Sekiu man faces federal sentence

Peninsula Daily News

A Sekiu resident who federal authorities said had been banned from Makah tribal land is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 1 after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and other crimes last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

James G. Rode, 47, pleaded guilty to possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said this week in a statement.

Rode was arrested March 2 after a court-authorized search of his residence.

Law enforcement officials said they found 40 oxycodone pills, each 15 milligrams, hidden in a heating vent in the bathroom, as well as three firearms.

Rode admitted with his plea that the firearms were used to further his drug-trafficking activity, Durkan said.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, both prosecutors and defense attorneys will recommend a sentence between 11 and 13 years in prison.

Rode faces a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence on the gun count to run consecutive to any other sentence.

In February, a person working with law enforcement bought oxycodone from Rode on several occasions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Rode previously had been banned from Makah tribal lands because of his drug-dealing activity, the office said.

The case was investigated by Neah Bay Tribal Police, the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team — or OPNET — and agents of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Tate London, who serves as the tribal liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Last modified: November 15. 2012 5:52PM
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