Pasco man sentenced to federal prison in drug case

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMay 19, 2014 

A Pasco man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal prison for selling more than 24 grams of pure methamphetamine to a person working for law enforcement as a confidential informant.

Kenneth R. Rowell, 30, was charged in U.S. District Court following his arrest for the April 11, 2013, sale.

That's when a person working with the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force was sent in to buy drugs from Rowell.

The person got into Rowell's car for the exchange in Benton County, according to court documents.

The drugs were tested by a Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory and showed that Rowell sold 25.9 grams of a mixture, which contained meth and had a 95.1 percent purity, along with 24.6 grams of straight meth, documents said.

Rowell pleaded guilty in February to distribution of methamphetamine. He was sentenced in Yakima's federal courthouse by Senior Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen.

U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby of the Eastern District of Washington praised the cooperation between members of Metro Drug Task Force and the DEA.

"The corrosive effects of methamphetamine upon the community are well known," Ormsby said in a news release.

A record of Monday's proceeding shows that the court agreed to write a letter to the Bureau of Prisons recommending a 500-hour drug treatment program for Rowell. Nielsen also will ask that Rowell be allowed to serve his time at a facility in Sheridan, Ore.

Once Rowell has done his time, he will be on supervised release for eight years and must stay away from bars and not use alcohol, marijuana or other controlled substances.

Rowell's criminal history includes arrests for running from police and possessing meth, including a scale and empty baggies.

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

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