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News Release
Armed Fentanyl Trafficker Sentenced to Federal Prison - 05/22/24

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Sean James Edwards, age 34, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Grams of Fentanyl. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 84 months imprisonment to be followed by 4 years of supervised release. 

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, early on the morning of November 3, 2022, Spokane Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of 515 S. Farr Road for a report of a shooting. The reporting party said he heard a gunshot and saw a bullet hole in his window. 

When deputies arrived, they observed a black Kia Rio crashed into a parked vehicle. Deputies could see a rifle and a loaded magazine on the passenger seat, as well as a spent silver casing on the floorboard of the Kia Rio. A neighbor told deputies that following the crash, he looked at his security camera and saw two people, a man, later identified as Edwards, and a woman, running away from the crash. Deputies had the Kia Rio towed to the police impound lot. 

On November 4, investigators executed a search warrant on the Kia Rio. In addition to the rifle, investigators located a loaded pistol, several loaded magazines, dozens of rounds of ammunition, Edwards’s Montana State ID, two iPhones, methamphetamine, more than 1,400 fentanyl pills divided into several small bags, and a backpack with drug paraphernalia. 

“This case demonstrates the dangerous nexus of drug trafficking and violent crime. A resident called law enforcement because someone had fired a shot into his home. Mr. Edwards ran from the scene, leaving behind fentanyl he planned to distribute and weapons he was not legally allowed to possess,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I’m grateful for the excellent work of investigators and prosecutors to identify Mr. Edwards and hold him accountable. By removing sources of illicit fentanyl from the streets, we can make our communities safer and stronger.” 

“Every one of the fentanyl pills discovered in the vehicle had a potential to destroy lives, and it is a relief law enforcement was able to find them first and remove them from the community,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office. “Our Safe Streets Task Force members and prosecutors are committed to fighting back against the illegal drugs and unlawfully possessed firearms that bring violence and fear into our neighborhoods.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit Justice.gov/PSN.

This case was investigated by the FBI Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Cashman. 

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