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SPOKANE, Wash. — A Pasco man who was caught with a loaded gun and more than 400 grams of methamphetamine at a Spokane home in 2021 was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison.

Tustuji Matu Wakauwn, 43, pleaded guilty in June to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a felon. He has been in custody since his arrest on Oct. 7, 2021.

According to court documents, Wakauwn arrived at the home on 10th Avenue while a DEA task force was executing a search warrant. Officers found a 9mm handgun in his bag during a pat-down search. Wakauwn had a prior federal conviction for drug trafficking and was on federal supervision at the time of his arrest.

A further search of his bag revealed that it contained 420 grams of pure methamphetamine along with fentanyl, cocaine and other evidence of drug trafficking.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice also ordered Wakauwn to serve 10 years of supervised release after his prison term. Rice said the sentence, which is a mandatory minimum penalty, was necessary to deter Wakauwn and others from committing serious crimes while on federal supervision.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref praised the investigative team for their quick work in disarming Wakauwn and seizing the drugs that he was preparing to deliver. She said the U.S. Probation Office offers significant rehabilitative services to people on supervised release and that it is important to enforce serious violations of law committed by them.

The case was investigated by the DEA's Spokane Resident Office, with assistance from the DEA's Coeur d'Alene Post of Duty and the Idaho State Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Ohms.

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