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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane man with lengthy criminal drug history sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on meth charge

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 14, 2021

The Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse is seen from the north in this May 2019 photo.  (JESSE TINSLEY)
The Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse is seen from the north in this May 2019 photo. (JESSE TINSLEY)

A 63-year-old Spokane man identified by police as a major supplier of methamphetamine was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Thursday.

Helmut Ewe Borchert pleaded guilty in July to a single count of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. Spokane police, acting on a tip from an informant, searched Borchert’s home in December 2019 and found more than 18 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as a gun, according to court records.

Borchert has been imprisoned previously for charges related to manufacturing methamphetamine. In 2001, he was sentenced to 108 months in prison on similar charges. He was again arrested in May 2010 carrying what he described to police as a “meth lab” in his backpack.

Defense attorneys said Borchert’s addiction to drugs began as a teenager, after arriving in the United States from Germany and failing to proceed in school. He began selling drugs again in 2015 after a stint on probation to “support his dying mother,” according to court records.

The Spokane Police Department said in a statement after the sentencing that Borchert’s imprisonment took a significant supplier of drugs off Spokane’s streets.

“Borchert has a 20-plus year history of drug dealing in the Spokane area and is responsible for bringing a significant amount of illegal and dangerous methamphetamine into our community – some 20 pounds a week for the last several years,” Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren said in a statement. “This outcome should serve as a warning to others involved in the drug trade and clearly makes Spokane streets safer.”

Borchert had requested a seven-year prison sentence, saying he was eager to receive drug treatment. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Borchert to 12 years and ordered the forfeiture of his home in the East Central neighborhood.

Borchert was listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail on Thursday evening.

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