Woman guilty of meth charge

Posted: 5th July 2011 by Doc in Uncategorized
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A 23-year-old Washington woman described as the leader of a methamphetamine trafficking ring that brought drugs to Kalispell in automobiles and planes pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.

Julianna Marie Lewis, a resident of Pasco, rose to the surface as authorities investigated the trafficking of methamphetamine in Kalispell and on the Blackfeet Reservation between early 2009 and 2011.

An informant first tipped investigators off to the operation in January 2010, reporting that Lewis and another individual were moving large quantities of illegal narcotics into Montana from Washington.

“Agents later confirmed that Lewis was piloting planes from Washington to Kalispell, as well as driving to Montana, to transport methamphetamine to individuals for sale in Montana,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wolfe wrote in an offer of proof.

Several witnesses identified as co-conspirators told investigators that they purchased narcotics from Lewis on several occasions from 2009 and 2011.

One described an initial meeting with Lewis at the Kalispell Airport. The informant said Lewis and the other unidentified individual would sell methamphetamine in Kalispell before traveling to the East Glacier area to do the same.

“Agents corroborated this information by further investigation; obtaining copies of hotel receipts, rental-car receipts and flight information from the airport, all in Kalispell, confirming Lewis’ travel in the area,” Wolfe wrote.

Lewis was first arrested along with another individual in Northern Idaho on April 4, 2010, after she initially was stopped for traveling over 100 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone.

Idaho State Police found three firearms, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Additionally, officers recovered explosive devices and books detailing how to plan and organize domestic terrorist acts and militia groups, according to the offer of proof.

They were arrested again March 20 of this year by Blackfeet Reservation authorities who recovered ammunition, $2,521, a marijuana pipe and two cellular phones.

“Information, data, text messages and photos on the phones corroborate and detail Lewis’ extensive involvement in this methamphetamine conspiracy,” Wolfe wrote.

Lewis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine Thursday before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon.

She will face anywhere from five years to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Oct. 13. She also could be ordered to pay up to $4 million in fines.

Lewis is currently in federal custody.

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_446982b4-a51b-11e0-bc6d-001cc4c03286.html

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