PORTLAND A career methamphetamine dealer was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison Monday after his 2011 arrest in Clackamas with a virtual pharmacy of illegal and over-the-counter drugs in his car, prosecutors said.

A federal judge on Monday sentenced 26-year-old Samuel Caleb Mertz to 21.8 years in prison and five years of supervised release.

Police in March 2011 stopped Mertz and his girlfriend, co-defendant Jonalynn Gypsie Nelson, where a drug deal was expected to go down at the Winco parking lot on SE 82nd Drive.

Officers said Mertz was a known drug dealer and a member of the Irish Pride gang. Investigators said they found $3,271 in cash, two ounces of meth in Nelson s pocket, a loaded semiautomatic, and a bag containing a virtual pharmacy of narcotics one half ounce of heroin, approximately two ounces of methamphetamine, and Oxycontin pills.

After their arrest, Mertz and Nelson communicated through third parties to have Nelson take responsibility for the gun since she had no felony convictions.

Mertz also alluded to putting an informant in the ground prior to any anticipated trial testimony.

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