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Sirens & Gavels

Regional meth dealer pleads guilty

A Spokane man who sold large amounts of methamphetamine in the Inland Northwest pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene.

James Stewart, 49, faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced in October. Stewart, who has a previous methamphetamine conviction in San Diego County, Calif., never failed a drug test while on pretrial supervision, according to court documents. He remains out of custody pending sentencing.

His plea agreement was filed under seal, but a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office says Stewart and co-conspirators picked up methamphetamine in Southern California and transported it back to the area in Stewart's vehicle.

"On at least one occasion, Stewart transported over 500 grams of methamphetamine," according to the news release.

Stewart will forfeit at least $180,000 under the plea agreement, which is equal to the value of property that he was used to facilitate or was derived from his drug sales.

Co-defendant Shad Johnson, 38, of Rathdrum, Idaho, is to be sentenced Aug. 8 for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Other defendants in related cases include Brenda Barron and her daughter, Amber Larsen, as well as Larry McMillan.

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