Thompson Falls man sentenced to prison for meth trafficking

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An undercover investigation of methamphetamine trafficking in Sanders County led to a Thompson Falls man being sentenced to prison Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

According to U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, Derek Alan Dembowski, 41, was sentenced to eight years in prison and four years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in July to distribution of meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The prosecution said in court records that during an undercover investigation, a confidential informant bought a half-ounce of meth from Dembowski on Jan. 21 in a monitored buy which Dembowski also possessed firearms and ammunition.

The informant had purchased meth from Dembowski on two previous occasions. When arrested by a Sanders County Sheriff’s Office deputy Feb. 12, Dembowski had a loaded revolver, ammunition and a small amount of meth. Dembowski admitted to law enforcement that he distributed meth and had possessed firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through it, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, the program focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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