Jury Convicts Portland Repeat Offender on Federal Drug, Gun, and Money Laundering Charges

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal jury in Portland found a local man with several prior felony convictions guilty today on multiple drug, gun, and money laundering charges.

Dontae Lamont Hunt, 41, a Portland resident, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute fentanyl analogue, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl analogue, and two counts each of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and money laundering.

In September 2005, Hunt was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison and eight years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. In October 2016, Hunt was released from prison early after receiving a presidential sentence commutation.

According to court documents and trial testimony, in December 2017, Hunt was shot multiple times outside an apartment building in Eugene, Oregon. A surveillance video of the shooting showed Hunt walking in a nearby parking lot while talking on a cellphone and carrying a satchel. Immediately after the shooting, Hunt’s girlfriend came to his aid, retrieved the satchel, and placed it in a vehicle used to drop Hunt off at a Eugene hospital.

After departing the hospital, the vehicle was stopped by Eugene Police Department officers for a traffic violation and searched. Officers recovered a bloodstained satchel containing two loaded firearms, both of which were determined to have Hunt’s DNA on them. Back at the shooting scene, officers found a large amount of blood and an iPhone near where Hunt was shot.

On the phone, which was linked to Hunt, investigators found evidence of drug trafficking, including text messages and photos of what appeared to be counterfeit Oxycodone pills. Further investigation revealed that Hunt distributed counterfeit Oxycodone pills containing carfentanil, a powerful fentanyl analogue, in and around Portland and that his drug trafficking was connected to a fatal drug overdose in June 2018.

In September 2018, investigators searched three properties linked to Hunt, including his residence in Northeast Portland. At his residence, Hunt refused commands to surrender and remained alone upstairs for approximately 15 minutes. After he was taken into custody, Portland Police Bureau officers found blue pills adjacent to an upstairs toilet, consistent with and indicative of him disposing of evidence. Agents also located several dozen additional blue pills concealed in a jar of baby ointment, three firearms, and a gun box labeled with the make, model, and serial number of one of the firearms found in the bloodstained satchel in Eugene. Lab reports later confirmed the pills seized contained fentanyl analogue. Additional cellphones seized from Hunt’s residence also contained evidence of his drug trafficking activities. Agents also recovered more than $40,00 in cash and seized multiple vehicles.

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Hunt will be sentenced on February 10, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Karin J. Immergut.

While awaiting trial, Hunt was housed at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon. During this time, a federal corrections officer used his position to introduce contraband—including narcotics, designer sneakers, and a cell phone—into the prison for the benefit of Hunt and other inmates. The now-former corrections officer pleaded guilty in May 2022 for his role in the bribery and contraband smuggling scheme.

This case was investigated jointly by the Portland Police Bureau, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and FBI with assistance from U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Eugene Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Peter Sax, Gary Sussman, and Suzanne Miles, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon. Forfeiture litigation was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Jarrett.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.