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Duchesne County man pleads guilty to federal firearms charge

Published: Monday, Sept. 1 2014 10:54 a.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, Sept. 1 2014 10:54 a.m. MDT

A Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer takes Ferron Wyasket into custody during the service of a federal search warrant at Wyasket's house on tribal land in Arcadia, Duchesne County, on Oct. 3, 2013. The raid involved FBI agents, BIA police officers and members of the Uintah Basin Narcotics Strike Force.

Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A Duchesne County man has pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge that was filed after police raided his home searching for drugs and found nearly two dozen guns instead.

Ferron Wyasket, 56, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to possession of a firearm by a restricted person for having 12 rifles, nine handguns and two shotguns when authorities raided his home on Oct. 3.

The raid — conducted by FBI agents, Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers and members of the Uintah Basin Narcotics Strike Force — was the culmination of a monthslong investigation into suspected drug trafficking at the house, which sits on Ute tribal land.

Local investigators say they've long suspected Wyasket and his wife, 55-year-old Jolene Wyasket, were selling methamphetamine, but federal court rulings bar them from investigating tribal members accused of committing crimes on tribal land.

Authorities spent more than five hours searching the Wyaskets' house and the surrounding property after serving the warrant in October. Instead of finding meth, they said they found a small amount of marijuana, some drug paraphernalia and 23 firearms.

State court records show Ferron Wyasket pleaded guilty to attempted arson, a third-degree felony, in September 1993. The 20-year-old felony conviction makes it a crime under state and federal law for Wyasket to possess a firearm.

Wyasket, whose first name is listed as "Faron" and "Ferron" in the federal grand jury indictment, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Nov. 12.

No federal or state charges have been filed against Jolene Wyasket in connection with the raid on the couple's home.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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