Methamphetamine trafficking sends Belt man to prison

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GREAT FALLS — A Belt man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in Cascade County was sentenced today to 38 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Lance Winslow Stoddard, 51, pleaded guilty on May 26 to possession with intent to distribute meth.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered Stoddard to pay a $10,000 money judgment and to forfeit firearms.

In court documents, the government alleged that Stoddard had been trafficking large quantities of meth in the community from about 2016 to June 2020. Individuals told law enforcement Stoddard had drug sources in Las Vegas and California. In September 2019, agents learned that Stoddard was traveling to Las Vegas to buy three pounds of meth. Three pounds of meth is the equivalent of about 10,872 doses. Law enforcement conducted controlled purchases of meth from Stoddard in October 2019. During an arrest of Stoddard in December 2019, law enforcement searched Stoddard’s car and found baggies with powder residue and two firearms.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Great Falls Police Department and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.

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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