Nathan Val Chelini Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on March 17, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, NATHAN VAL CHELINI, a 28-year-old resident of Butte, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 5 or more grams of actual methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for June 24, 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:
On January 13, 2009, a detective with the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency received information from a confidential informant that K.P. and a second unknown male were planning a trip to Arizona to purchase methamphetamine. Subsequent surveillance revealed that K.P.'s 2007 Ford truck departed his residence on January 14, 2009.
On January 16, 2009, officers of the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency observed K.P.'s truck driving northbound on Interstate 15. The detective and another officer subsequently stopped the truck for equipment violations. CHELINI was driving and K.P. was in the front passenger seat. Two female passengers were in the back seat of the truck. The officers eventually searched the truck and seized, among other items, a black duffle bag behind the driver's seat containing a scale and two bags of methamphetamine as well as clothes belonging to CHELINI and one of the female passengers. The methamphetamine was weighed and analyzed and the lab concluded that the two bags contained 38.9 grams of actual methamphetamine.
All four of the occupants of the truck were interviewed. CHELINI admitted to traveling to Arizona and purchasing the methamphetamine with money that K.P. had recently obtained from an insurance settlement. CHELINI arranged with the ex-husband of one of the female passengers to meet with the source of supply in Arizona. CHELINI also admitted to smoking methamphetamine in the truck on the drive back to Montana.
CHELINI faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.