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Press Release

Pendleton Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Distribution of Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Pendleton, Oregon man was sentenced to federal prison today for shooting a family member with a semi-automatic pistol and distributing methamphetamine.

Royce Francis Speedis, 34, was sentenced to 77 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, in early March 2019, Speedis and co-defendant Lavella Ruth Thompson, 28, also of Pendleton, arranged to purchase methamphetamine on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. On March 7, 2019, three individuals drove to the reservation to meet and sell methamphetamine to Thompson. Thompson arrived in an SUV and tried to convince the three people to follow her to a second location to complete the sale. When they declined, Thompson returned to the SUV. Three men then exited the SUV with guns and opened fire into the sellers’ car. One passenger in the sellers’ car sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being struck in the back of the head. 

The methamphetamine sellers provided conflicting accounts of Speedis’ involvement in the shooting. A ballistics analysis later linked a Ruger rifle recovered from Speedis’ family’s residence on the reservation to spent cartridge casings found at the shooting scene. However, no arrests were made following the shooting.

On April 17, 2019, Speedis and his sister engaged in an argument with their cousin on the reservation. When the cousin attempted to leave, Speedis pulled a black semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and fired a single round that traveled through his cousin’s right leg into his left leg.

On April 23, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count indictment charging Speedis with assault with a deadly weapon and using a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. On August 19, 2020, Speedis was indicted a second time, along with Thompson, on one count each of conspiring with one another to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and interference with commerce by robbery.

One year later, on August 23, 2021, Speedis pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On September 7, 2021, Thompson pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge. She will be sentenced on December 10, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Umatilla Tribal Police Department and the FBI. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Updated December 1, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses