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Washington State News


Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that James P. LeBlanc, age 45, of Spokane, Washington was sentenced after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams of Actual (Pure) Methamphetamine. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 168 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information disclosed at sentencing, in March of 2022, LeBlanc was involved in a car accident in Spokane. When the other driver attempted to exchange insurance information with LeBlanc, he took off running. Officers with the Spokane Police Department (SPD) attempted to locate LeBlanc but were unsuccessful. Officers then obtained a search warrant for Leblanc’s GMC Yukon and found two bags of cocaine, an amount of methamphetamine about the size of a softball, blue pills, two digital scales, ammunition, marijuana, extended magazines, a flash bang, and a Glock .40 caliber pistol that had been reported stolen out of Montana.

In August, following up on an anonymous tip to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), detectives found an additional $4,401 dollars located in a hidden compartment in the dashboard of the Yukon.

In September of 2022, SPD officers assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force attempted to take LeBlanc into custody at a house in northeast Spokane, but LeBlanc ran off and again was able to avoid arrest. SPD executed a search warrant on a Lincoln MKX LeBlanc was driving and seized a Glock 9mm pistol, digital scales, drug paraphernalia, and plastic baggies used in drug distribution. A DEA agent collected 169 grams of methamphetamine, 38 grams of cocaine, and approximately 1,500 fentanyl pills.

In October of 2022, SPD officers responded to a domestic violence call involving LeBlanc. When officers arrived, LeBlanc tried running, but was arrested in the backyard of a home nearby.

SPD again executed a search warrant on LeBlanc’s vehicle, a Pontiac G6. Offices secured two pistols, which had been reported stolen. Officers also located a large sum of cash, a substantial amount of drugs and a shotgun with a pistol grip.

“Mr. Leblanc was involved in three separate instances where he was armed and in possession of a significant amount of deadly narcotics he planned to distribute on our streets. His actions contributed to the growing epidemic of drug use in our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Mr. Leblanc attempted to run from the law, but our dedicated law enforcement team put an end to Mr. Leblanc’s spree of criminal activity.”

“This is another example of the success we can achieve through our cooperative approach in Eastern Washington,” said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “We are all stronger together and this sentence highlights how effective we can be as a team.”

“The arrest and subsequent sentencing of James LeBlanc highlights the incredible work the officers of the Spokane Police Department undertake every day,” stated Lt. Rob Booth, SPD Tactical Operations Commander. “This arrest is another example of the interagency cooperation that exist between the Spokane Police Department and our federal partners.  The dedication and tireless efforts of the Violent Crimes Task Force have taken a significant threat off the streets and made Spokane safer.”

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Spokane Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Cashman.

This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.