Drug trafficking and brandishing a firearm send Billings man to prison for more than eight years

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BILLINGS — A Billings man who admitted to trafficking cocaine and ecstasy and brandishing a firearm in relation to those crimes after being indicted in a sex and drug trafficking investigation was sentenced today to eight years and nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Djavon Lamont King, 31, pleaded guilty in February 2021 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and ecstasy and to possession of and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution alleged that in 2019, King, a co-defendant, Mario Drake, and others conspired to distribute illegal narcotics, including cocaine and ecstasy. On April 24, 2019, two individuals attempted to distribute some of the ecstasy related to the conspiracy. The transaction, which involved a buyer, was set to occur at a motel in Billings. However, at the meeting a struggle ensued, and the buyer assaulted one of the individuals and left the scene. Following this incident, the individual informed King and Drake about what had occurred at the motel. In response, on April 29, 2019, King, Drake, and others, arranged a meeting with the buyer, during which they assaulted the buyer while holding firearms. King and others later informed the two individuals who had gone to the drug deal that they retaliated against the buyer in response to the failed drug deal.

Drake has pleaded guilty to charges and is awaiting sentencing.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno B. Baucus and Benjamin D. Hargrove, prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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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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