Steve S. Phaysith Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena on April 12, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, STEVE S. PHAYSITH, a 43-year-old resident of Marysville, Washington, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. Sentencing has been set for September 16, 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 November 23, 2009, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped PHAYSITH's truck for speeding on Interstate 90 near the Three Forks interchange. He issued PHAYSITH a warning for speeding and then asked PHAYSITH some questions about whether he was transporting drugs in the back of his truck. PHAYSITH eventually admitted that he had marijuana in the truck that he had been instructed to deliver to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Law enforcement officers from the Missouri River Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on PHAYSITH's truck and seized nine boxes, each filled with several vacuum-sealed, one-pound packages of marijuana. The DEA lab in San Francisco analyzed a statistical sample of the drugs and concluded that they were in fact marijuana. The total weight of the illicit substance was approximately 178 kilograms.
PHAYSITH 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 Montana Highway Patrol and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.