Emiliano Cruz-salazar 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 Missoula on September 29, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, EMILIANO CRUZ-SALAZAR, a 24-year-old resident of Bozeman, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien. Sentencing is set for January 14, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In 2004, William Feight began buying "eight balls" of methamphetamine from an individual, hereafter referred to as "John Doe," generally for personal use. "John Doe" was eventually arrested and his Mexican sources of supply approached Feight about selling the methamphetamine that they were bringing into the Bozeman area. Feight agreed and began receiving one ounce of meth from CRUZ every one to three days from the summer of 2007 until September of 2008. Feight normally received the methamphetamine from CRUZ at Lindley Park in Bozeman. During an interview with law enforcement, Feight estimated that he met CRUZ at the park 20 to 50 times to obtain ounce quantities of methamphetamine.
Lori Meigs, who met Feight in approximately 2005, assisted him in obtaining and distributing methamphetamine. After Feight was arrested on federal drug charges, CRUZ distributed methamphetamine to Meigs until her arrest on federal drug charges. At that point, CRUZ was distributing meth to Shanna DeVore. During an interview with law enforcement, DeVore described receiving one ounce of methamphetamine from CRUZ in October 2008 and one-half ounce quantities thereafter until CRUZ's arrest on the charges in this case.
After CRUZ was arrested, agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement discovered that CRUZ is a citizen of Mexico, that he was deported from the United States on April 6, 2006, at the Port of San Isidro, California, and that he did not obtain the consent of either the Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to reenter the United States.
Feight, Meigs and DeVore pled guilty to federal charges. Feight and Meigs have been sentenced and DeVore is awaiting sentencing.
CRUZ-SALAZAR faces possible penalties of 20 years to life in prison, a $8,000,000 fine and 10 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Drug Enforcement Administration.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.