Wallene Mary Bear Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on July 14, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, WALLENE MARY BEAR, a 50-year-old resident of Havre, pled guilty to conspiracy to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for October 25, 2010. She is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In the early morning hours of September 5, 2009, A.B. was stopped by Fort Belknap Tribal Police for running a stop sign. One of her three passengers was identified as WALLENE BEAR. During the stop, officers noticed an open can of beer, which is a violation of tribal law, and detained the two male passengers sitting in the back seat. Officers then asked for and received consent from A.B. to search her vehicle. During the search, they found drug paraphernalia. The two females were also detained and transported to the Fort Belknap Police Department.
While visible from a surveillance camera at the police department, A.B. was observed by a female officer reaching into WALLENE BEAR's bra and retrieving something. After the males were searched, female officers conducted searches of A.B. and WALLENE BEAR. Nine plastic bags of a white powdery substance were found in body cavities, as well as three plastic tubes containing suspected methamphetamine residue in a purse belonging to WALLENE BEAR. A.B. was later given medical treatment on suspicion that she may have also swallowed methamphetamine.
Later that day, law enforcement conducted a search of the home of A.B.'s mother, M.B., based on information provided by A.B. that there were drugs and drug related evidence at that residence. Upon obtaining consent to search, officers found approximately 5 grams of methamphetamine in separate packages. Officers also found marijuana pipes, marijuana and marijuana seeds, needles, crushed pharmaceuticals, cash, a spoon and a knife with drug residue, and other evidence of drug use and trafficking.
M.B., A.B., and D.B. all admitted their long involvement in the methamphetamine trade. All identified WALLENE BEAR as their primary, although not necessarily exclusive, source of supply for methamphetamine. A.B. indicated that WALLENE BEAR had been bringing methamphetamine to the reservation from Seattle once or twice a month, and dealing to customers on Fort Belknap, from the time she, WALLENE BEAR, got out of federal prison in the summer of 2008. WALLENE BEAR used D.B., A.B., and M.B. as sub-distributors and all would share in the profits of the business. A.B., who described the activity as a "family business," indicated that she had been dealing drugs for as long as she could remember. She also indicated that WALLENE BEAR was one of two sources of her drug supply. M.B. admitted to using her home as a staging area for the distribution of drugs on Fort Belknap and distributing drugs supplied by WALLENE BEAR to pay the bills.
BEAR 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 8 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force, and the Fort Belknap Tribal Police.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.