News and Press Releases

John Mccray Williams Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on November 19, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, JOHN MCCRAY WILLIAMS, a 55-year-old resident of Great Falls, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing is set for February 19, 2010.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Thaggard, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In April 2002, the Central Montana Drug Task Force (CMDTF) began to investigate WILLIAMS for distribution of methamphetamine in and around Great Falls. As part of that investigation, agents of the CMDTF spoke to various confidential informants and sources over a period of several years.

The sources revealed that they purchased over 500 grams of a mixture or substance of methamphetamine from WILLIAMS between 2000 and March 19, 2008. The transactions occurred in and around Great Falls. Some of the confidential sources and informants indicated they obtained the methamphetamine from WILLIAMS for distribution to others. Collectively, the accounts given by the sources and informants made clear that WILLIAMS continuously possessed methamphetamine with the intent to distribute between 2000 and

March 19, 2008.

On December 19, 2007, the CMDTF interviewed a confidential informant (CI). The CI estimated that between May of 2003 and late December 2003, the CI obtained a minimum of a quarter ounce of methamphetamine from WILLIAMS nearly every day. The CI further stated that the informant traveled with WILLIAMS to the state of Washington on three or four occasions in 2003. The informant stated that WILLIAMS never picked up less than two pounds of methamphetamine on each trip. The informant stated that in September 2004, the informant delivered one half a pound of methamphetamine to an individual in Bozeman on behalf of WILLIAMS.

In approximately April 2008, the CMDTF arrested Mark Hegel for drug trafficking. Hegel subsequently admitted that on March 18, 2008, he and WILLIAMS traveled to a truck stop in Missoula, where he obtained eight ounces of methamphetamine for WILLIAMS, who provided Hegel with $11,000 for the purchase of drugs. WILLIAMS gave Hegel one ounce of methamphetamine for arranging the deal. A surveillance video from the truck stop confirmed that a meeting occurred between Hegel and his supplier; another surveillance video showed WILLIAMS was present at the truck stop at the same time.

WILLIAMS was later interviewed by law enforcement officers. He admitted that he traveled to Missoula with Hegel in March 2008. WILLIAMS admitted that he knew the purpose of the trip was to purchase drugs. WILLIAMS stated that he saw Hegel in possession of a large sum of money enroute to Missoula. WILLIAMS stated that, at the truck stop, Hegel met with another person. After that meeting, WILLIAMS said Hegel showed him a large amount of methamphetamine.

WILLIAMS denied to investigators that he paid for the methamphetamine received by Hegel on the Missoula trip or that he received the amount of methamphetamine that Hegel claimed he did. WILLIAMS stated he did receive approximately one gram of methamphetamine from Hegel. WILLIAMS also admitted that he drove Hegel from Missoula to Great Falls after Hegel met with the supplier in Missoula and obtained the methamphetamine.

Collectively, the evidence establishes WILLIAMS conspired to possess with the intent to distribute at least 500 grams of mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine during the period of the conspiracy.

Hegel pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.

WILLIAMS faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $4,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Central Montana Drug Task Force.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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