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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two North Idaho Men Sentenced For Conspiring To Distribute Meth

COEUR D’ALENE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Justin William Russell, 27, of Sandpoint, and Michael Alan Briggs, 43, of Hayden, were sentenced for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The defendants appeared before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

Russell was sentenced today to serve 89 months in prison and fined $1,000. Briggs was sentenced on Tuesday to serve 87 months. Judge Lodge ordered each defendant to serve five years of supervised release following their prison term and forfeit at least $10,000, which represents the proceeds derived from the offense conduct.

According to court documents, Russell and Briggs pleaded guilty on August 20 and June 24, 2013, respectively, to count one of the federal indictment filed on March 19, 2013. The defendants admitted that from May 2011 to at least December 2011, they conspired together and with other individuals to possess and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The evidence showed that Briggs received his methamphetamine from Russell until Russell was arrested, and then moved on to another supplier. Both individuals sold their methamphetamine in the Coeur d’Alene area.

The case is the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), led by the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force, a Federal Bureau of Investigation sponsored Safe Streets Task Force comprised of law enforcement from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene City Police Department, Post Falls Police Department, Idaho State Police, Bonner County Sheriff's Office, Shoshone County Sheriff's Office, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

The OCDETF program is a federal multi agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. Federal task force members include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Marshals Service.