• Convicted Des Moines drug dealer sentenced to 12 years in prison

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - A 31-year-old Des Moines man convicted of three federal felonies was sentenced to 12 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday, the office for U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced.

    Officials said Kevin Ta, 31, first came to the attention of police after two Burien brothers overdosed on fentanyl within hours of each other in May 2018. 

    One of the brothers died. Electronic communications between Ta and one of the victims suggested Ta supplied the drugs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

    Deputies with the King County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Bellevue Police Department then worked to obtain search warrants following the overdose death. 

    Police search Ta’s residence on June 21, 2018, and said they seized seven firearms from his bedroom closet and found “significant quantities” of methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl pills. 

    Officials said they also searched Ta’s car and found two additional firearms and additional drugs. 

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, investigators reviewed Ta’s electronic messages and social media posts and found that he bragged about the money he made from dealing fentanyl.

    “The mother of the overdose victim sent Ta information and pictures via text about her son’s medical condition, and death from the overdose. Ta did not react or slow his dealing when confronted by the fact that a customer had died,” an official for the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a news release. 

    Ta had been prohibited from possessing any firearms after serving a 31-month state prison sentence for bank robbery, officials said. 

    “This defendant continued to deal his poison even after being sent a photo of one of his customers in a hospital bed on life support,” said Moran.  

    Ta pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

    “This sentence protects the community from someone who illegally stockpiled firearms, was blinded by greed and showed callous disregard for those whose addiction increased his profits,” Moran said. 

    U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour also imposed five years of supervised release to follow the prison term.


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