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Sirens & Gavels

Young Ecstasy dealer gets 5 1/2 years

A Spokane man arrested on Ecstasy and firearm charges after telling a federal informant that he would “shoot it out with the cops” is headed to prison.

Patrick Hayes Wellman, 20, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to to 5 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to distribution of Ecstasy and use or carry of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He'll be on probation for three years after his release.

The DEA began investigating Wellman in March after a confidential informant told them Wellman sold large quantities of Ecstasy and repeatedly said he could obtain as many pills as he wished.

The informant was to buy 100 pills from Wellman for $450. During a recorded conversation, Wellman boasted to the informant of stealing firearms; when the informant asked what he would do if stopped by police, Wellman responded “Well, I'm not going to go down easy. I'm going to shoot it out with the cops,” according to court testimony.

Police arrested block Wellman's car during a traffic stop and found a loaded .44 revolver in the car after his arrest.

Wellman's friends, Jeramy Michael Allen, then 18, and Vonne A. Renkert-Schafer, then 20, were arrested for retaliating against the informant in Wellman's case. Allen has pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and Renkert-Schafer has pleaded guilty to retaliating against an informant. Both are out of custody awaiting sentencing.

Wellman's lawyer, Bevan Maxey, said in court documents that Wellman has no previous criminal history and is not associated with gangs or organized crime. Wellman hopes to complete drug treatment program and has the skills to earn an honest living after prison, Maxey wrote.

Now that his federal case is resolved, Wellman is due in Superior Court today on gun and theft charges for a burglary ring in Spokane County.


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