Montana Federal Court Report: Drug Trafficking and Business Fraud
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - A Butte woman who admitted to trafficking fentanyl pills in the Bozeman area was sentenced this week in Missoula Federal Court to four years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.
40-year-old Amber Marie Cody pleaded guilty in August 2023 to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Fentanyl Trafficking
In court documents, the government alleged that in July 2022 in Bozeman, Cody sold 100 fentanyl pills to an individual. A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy later stopped a vehicle in which Cody was a passenger for a traffic violation. Cody was arrested on a parole violation and placed in a patrol car, while officers searched her backpack. Officers located a large sum of cash and methamphetamine in the backpack. When the deputy returned to the vehicle, he noticed a bag of pills in the door pocket. Cody denied knowledge of the pills, but a patrol car video showed that Cody slipped one hand out of her handcuffs and removed a large quantity of pills from her bra. Cody then placed the pills in the door pocket and slipped her hand back into the handcuff.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark prosecuted the case. The Missouri River Drug Task Force and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
Forsyth Businesswoman Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
A Forsyth businesswoman who admitted defrauding customers through her company, Rosebud County Insurance Inc., by spending their payments for insurance for her own personal expenses was sentenced this week in Billings Federal Court to four years and three months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $155,436 restitution.
57-year-old Kileen Moria Hagadone pleaded guilty in August 2023 to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court allowed Hagadone to self-report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
“When we pay our insurance premiums, we expect to have coverage when we need it. Here, Hagadone’s clients, including a community college, logically thought they had coverage because they paid for it. But Hagadone did not just cheat them of coverage, she stole their hard-earned money and spent it for her own personal use. The good news is she did not get away with it, and the only reason she didn’t is because of the diligent and collaborative work of the office of the Montana State Auditor, FBI, and Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office in investigating this case,” U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Lodge Grass Man Admits to Trafficking Drugs on Crow Reservation
Also in Billings Federal Court, a Lodge Grass man suspected of participating in a large-scale drug conspiracy based on the Crow Indian Reservation admitted on Jan. 4 to a methamphetamine trafficking crime, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.
40 year-old Daniel Jiminez-Chavez, aka Raton pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Jiminez-Chavez faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and at least five years of supervised release.
The government alleged in court documents that federal law enforcement, in a collaborative effort with local and tribal law enforcement, conducted a large-scale, narcotics trafficking investigation centered on multiple properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one referred to as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations from about January 2022 through March 2023. Jiminez-Chavez, aka Raton, is one of the individuals associated with the investigation.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration, and FBI conducted the investigation.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The court set sentencing for May 1. Jiminez-Chavez was detained pending further proceedings.
In Great Falls Federal Court, an armed fentanyl trafficker from Washington who admitted to distributing the drug in the Great Falls community was sentenced on Jan. 4 to five years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.
35-year-old Jerry Scot Saunders of Houkem, Washington, pleaded guilty in August 2023 to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and to prohibited persons in possession of a firearm.
In court documents, the government alleged that Saunders was a significant drug dealer in Great Falls and that in early 2022, law enforcement searched for him because he had absconded from his state probation officer. Detectives learned Saunders was distributing fentanyl in Great Falls and located him in a motel room. Law enforcement found Saunders in possession of two firearms and more than 600 fentanyl pills. The investigation determined that Saunders had been driving to Spokane, Washington, to purchase fentanyl pills to sell in Great Falls. Saunders had a prior felony conviction from 2018 in Flathead County and was prohibited from possessing firearms.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.
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