GREAT FALLS — A Box Elder man accused of trafficking both methamphetamine and fentanyl pills on and around the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation admitted to a drug crime today, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Michael James Lamere, 39, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Lamere faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for June 8. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Lamere was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that in late 2020 and early 2021, investigators received reports that Lamere was obtaining meth and other drugs in Washington and distributing them on and around the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. In August 2021, law enforcement stopped in Hill County a vehicle in which Lamere was the only passenger and had an active arrest warrant. Based on the investigation and observations during the stop, officers suspected drugs were in the vehicle, had the vehicle towed and searched pursuant to a warrant. Law enforcement found meth, heroin and 369 pills that appeared to be fentanyl. One of the pills was tested and found to contain fentanyl. Lamere admitted in an interview to trafficking both meth and fentanyl and identified himself as one of the larger drug distributors in that area.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Tri-Agency Task Force and Hill 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.