Spokane, Washington - Today, Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, disclosed that Amy Katherin Riggs, aged 36 and a resident of Dayton, Washington, has been sentenced after her guilty plea for Conspiracy to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and 400 Grams or More of Fentanyl. The sentence, imposed by U.S. Senior District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson, entails 132 months (about 11 years) of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. 

DEA Investigation Exposes Riggs

Court documents and statements made during the sentencing revealed that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was actively investigating a drug trafficking organization linked significantly to the Eastern District of Washington. Riggs emerged as a crucial facilitator for the organization and a major client. The evidence demonstrated Riggs' involvement in procuring and distributing approximately $125,000 worth of heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl pills monthly, receiving substantial quantities of these substances in return. 

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Upon the arrest of organization members, Riggs took on the role of identifying potential informants and gathering search warrant returns at locations where warrants were executed. Riggs would also salvage any overlooked valuable items during these operations. For instance, during a January 2022 raid at a stash house on Maxwell Avenue in Spokane, law enforcement discovered significant quantities of drugs and firearms. Riggs promptly reported the seized items to the organization's leader in Mexico, cross-referencing jail rosters to ascertain if individuals were incarcerated, signaling potential collaboration with law enforcement. 

Riggs' Role in Drug Courier Robbery

Additionally, Riggs assumed the position of an enforcer for the organization, undertaking tasks to gain favor with the leader in Mexico. Notably, Riggs orchestrated a response to a drug courier robbery involving fake currency, coordinating efforts to retrieve the stolen drugs. The operation culminated in a shooting incident in Spokane, leading to the arrest of the courier and the recovery of stolen drugs. 

After further investigation, Riggs was found linked with a new stash house on Nebraska Avenue in April 2022. A subsequent search warrant execution at the location led to Riggs' arrest, revealing methamphetamine, ecstasy pills, firearms, and hidden cash. Another stash house on Walnut Street in May 2022, linked to Riggs through a registered vehicle, resulted in the interception of methamphetamine, firearms, and fentanyl pills during a law enforcement stop. 

During sentencing, Judge Peterson highlighted the severity of Riggs' actions, moving substantial drug quantities armed, posing a heightened risk to the community. The judge expressed concern about Riggs' continued association with individuals involved in criminal activities, emphasizing the potential consequences for her future. 

Collaborative Success

U.S. Attorney Waldref emphasized the commitment to curbing the influx of narcotics and prosecuting individuals connected to drug trafficking. DEA Seattle Field Division's Special Agent in Charge, David F. Reames, commended the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies in thwarting Riggs' drug trafficking operation. 

The investigation was carried out by the DEA, ATF, Spokane Police Department, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, with prosecution led by Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard. 

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