Raymond Lalonde Curnow Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on April 15, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, RAYMOND LALONDE CURNOW, a 32-year-old resident of Butte, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for July 29, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
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 have 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.
According to one co-conspirator, CURNOW's initial role in the organization was that of a supplier. CURNOW provided methamphetamine that he received from a source in Denver to Anthony Kerner and others. Eventually, Kerner tapped into a source in Arizona and CURNOW started acting as a local distributor. Information provided by one co-conspirator indicated that once CURNOW started selling meth for Kerner, he received one or two ounces every five to seven days for a period of ten months (between 1,134 and 2,268 grams). Another co-conspirator estimated that CURNOW received between two and three pounds (907 to 1,360 grams) from Kerner from January to October 2009.
On June 1, 2009, law enforcement officers monitored a one-ounce methamphetamine deal between a confidential informant and CURNOW. On June 8, 2009, law enforcement officers stopped CURNOW's truck, which was searched on two separate occasions. CURNOW's house was also searched on June 8, 2009. A total of approximately 125 grams of methamphetamine was seized from the June 1 transaction and the searches of CURNOW's house and truck.
During the search of CURNOW's house, officers saw televisions in the basement streaming live video from outside the home. One camera was facing west (out the front of the house) and one was facing east (toward the alley behind the house). The officers seized a .22-caliber pistol, which was located on a television in the upstairs living room, and a can of acetone from the freezer. The following items were seized from the basement of the residence: small baggies that could be used to package drugs, cutting agents, scales, glass pipes used to smoke methamphetamine, baggies with meth residue, lab-type glassware, and a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver in a holster. Also seized from the basement - from a safe that was found in a backpack - were additional baggies (some that appeared to contain meth residue), small amounts of suspected methamphetamine, and two digital scales.
Kerner pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.
CURNOW 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.