SPOKANE, WASHINGTON – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Todd Earl Bridges, age 38, a resident of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on November 16, 2020, to Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual (Pure) Methamphetamine. United States District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Bridges to a 180 month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5 year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, the Spokane Police Department (“SPD”) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) identified Todd Earl Bridges as a distributor of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl-laced pills in the Spokane, Washington area. On June 11, 2020, a controlled buy of fentanyl-laced pills was conducted from Bridges. A search warrant was executed on a hotel room Bridges was staying at, and a large quantity of fentanyl-laced pills were located. Bridges was not present at the time.
On June 26, 2020, a marked SPD patrol unit attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Bridges. The vehicle did not stop and attempted to elude law enforcement. The vehicle eventually came to a stop and Bridges fled from the vehicle but was eventually caught by pursuing officers and arrested. Bridges provided a post-Miranda statement where he admitted he threw heroin and fentanyl-laced pills during his flight from law enforcement. He also admitted there was approximately 12 ounces of methamphetamine in the vehicle. A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and the methamphetamine was recovered. SPD also located the heroin and fentanyl-laced pills Bridges admitted he discarded along his route of travel. During his statement, Bridges further advised that he had been engaged in drug trafficking for approximately the previous year, while he was still on supervision with the Washington State Department of Corrections after just being released from a 116-month state sentence. Bridges estimated he was selling approximately $20,000 worth of various combinations of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl-laced pills per day during that time period. He also estimated he had 50 different local drug customers he was supplying.
Bridges posted bond on state charges stemming from the June 26, 2020 incident. Subsequently, he was indicted in federal court and arrested. At the time he was arrested on federal charges, he was in possession of several additional ounces of methamphetamine.
United States Attorney Hyslop said, “The distribution and sale of illegal narcotics wreaks havoc upon our community. People are hurt. Fortunately, another repeated large scale prolific drug trafficker has now been taken off our streets and will be behind bars for the next fifteen years. The combined investigative efforts of the DEA, ATF, and the Spokane Police Department, the prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Court’s sentence made this occur. As a community, we have to remain vigilant in this battle against illegal drugs and against those who will prey upon our residents. Drug trafficking in Spokane cannot be tolerated.”
“It is clear that this defendant contributed to the fentanyl epidemic in the Eastern Washington Region,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “This career criminal and drug trafficker will no longer have the freedom to recklessly distribute the poison that continues to flow through our city streets, even during the pandemic. It is our commitment to the public and our law enforcement partners to remain vigilant and steadfast in our investigations and prosecutions of people like Todd Earl Bridges.”
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation entitled Operation Its All Bueno. The OCDETF program provides supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved in the investigation of drug-related crimes. This OCDETF investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Spokane Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Caitlin Baunsgard, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.