Kennewick man faces time in jail for meth possession

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldDecember 13, 2012 

A 33-year-old Kennewick man admitted that he had 13.5 grams of methamphetamine on him when he was contacted by police in July for a domestic violence report.

Tustuji Matu Wakauwn faces a sentence of up to two years in prison after pleading guilty in Benton County Superior Court to possessing methamphetamine.

Prosecutors agreed to recommend 1 1/2 years and said the time can run at the same time as a second meth case where a one-year sentence will be recommended. In that case, Wakauwn had been charged in March with possessing meth with intent to deliver, but took a plea deal in August to possessing meth.

He's expected to be sentenced Jan. 2 in both cases, but his time in court won't be done. Wakauwn also is facing a lengthy prison sentence if he's convicted in a pending federal case for delivering meth.

Wakauwn previously had been charged in Benton County Superior Court with three counts of delivery of meth.

That case, however, was dismissed because federal prosecutors decided to charge him with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Wakauwn faces a minimum 10-year prison sentence if convicted in federal court, documents said.

The state case was dismissed Nov. 21, about a week after it was filed in U.S. District Court in Yakima.

The charges stemmed from three drug buys that allegedly were made by a confidential informant working for the Tri-Cities Metro Drug Task Force.

The confidential informant bought meth Aug. 14, Aug. 31 and Sept. 5 from Wakauwn after making plans to meet at Wakauwn's apartment at 305 E. Columbia Drive, documents filed in Superior Court said.

Wakauwn sold the informant 2.19 grams of meth in the first buy, 1.82 grams of meth the second time and 5 grams of meth during the third transaction, documents said.

The federal court documents allege that Wakauwn, who is also known as "T-Bird," sold 23 grams of crystal meth to informants working with the task force from July 25 to Sept. 5.

The federal charges reference five drug buys, including the three detailed in the state's case. Federal prosecutors also allege Wakauwn sold 7.38 grams at the Break Place Conoco on Canal Drive on July 25, and 6.79 grams of 98 percent pure meth from his home on Sept. 4.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service