Source: Google News
Peter Talbot / The News Tribune
A 61-year-old Spanaway man was sentenced Tuesday in federal district court for his role in a drug ring bringing fentanyl and methamphetamine into Western Washington.
Dwayne Douglas George was ordered to eight years in prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, a charge he pleaded guilty to in September in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Prosecutors said George played a “key role” in the drug ring working as a courier and bringing large amounts of drugs to the northwest from California. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the defendant helped spread meth and fentanyl to Pierce, King, Thurston, Lewis, Mason and Kitsap counties.
“Mr. George obtained as much as seven pounds of methamphetamine at a time directly from the leader of this drug distribution ring — and fed the addiction of countless people struggling in our community,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in the news release. “He also was poised to bring 80,000 fentanyl pills to our community. Both meth and fentanyl are claiming lives across western Washington.”
George was indicted last year along with 16 other defendants allegedly involved in the drug ring. Several sentencing hearings are set for this month and early next year, and a jury trial is set for May next year for nine of the defendants, according to court records.
An investigation into the drug ring’s activities began in February 2020, prosecutors said. According to the release, various people working with law enforcement provided information about the group, and agencies began seizing drugs in May that year.
Investigators seized 115 pounds of meth in traffic stops and other seizures conducted between May 2020 and August 2021. One traffic stop yielded 20,000 fentanyl pills.
In asking for an eight-year prison sentence for George, prosecutors wrote to the court that the man worked alongside a “large transnational drug organization” selling meth by the pound. Prosecutors also noted George’s involvement in distributing fentanyl, which they described as an incredibly dangerous and often lethal drug that George never used himself.
George grew up in the Tacoma area but eventually moved to Germany for a year after being held in a youth detention facility, according to a sentencing memo filed by the man’s defense attorneys. Requesting a shorter sentence of 5 years, the attorneys wrote that George’s home life “disintegrated” after his father went to Vietnam.
In Germany, George was first introduced to methamphetamine. He returned to Spanaway a year later. The defense attorneys wrote that George developed a long-term meth addiction, and they said it was access to the drug that motivated him to get involved in the drug ring.
The attorneys argued that the defendant’s life history, the circumstances of his involvement in the drug ring and his advancing age made the shorter sentence sufficient.
The investigation into the drug ring was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from numerous police departments and narcotics enforcement teams in Western Washington.