Meth dealer who stocked up in Tri-Cities gets 25 years in federal prison

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldNovember 6, 2013 

A Spokane Valley methamphetamine dealer who stocked up every other week on trips to the Tri-Cities will do 25 years in federal prison.

Ian Michael Harris, 41, was sentenced in federal court for his earlier guilty plea to one count each of conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure meth.

Harris, who was sentenced by Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush, will be on court supervision for 10 years after his release from prison.

"The 25-year sentence imposed in this case reflects the serious impact that methamphetamine has on communities," U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby said in a news release.

Ormsby's office is committed to aggressively prosecuting meth traffickers and getting appropriate punishment because it is a dangerous drug, he said.

"Distribution of methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Washington and in the surrounding areas will not be tolerated," he added.

The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force started investigating Harris' meth trafficking organization in 2012, and discovered that he was a multi-pound distributor of the drug in eastern Washington and Idaho.

Harris made a trip to the Tri-Cities about every 10 days to get meth, which he took back to the Spokane area and distributed in large quantities to people he knew would resell the drugs in the two states, according to information disclosed in court hearings.

After one trip, he was seen with about eight to 10 pounds of meth.

The task force got a search warrant April 2 for Harris' shop in Spokane Valley. That followed a report of a shooting on the property.

The search turned up more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition hidden in a secret room, along with firearms and a small amount of meth, the news release said.

Investigators also found about 3 pounds of meth and several loaded handguns stashed in motorcycle saddle bags in the master bedroom of Harris' home.

A separate search of his Chevrolet Camaro revealed four firearms, ammunition and explosives.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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