News and Press Releases

Scarla Dee Russell Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on September 16, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, SCARLA DEE RUSSELL, a 33-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. RUSSELL was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 46 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

RUSSELL was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to distribution of methamphetamine.

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:

Montana Department of Criminal Investigation and Northwest Drug Task Force agents conducted an extensive investigation of individuals involved in trafficking methamphetamine in western Montana between February 2009 and August 2010. RUSSELL was identified as being involved.

Agents conducted and documented five controlled purchases of methamphetamine from RUSSELL with the assistance of a confidential informant (CI).

On October 13, 2009, RUSSELL distributed approximately three grams of methamphetamine to the CI.

On October 20, 2009, RUSSELL distributed approximately two grams of methamphetamine to the CI.

On November 2, 2009, RUSSELL distributed approximately one gram of methamphetamine to the CI.

On November 10, 2009, a NWDTF agent purchased approximately 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from RUSSELL during an undercover operation.

On November 11, 2009, the same agent purchased approximately two grams of methamphetamine from RUSSELL during an undercover operation.

The methamphetamine purchased from RUSSELL was subsequently submitted to the Montana State Crime Lab for testing. The substances purchased from RUSSELL tested positive for methamphetamine.

When questioned, RUSSELL corroborated information provided by other individuals involved in this conspiracy. RUSSELL admitted that she was receiving methamphetamine from a co-conspirator who was being supplied by two other individuals who were bringing methamphetamine to the Kalispell area from Washington.

RUSSELL further admitted she began receiving methamphetamine from the co-conspirator in October 2009 and that she received over eight ounces of methamphetamine total. This co-conspirator would front to RUSSELL one-quarter ounce, or one-half ounce, amounts at a time. After RUSSELL sold these amounts, she would return the money to the co-conspirator and receive more methamphetamine for distribution.

RUSSELL also admitted that in late December 2009 an individual stole $1,500 in drug money that she owed to a second co-conspirator for fronted methamphetamine.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RUSSELL will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RUSSELL does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation and the Northwest Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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