Chad Nelson Sanford Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on July 28, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CHAD NELSON SANFORD, a 29-year-old resident of Aurora, Colorado, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Sentencing has been set for October 28, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Thaggard, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Over the course of 2008, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a long-term investigation of cocaine trafficking in Billings.
As part of that investigation, on September 16, 2008, members of the Montana Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by SANFORD. The vehicle contained approximately three kilograms of a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, as well as six pounds of marijuana.
When interviewed, SANFORD stated he was delivering the cocaine and marijuana to another person in Billings. SANFORD also stated he was delivering the drugs on behalf of James Mack and Travis Henry, who then resided in Colorado.
SANFORD also discussed the history of the conspiracy. SANFORD stated that earlier in the year he began to assist Mack and Henry in obtaining cocaine from sources in Arizona and Oregon. He stated that the amount of cocaine involved in those transactions exceeded five kilograms. SANFORD further stated that he also delivered kilograms of cocaine from Mack and Henry to Matt Lamonaca, a resident of Billings.
Henry, Lamonaca and Mack pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.
SANFORD 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 Drug Enforcement Administration and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.