Western District of Washington | Bremerton, Wash. couple sentenced to lengthy prison terms for distributing significant quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine

Tacoma – A couple from Bremerton, Wash., were sentenced to lengthy prison terms today in the US District Court in Tacoma for possessing narcotics with intent to distribute them, US Attorney Nick Brown announced. David Berryhill, 46, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and his fiance Jamie Kelly, 50, to 72 months in prison. The couple were arrested on June 14, 2022 with eight pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of fentanyl pills in the rental car they used to transport the drugs from Arizona. Both have been held at the FDC SeaTac since their arrest.

In sentencing, Chief US District Judge David G. Estudillo said, “We are dealing with significant amounts of narcotics here… Fentanyl is real and causing real harm in many of our communities… There have been many deaths. . . I am commissioned to be the voice of society.”

According to records filed in the case, employees at a UPS store reported to law enforcement in 2021 that Berryhill appeared to be shipping narcotics from their store. Berryhill received drugs from a vendor in Phoenix, Arizona. Berryhill flew or drove to Arizona to pick up meth and fentanyl pills.

On June 10, 2022, Berryhill and Kelly rented a car at Sea-Tac Airport and drove to Phoenix to pick up drugs. On June 12, 2022, they drove the first leg of the trip to Las Vegas and crossed from Oregon to Washington on June 14, 2022, where they were eventually arrested after a traffic stop.

The investigation revealed that Berryhill or Kelly would ship several pounds in quantities of the drugs to contacts in North Dakota. Berryhill also traveled to North Dakota to distribute the drugs, sometimes in tribal communities.

In seeking a 110-month sentence for Berryhill, Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart wrote to the court: “Mr. Berryhill also chose to trade fentanyl, which is incredibly dangerous and deadly. Just one pill can kill someone, and Mr Berryhill had thousands. Two of his customers were previously arrested in North Dakota and named Mr. Berryhill as their supplier. Mr. Berryhill’s target areas in North Dakota and Montana were near tribal communities and in a rural district. Knowing the dangers of the drugs, Mr. Berryhill nevertheless chose to export them to other states and sell them to individuals.”

Both defendants pleaded guilty on October 7, 2022.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bremerton Special Operations Group and the Olympic Peninsula Narcotic Enforcement Team (OPNET).

The case was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart.


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