Local repeat offender sentenced to 7.5 years on drug charges

Federal judge says man has longest criminal record he's ever seen

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian social issues & neighborhoods reporter

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A local repeat offender, with the longest criminal record one federal judge said he’s ever seen, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on Tuesday.

Landon Kush, 34, was arrested in December 2011 at a Vancouver motel with methamphetamine packaged for distribution and a loaded .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol stored in the trunk of his car. Kush was charged in Clark County Superior Court and released on bail.

Even with charges pending, Kush returned to drug dealing, according to court records. On Jan. 5, 2012, police found meth in a car that Kush abandoned after an accident. He was arrested on federal charges in February 2012, and a search of his hotel room at that time turned up a loaded Glock .45-caliber pistol.

According to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington — and according to Columbian files — Kush already had a long criminal record, including convictions for robbery, eluding police and dealing drugs, before he was taken into custody in December 2011.

Kush pleaded guilty at his sentencing hearing to possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said Kush had the longest criminal record he has seen and called him “a dangerous, dangerous man” and “a persistent criminal.”

The case was investigated by the Southwest Integrated Gang Enforcement Team.