Prolific Spokane Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison and Ordered to Forfeit His Residence
Spokane – Helmut Ewe Borchert, age 62, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on July 15, 2021, to Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Borchert to a 12-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, the Spokane Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Borchert’s residence in Spokane, Washington. Approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine and a firearm were located in the residence. As part of the sentencing process, Borchert admitted he had been involved in drugs and drug trafficking for approximately fifty years.
Borchert’s criminal history is extensive dating back to 1987. It included two felony drug trafficking convictions in the State of Washington where he received very significant terms of incarceration.
In sentencing Borchert, Judge Rice noted Borchert’s “egregious” criminal history and his failure to reform, despite multiple opportunities to do so. Judge Rice stated Borchert was not simply a drug addict trying to get by; rather, he was a high-level distributor of drugs that cause extreme devastation to the community, which includes feeding the cycle of drug abuse and property crimes. Based on his prolific, repeat conduct, Judge Rice ordered the judicial forfeiture of Borchert’s Spokane residence, which Borchert utilized to facilitate his significant drug trafficking for years.
United States Attorney Waldref said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the law enforcement officers who investigated this case. Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this matter. The sentence imposed by the court removes a prolific drug trafficker from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity.”
“The production, distribution and sale of methamphetamine is extremely dangerous and menacing to the public safety of our communities,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “We will continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe from this highly addictive illegal drug.”
Spokane Police Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren adds, “The Spokane Police Department is thankful for our important partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the United States Attorney’s Office that led to this conviction. 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. This outcome should serve as a warning to others involved in the drug trade and clearly makes Spokane streets safer.”
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program provides supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved in the investigation of drug-related crimes. This OCDETF investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Spokane Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Caitlin Baunsgard and Brian Donovan, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.