jacob Rodney Penny, age 44, of Yakima, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Fentanyl and one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 192 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on May 13, 2022, the victim of a residential burglary saw a Craigslist Ad for ski equipment that matched items that had been stolen. Law enforcement contacted the seller and asked to purchase the skis. After agreeing to price, the seller said his friend would deliver the skis to the Wolf Den in Wapato, Washington and would be driving a newer white Chevy Tahoe. At the arranged time, Penny arrived at the location, driving a white Tahoe. Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and detained Penny, who told investigators he knew he was being detained because of the “stupid skis.” Penny also stated he was making the delivery because the skis did not fit in his friend’s vehicle.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on the Tahoe, locating four large bags that contained hundreds of fentanyl pills, two smaller bags containing between 100 and 200 fentanyl pills each, a small quantity of methamphetamine, a scale with drug residue, two 9mm pistols, and $2,600 in cash.

“I am grateful for the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office for their tremendous investigation in this case.  What began as an investigation into a set of stolen skis, led to the discovery of deadly fentanyl, which could have claimed the lives of those, who call the Yakima Valley home,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “My office, working with our law enforcement partners, are committed to stopping the spread of illicit narcotics in Eastern Washington. By working together, we can make our communities safer and stronger for everyone.”

“Sometimes an unexpected break leads to success,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “In this case, a property crime led to sending a drug trafficker to federal prison. The FBI and our partners will continue working to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets and out of our communities.”

This case was investigated by the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Hanlon.


Robert Curry 

Public Affairs Specialist 

Updated June 11, 2024

Drug Trafficking