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Press Release

Final defendant sentenced to ten years in prison in fentanyl distribution scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Two stopped in Thurston County with $250,000 load of drugs including fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin

Tacoma – The final defendant of a two-man drug distribution crew was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to ten years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Dustin Carl Wurges, 37, was arrested November 8, 2021, with a large load of drugs, three firearms, and three sets of body armor in the Chevy Tahoe he was riding in. The driver of the car, Jonathan Mayhall was sentenced to ten years in prison on March 4, 2024. At that sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said, “Fentanyl has become a plague in this community and across the country… we know it has fatal consequences. The quantities that you brought here could well have contained a dose that would have caused someone to die.”

According to records filed in the case, law enforcement became aware of Wurges and Mayhall’s drug activity as they investigated an Aryan prison gang involved in trafficking drugs in the Puget Sound region. In November 2021, the men set up a drug deal with contacts in southern California. Initially they were taking $50,000 to purchase controlled substances, but when the prices seemed low, they upped their budget by an additional $200,000. As the two men returned from California, law enforcement monitored their progress. At a rest area in Thurston County Washington law enforcement arrested the men. In the car, law enforcement seized more than four kilograms of fentanyl, nearly two kilograms of cocaine, more than a kilogram of heroin, two and a half kilograms of methamphetamine, two firearms, three ballistic vests, money counters, and more than $87,000 in cash. Law enforcement seized an additional pistol from the purse of a female co-conspirator who was riding in the vehicle.

Wurges entered a guilty plea in the case in October 2023. Both the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend a sentence of ten years in prison with five years of supervised release to follow prison.

At the sentencing hearing today, Judge Settle said, “This is a very serious crime because of the wake of damage it leaves behind.”

The investigation was led by the FBI with critical investigative teamwork from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Washington State Department of Corrections and significant local assistance from the Tacoma Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, and the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zach Dillon and Max Shiner.


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

Updated May 28, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses