Meth trafficking sends Shelby man to prison for five years

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

GREAT FALLS  — A Shelby man who admitted to distributing large amounts of methamphetamine in the Shelby and Cutbank areas was sentenced today to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Joseph John Lequin, 65, pleaded guilty in February to possession with intent to distribute meth.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The government alleged in court documents that Lequin distributed a large amount of meth in rural Montana while on felony state probation. In January 2021, probation officers and drug investigators went to Lequin’s residence for a probation check and found him in a motor home on the property. A search of the motor home recovered multiple bags of meth. In March 2021, an individual was arrested with meth that the individual reported he had purchased from Lequin.  Two subsequent probation searches of Lequin’s residence resulted in the recovery of meth. Lequin was arrested in December 2021 after a large bag of meth, determined to contain approximately 118 grams of meth, was found in his bedroom during the third probation search. Lequin admitted the meth was his and that he had planned to sell it.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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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