Renton man sentenced to 11 years in prison for trafficking fentanyl, other drugs

Prosecutors said the man had more than 470,000 lethal doses of fentanyl.

A 44-year-old Renton man was sentenced on Feb. 10 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 11 years in prison for federal drug and gun crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

David Christopher Pitts was arrested in December 2021, following an undercover investigation of his drug trafficking activities.

According to records filed in the case, in November and December 2021, a person working with law enforcement purchased fentanyl from Pitts at his residence in Renton. After obtaining a search warrant, Seattle Police officers arrested Pitts without incident and searched his residence. In the main bedroom, officers found three different handguns - one of which was stolen. In the closet of the bedroom, there was a hard-shell case containing methamphetamine, fentanyl and Xanax bars. In that same closet, investigators found a safe containing heroin, cocaine, suboxone, ketamine, fentanyl pills, and medical-grade fentanyl. There was also more than $55,000 in cash.

In a second bedroom, which Pitts had been using as a storage space, officers found 15 handguns, four semiautomatic assault rifles, two bolt action rifles, and a 12-gauge shotgun. Throughout the residence, there were numerous items that appeared to be stolen goods, such as power tools, computer equipment, laptops and camera gear. Many of these items are often traded for drugs, officials say.

“Mr. Pitts has consistently shown that he cannot live in the community without endangering others,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Firearms are destroying countless lives, and Mr. Pitts’ possession of 25 firearms, combined with his extensive drug trafficking activity, is alarming. I hope that this sanction will convince him to change his ways.”

Pitts is prohibited from possessing guns due to two prior state convictions for possessing firearms while dealing drugs.

In asking for a 12-year prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Erin H. Becker wrote to the court, “Looking just at his fentanyl powder and pills, the defendant intended to enrich himself by distributing more than 470,000 lethal doses. Worse, many of the doses were disguised as pharmaceutical pills that would not put the user on notice that he was ingesting such a potentially dangerous substance. ... In addition, the defendant possessed 25 firearms. Several of these guns were loaded, at least one was stolen, two had extended magazines, all of them were possessed to facilitate his drug trafficking.”

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department as part of the FBI’s Violent Crime, Gang and Organized Crime Task Force.