Continued to deal even after contact with law enforcement
Tacoma – A 34-year-old resident of Puyallup, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to possession of heroin and methamphetamine with intent to distribute, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Defendant Jeremy Gongas faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on September 13, 2021.
According to the plea agreement, on June 23 and 24, 2020, Gongas sold heroin to a person who was working with law enforcement. Gongas was arrested in July 2020, and a law enforcement search of his residence turned up dealer-sized quantities of heroin, fentanyl pills, and methamphetamine, plus more than $24,000 cash. Less than a month later, investigators observed Gongas meeting with another suspected drug trafficker who was under law enforcement surveillance.
On August 20, 2020, Gongas and the suspected trafficker met at a convenience store in Des Moines, Washington. Law enforcement stopped Gongas as he drove away from the meeting. A drug-sniffing dog soon found heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl pills near Gongas’s stopped car. Gongas ultimately admitted that he tossed the drugs out the car window when he realized law enforcement was closing in.
Gongas was charged federally on August 21, 2020, and has been detained at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac since then.
Due to the drug quantities involved, Gongas faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and a maximum prison sentence of up to life. Both the government and the defense have agreed to recommend a 10-year prison sentence. The district court is not bound by that recommendation and can impose any sentence allowed by law.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tacoma Resident Office, the Puyallup Police Department Crime Suppression Unit, the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET), and the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force (GHDTF).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonas Lerman.
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