An Oroville man found guilty of distributing pounds of methamphetamine and heroin out of a compound near Republic will spend the next 20 years in federal prison.
A jury convicted Jason C. Youker, 47, of 32 criminal counts tied to possessing and distributing the drugs and of having a cache of 15 weapons. Federal authorities searched Youker’s property in a secluded area of Ferry County, where prosecutors say he was building a compound to avoid police detection.
After his conviction in December, Youker allegedly sent a letter to family members detailing the location of buried “gold treasure” and a “silver safe” on his property near Gold Mountain. Youker instructed them to dig up the metals and sell them, using the proceeds to fund an appeal of his sentence.
“What I could really use help with is 10 grand for the right attorney,” says a letter, signed “Jason” and admitted as evidence by prosecutors at sentencing.
Youker has multiple convictions for dealing cocaine, burglary and possessing weapons illegally as a felon dating back to 1989, according to prosecutors. Investigators said at trial Youker buried drugs on his property and would text their location to underlings or customers. He paid some of the workers on his property with heroin, prosecutors said.
A search warrant served on the property in September 2014 produced 325 grams, or about 3/4 of a pound, of methamphetamine, according to court records.
At sentencing, prosecutors successfully argued Youker should also be held responsible for 178 grams, or about a half a pound, of heroin also found on the property.
“Youker’s sentence of twenty years reflects the seriousness of his criminal conduct and his role as the leader of this drug distribution network,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby in a news release announcing Youker’s prison term. Assistant U.S. attorneys Timothy Ohms and Matthew Duggan led the prosecution against Youker.
U.S. District Court Judge Salvdor Mendoza delivered the sentence in Spokane on Tuesday. As part of his sentence, Youker must forfeit the land he owns on Gold Mountain and will serve a five-year probation sentence after his release from prison.
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