Heather Renae Whitaker 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 May 26, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, HEATHER RENAE WHITAKER, a 23-year-old resident of Missoula, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing is set for September 8, 2009. She is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In April 2008, WHITAKER and another individual began transporting large quantities of methamphetamine from the state of Washington to the Missoula area every three to four days.
On November 2, 2008, a controlled purchase was conducted between the individual, WHITAKER, and an undercover agent in Great Falls. The undercover agent purchased approximately 23 grams of methamphetamine (3.5 grams of actual methamphetamine) and 96 grams of marijuana on that occasion.
On November 19, 2008 another controlled purchase was planned between the undercover agent and the same individual. Prior to this deal, agents conducted a traffic stop on the individual and his vehicle. Search warrants were obtained for the vehicle and the individual and WHITAKER'S shared residence. Approximately 146 grams of methamphetamine (84.8 grams of actual methamphetamine) were recovered during these searchs.
WHITAKER faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.