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Press Release

Bremerton, Washington, couple sentenced to long prison terms for distributing significant amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Picked-up drugs from a supplier in Arizona and shipped via UPS to contacts in North Dakota

Tacoma – A Bremerton, Washington couple was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to lengthy prison terms for possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  David Berryhill, 46, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and his fiancé Jamie Kelly, 50, was sentenced to 72 months in prison. The pair were arrested on June 14, 2022, with eight pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of fentanyl pills in the rental car they were using to transport the drugs from Arizona.  Both have been detained at FDC SeaTac since their arrest.

At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo said, “Here we are dealing with significant quantities of narcotics…fentanyl is real and causing real damage in a lot of our communities… there has been a lot of death caused by it. . . I am charged with being the voice of society.” 

According to records filed in the case, in 2021, workers at a UPS store reported to law enforcement that Berryhill was shipping what appeared to be narcotics from their store.  Berryhill  was obtaining drugs from a supplier in Phoenix, Arizona.  Berryhill would fly or drive to Arizona to pick up meth and fentanyl pills. 

On June 10, 2022, Berryhill and Kelly rented a car a Sea-Tac airport and drove to Phoenix to pick-up drugs.  On June 12, 2022, they drove the first leg of the trip to Las Vegas and on June 14, 2022, they crossed from Oregon into Washington where they were ultimately arrested following a traffic stop.

The investigation revealed that Berryhill or Kelly would ship multi-pound quantities of the drugs to contacts in North Dakota.  Berryhill also traveled to North Dakota to distribute the drugs, sometimes in tribal communities.

In asking for a 110-month sentence for Berryhill, Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart wrote to the court, “Mr. Berryhill also chose to traffic in fentanyl, which is incredibly dangerous and deadly. Just one pill can kill someone, and Mr. Berryhill had thousands. Two of his clients were previously arrested in North Dakota and named Mr. Berryhill as their supplier. Mr. Berryhill’s target areas in North Dakota and Montana were near tribal communities and in a rural county. Knowing the hazards of the drugs, Mr. Berryhill still chose to export them to other states and sell to individuals.” 

Both defendants pleaded guilty on October 7, 2022.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bremerton Special Operations Group, and the Olympic Peninsula Narcotic Enforcement Team (OPNET).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart.

Contact

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.

Updated January 27, 2023

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Release Number: 6