Spokane meth dealer gets 20-year prison term

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A Spokane man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for selling high-quality methamphetamine to an undercover officer and leading police on a car chase near the Coeur d’Alene Casino in January.

Charles Edward Gibson, 43, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene for conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of meth between Dec. 4, 2012, and Jan. 8. U.S. District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson of the Eastern District of Washington also ordered Gibson to spend 10 years on supervised release after he’s out of jail and forfeit $35,000 – the estimated street value of the meth, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said.

According to investigators, Gibson had been distributing meth, cocaine and other drugs on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation late last year and early this year.

He supplied the drugs to other distributors, including Vanessa Louise Wagner, 30, of Plummer.

Gibson and Wagner both pleaded guilty over the summer to conspiracy to distribute meth, and Wagner is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Dec. 9.

Wagner introduced the undercover officer to Gibson, who sold meth and some heroin to the officer in December and January. On Jan. 8, the officer met Gibson at a gas station near the casino and purchased meth that was 99.9 percent pure, investigators said.

After the buy, officers began to converge on Gibson’s car. He sped out of the parking lot and at one point drove straight toward an officer trying to arrest him. The officer fired once, striking Gibson, but the bullet had slowed sufficiently to only cause him bruising, according to the federal case file.

Gibson continued his high-speed flight, throwing cash out the window, before his car was stopped by a spike strip and he was arrested.

Officers found more than a pound of meth, LSD and a loaded handgun in his car.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration, Idaho State Police, Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police and Plummer Police Department.

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