Corinna Ivy Kerner 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, CORINNA IVY KERNER, a 33-year-old resident of Butte, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 or more grams of methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for June 24, 2010. She 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:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency, and the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force had been investigating a methamphetamine-trafficking organization in the Butte area since 2008. The organization is responsible for distributing pounds of meth in Silver Bow, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Gallatin Counties.
On October 8, 2009, Anthony Kerner bonded Moriah Beckman out of the Jefferson County Detention Center in Boulder. Anthony Kerner and Beckman then drove to Montana City to sell three ounces of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. Before the deal transpired, Kerner and Beckman were stopped and arrested. Officers searched the vehicle they were driving and seized six ounces of meth.
That same night, officers searched Anthony and Corinna Kerner's house in Butte and seized more than 600 grams of methamphetamine. CORINNA KERNER was present during the search. She admitted to smoking methamphetamine earlier that day and told law enforcement that if there was meth in the house, it would likely be in the basement storage room. Some of the meth seized from the house was found in that storage room.
On October 13, 2009, CORINNA KERNER was interviewed and asked about her role in the conspiracy. She admitted to handling the money - counting drug proceeds and putting it in a safe in the Kerner residence. She said the most money she ever counted was approximately $25,000, and that she dealt with that amount every few weeks from at least April 2009 until October 2009.
Other co-conspirators also provided information about CORINNA KERNER. They confirmed her role as money handler, and also said that she made at least one trip to Arizona to transport methamphetamine back to Butte. Records obtained by investigating agents indicate that CORINNA KERNER flew from Butte to Phoenix, Arizona, on February 4, 2009.
Anthony Kerner and Moriah Beckman pled guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing.
CORINNA KERNER faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency, and the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.