Dustin Joseph Mckinney Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls on January 6, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, DUSTIN JOSEPH McKINNEY, a 29-year-old resident of Great Falls, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing is set for April 9, 2009. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In 2006, officers of the Great Falls Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began to investigate the illegal distribution of methamphetamine in Great Falls.
The officers learned that J.C. (an indicted co-conspirator who is a fugitive), had imported multiple pounds of methamphetamine from California to Great Falls in the time period between January 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006.
As part of their investigation the officers interviewed Tiffany King. She informed the officers that J.C. had employed her and another co-conspirator, A.B., as distributors of methamphetamine in Great Falls. King said she had personally delivered more than 50 grams of methamphetamine to A.B. to distribute.
A.B. stated that McKINNEY was involved in the distribution as a co-conspirator through another co-conspirator, J.D. J.D. testified before a grand jury that McKINNEY was involved in the distribution and he, J.D., had delivered more than 50 grams of methamphetamine to McKINNEY to distribute.
Following his arrest, McKINNEY was interviewed and admitted to the authorities that he had distributed methamphetamine on behalf of J.D. McKINNEY further admitted that he distributed a large quantity of a substance or mixture containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. During the interview officers determined the weight distributed by McKINNEY in total was in excess of 50 grams based on each separate incident he spoke of.
King, A.B., and J.D. pled guilty to federal charges. King and A.B. have been sentenced and J.D. is awaiting sentencing.
McKINNEY faces possible penalties of a minimum mandatory 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and 4 years supervised release.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kory Larsen prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Great Falls Police Department.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.