SPOKANE, Wash. — U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Zachary Wade Bennett, 41, of Spokane Valley, to 84 months in federal prison for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. United States District Judge Rice also imposed three years of federal supervision upon Bennett’s release from custody.
According to court documents, in September 2020, Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives developed information that Bennett, who is a convicted felon, was dealing drugs and was in possession of a large number of weapons. During the execution of a search warrant at his home, Deputies found Bennett hiding in the attic. Bennett told deputies he did not respond to law enforcement at his house the night before the search warrant because he knew he would go to jail. He also told deputies he did not believe there were guns in the house. During a search of home, deputies found 10 guns, including three AR-15 rifles, boxes of ammo, drug paraphernalia, ledgers detailing his drug distribution operations, heroin and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Bennett had previously been convicted for burglary, first degree, and robbery, second degree, in Spokane County Superior Court.
“I commend the work of our law enforcement partners who work to prevent violent crime by ensuring that repeat offenders like Mr. Bennett do not stockpile firearms and ammunition.” Vanessa R. Waldref, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington stated. “Our community is safer and stronger today, because of the excellent work of the prosecutors and investigators in this case.”
“Drug dealing and stolen firearms in the hands of a convicted felon are a dangerous combination for the community,” said ATF Seattle Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “This sentence demonstrates that these types of actions will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This case was investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Cashman.