News and Press Releases

Julianna Marie Lewis Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 29, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JULIANNA MARIE LEWIS, a 23-year-old resident of Pasco, Washington, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for October 13, 2011. She is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Wolfe, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

Officers of the Blackfeet Safe Trails Task Force (BSTTF) and agents with the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation (MDCI) conducted an extensive investigation of numerous individuals trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine in Kalispell and on the Blackfeet Reservation between early 2009 and the winter of 2011. LEWIS was identified as a conspirator, in fact the leader/organizer, in this illegal methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.

In January of 2010, BSTTF officers received information from a confidential source (CS) that LEWIS, along with another individual, referred to as "HR", were transporting large quantities of illegal narcotics into Montana from Washington, via plane and car. BSTTF and DCI agents later confirmed that LEWIS was piloting planes from Washington to Kalispell, as well as driving to Montana, to transport methamphetamine to individuals for sale in Montana.

A co-conspirator, identified here as CC #1, would have testified that she met LEWIS and "HR" through another co-conspirator, CC #2, in November 2009. CC #1 would have testified that she had received approximately 13 ounces of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR" between late 2009 and the spring of 2010. These transactions occurred on the Blackfeet Reservation and in Kalispell. CC #1 would have testified that LEWIS and "HR" were always together during these methamphetamine transactions, and the two worked together. CC #1 was often frightened of LEWIS and "HR" because they always carried firearms during the methamphetamine transactions.

Another co-conspirator, CC #3, would have testified that she met LEWIS and "HR" through CC #1 in late December 2009. The first time she met LEWIS, she purchased one ounce of methamphetamine from her and "HR". The second time she met with LEWIS and "HR", CC #3 delivered two handguns to them, which CC #1 had previously purchased. On one occasion CC #3 obtained one-half ounce of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR" and delivered it to CC #1 for distribution. CC #3 met with LEWIS and "HR" in the spring of 2010 and received an ounce of methamphetamine on one occasion, then she purchased $700 worth of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR" a few weeks later.

CC #1 was arrested by Blackfeet Tribal law enforcement on January 21, 2010. She had over 20 grams of methamphetamine on her person at the time. CC #1 would have testified that she received this methamphetamine from LEWIS. The methamphetamine taken from CC #1 during her arrest was subsequently submitted to a Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory where it tested positive for methamphetamine.

MDCI agents in the Kalispell area conducted five controlled methamphetamine purchases from CC #4 in 2009, purchasing a total of 11.5 grams of methamphetamine.

CC #4 would have testified that the methamphetamine purchased by agents was methamphetamine she had received either directly from LEWIS and "HR", or from CC #5, who had received the methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR". CC #4 would have testified further that she purchased over eight ounces of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR" between October 2009 and the spring of 2010 in the Kalispell area. The methamphetamine purchased from CC #4 during the controlled purchases was subsequently submitted to the Montana State Crime Lab for testing. The substances purchased from CC #4 tested positive for methamphetamine.

CC #5 would have testified that she first met LEWIS and "HR" at the airport in Kalispell in the fall of 2009, when LEWIS and "HR" had flown to Kalispell to sell methamphetamine. CC #5 purchased three-eighths of an ounce of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR" during their first meeting. CC #5 would have testified that LEWIS and "HR" would often fly or drive to Kalispell, distribute methamphetamine there, then continue on to the Blackfeet Reservation to distribute more methamphetamine. CC #5 would have testified that she received a total of 16 ounces of methamphetamine from LEWIS and "HR".

MDCI agents corroborated this information by further investigation; obtaining copies of hotel receipts, rental car receipts, and flight information from the airport, all in Kalispell, confirming LEWIS's travel to the area.

LEWIS and "HR" were arrested on April 4, 2010, in northern Idaho. Idaho State Police stopped their vehicle for traveling over 100 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. Idaho State Police would have testified that they were arrested for possessing concealed weapons (a 9mm Berretta, a .223 caliber rifle, and an SKS X39 rifle), and possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. In addition, Idaho law enforcement found explosive devices, explosive materials and books/notebooks relating to how to plan and organize domestic terrorist acts, organizing militia groups, and other related information in LEWIS's vehicle.

On March 16, 2011, BSTTF officers received a phone call from a witness who stated that LEWIS and "HR" were currently on the Blackfeet Reservation selling methamphetamine. This witness would have testified that he personally observed LEWIS and "HR" in possession of a large ziplock bag full of methamphetamine. The witness would have testified further that LEWIS and "HR" told him they were on the Blackfeet Reservation to sell methamphetamine. BSTTF officers confirmed the information provided by this witness, interviewing the management and staff at a motel in East Glacier, who advised that LEWIS and "HR" had rented a room at the motel, but checked out on March 16, 2011. LEWIS and "HR" were driving a white Dodge Durango with Washington license plates.

On March 20, 2011, BSTTF officers arrested LEWIS and "HR". BSTTF officers recovered live ammunition, two Glock 9mm magazines, $2521 in cash, a used marijuana pipe, and two cellular telephones from LEWIS's white Dodge Durango. Pursuant to a subsequent search warrant, officers would have testified to the contents and materials discovered on LEWIS's cellular telephones found in her vehicle. Information, data, text messages, and photos on the phones, corroborate, and detail, LEWIS's extensive involvement in this methamphetamine conspiracy.

LEWIS faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 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 Blackfeet Safe Trails Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation.

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A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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