A Canadian gangster connected to a drug bust that led to a young man’s suicide in the Spokane County Jail will spend 30 years in prison.
Clayton Roueche, 34, received the sentence in U.S. District Judge Robert Lansik in Seattle Wednesday for a drug ring that used a network of helicopters, planes, semi-trucks and other methods to move tons of marijuana and cocaine and millions of dollars through Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Court documents link Roueche to Joseph P. Curry, a Canadian man named as a suspect in a federal drug bust that included arrests in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
One defendant in that bust cited a murder kit that included night-vision goggles and guns found at Roueche’s home when explaining why she wanted her court file sealed.
Another defendant in the bust, Samuel Jackson Lindsay-Brown, 24, killed himself in jail Feb. 27 after being arrested with a helicopter filled with marijuana he was to exchange to two men for cocaine.
Federal prosecutors did not mince words when describing Roueche.
"Clay Roueche worked hard, with laudable organizational skills coupled with an attention to detail, to achieve the moniker “drug lord," according to a sentencing memorandum filed in October.
Roueche's family bashed media portrayals of him in letters written to Judge Lansik that urged leniency. Lansik showed none, imposing the prosecution's requested sentence.
Read Associated Press writer Gene Johnson's story on Roueche's sentencing here.