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Press Release

Felon arrested at Puyallup motel pleads guilty to drug and gun crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Faces mandatory minimum 15-year prison term

Tacoma - A federal felon, arrested for violating his supervised release, faces new prison time following his guilty plea to drug and gun possession charges, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  JOSHUA LOBBEN, 32, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Both charges carry mandatory minimum terms of incarceration.  LOBBEN is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on February 15, 2021.

According to the plea agreement and other records filed in the case, on April 29, 2020, LOBBEN was contacted by law enforcement as he left a Puyallup motel.  An arrest warrant had been issued for LOBBEN for violations of his supervised release following a 2015 federal conviction for drug trafficking.  LOBBEN had a stolen firearm in his waistband, and bags containing more than 6 pounds of methamphetamine, 3,000 fentanyl pills and smaller amounts of heroin and steroids.  The bags also contained more than $64,000 in cash and a second loaded firearm.  In his plea agreement, LOBBEN admits the firearms were for the furtherance of his drug trafficking activity.

Due to the amount of drugs in the case, LOBBEN faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison.  Possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum consecutive five-year sentence.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tacoma Resident Office, the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET), and the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force (GHDTF).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonas Lerman.


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

Updated November 23, 2020

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