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Auburn man charged for drug distribution and illegal firearms possession

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A 33-year-old Auburn, WA, man was arrested Tuesday night, June 4, 2024 on a federal criminal complaint charging firearms and drug distribution crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

Andy Peter Vongdala was charged by criminal complaint after he was caught with large quantities of controlled substances and multiple firearms on April 26, 2024. At the time of his arrest, Vongdala was booked on outstanding warrants and subsequently posted bail. Vongdala will be detained on the federal charges pending additional hearings.

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According to the criminal complaint, Vongdala was a suspect in a series of commercial burglaries in Renton. Renton Police worked with King County prosecutors and obtained a search warrant for Vongdala’s residence to search for distinctive clothing from the burglary investigation.

When police served the search warrant, they encountered Vongdala leaving his two-bedroom apartment. In a backpack he carried, police found a stolen Glock firearm and more than two kilograms of MDMA. Some of the drugs were in smaller bags inside a larger zip lock bag labeled “sample.”

A search of Vongdala’s residence revealed an additional firearm and firearm parts along with ammunition and body armor. In his bedroom, police recovered 61 kilograms of MDMA, more than 2300 fentanyl pills, nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine, and smaller amounts of suspected heroin, cocaine, and alprazolam.

Law enforcement seized a rifle with a casing catcher – a device that keeps shell casings from being left on the ground after the gun is fired. There were also numerous firearm magazines including extended magazines and a drum magazine. Suspected armor piercing bullets were seized as well.

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Vongdala is charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Due to the quantity of drugs seized in this case, the penalties include a mandatory minimum ten years in prison. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by an additional five years in prison which runs consecutive to any other sentence imposed in the case.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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The case is being investigated by the Renton Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Celia Lee.

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