Man admits meth trafficking in Great Falls, role in crime spree of stolen ATVs

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GREAT FALLS – A Florida man today admitted trafficking methamphetamine in Great Falls and transporting stolen property after he was arrested in Missouri driving a truck and pulling a stolen trailer loaded with $80,000 in stolen ATVs and other items, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Harold Goodson Hill, 37, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth and to interstate transportation of stolen property. Hill faces a mandatory minimum five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of supervised release on the drug crime and a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the transportation of stolen property crime.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for Oct. 21. Hill was detained pending further proceedings.

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The government alleged in court documents that in September 2020, the Great Falls Police Department responded to series of theft complaints around town of various items, including an ATV from a pickup truck. While responding to a report, officers found Hill asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and seized stolen items found in the vehicle. In October 2020, law enforcement learned Hill had been selling meth in Great Falls and that he was receiving suspicious packages from Las Vegas to an address he had in Townsend.  Officers stopped Hill after he picked up a package at the Townsend post office, seized the package and determined it contained 1.9 pounds of meth. Hill told agents he had come to Montana from Virginia in April 2020 and admitted to distributing meth. The agents released Hill.

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The government further alleged that Hill rented a 26-foot Penske truck in Whitehall on Oct. 29, 2020. A trooper in Missouri ultimately stopped the Penske truck, which was pulling a trailer that had been stolen from Broadwater County and had a license plate stolen from Belgrade. Hill was the driver and sole occupant of the truck. Officers searched the truck and trailer and found five ATVs and a UTV that had been stolen in Bozeman, Great Falls and Spearfish, S.D., along with a Toro lawnmower and other items. The estimated value of the stolen items was $80,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Great Falls Police Department, Russell Country Drug Task Force, Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Postal Service, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Belle Fourche Police Department, South Dakota, Sioux Falls Police Department, South Dakota, and Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

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