William Frederick Heavyrunner Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on October 4, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, WILLIAM FREDERICK HEAVYRUNNER, a 20-year-old resident of Browning, pled guilty conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for January 9, 2012. He 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 (DCI) 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. HEAVYRUNNER was identified as a conspirator in this illegal methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.
In January 2010, law enforcement received information from a Confidential Source (CS) that HEAVYRUNNER, along with his co-defendant, Julianna Marie Lewis, were transporting large quantities of illegal narcotics into Montana from Washington, via plane and car. Law enforcement later confirmed that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis were piloting planes from Washington to Kalispell, as well as driving to Montana, to transport methamphetamine to individuals for sale in Montana.
A co-conspirator, CS 1, would have testified that she met HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis through CS 2 in November 2009. CS 1 would have testified that she had received approximately 13 ounces of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis between late 2009 and the spring of 2010. These transactions occurred on the Blackfeet Reservation and in Kalispell. CS 1 would have testified that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis were always together during these methamphetamine transactions and the two worked together. CS 1 was often frightened of HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis because they always carried firearms during the methamphetamine transactions.
CS 3 would have testified that she met HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis through CS 1 in late December 2009. The first time she met HEAVYRUNNER, she purchased one ounce of methamphetamine from him and Lewis. The second time she met with HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis, CS 3 delivered two handguns to them, which CS 1 had previously purchased. On one occasion CS 3 obtained one-half ounce of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis and delivered it to CS 1 for distribution. CS 3 met with HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis in the spring of 2010 and received a ounce of methamphetamine on one occasion, then she purchased $700 worth of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis a few weeks later.
CS 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. CS 1 would have testified that she received this methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis. The methamphetamine taken from CS 1 during her arrest was subsequently submitted to a Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory where it tested positive for methamphetamine.
CS 2 would have testified that HEAVYRUNNER collected the money owed for fronted methamphetamine when Lewis was not in Montana. CS 2 once gave HEAVYRUNNER $1,800 she owed him and Lewis for fronted methamphetamine. HEAVYRUNNER had a firearm on him during this transaction. CS 2 would have testified that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis were always together during the methamphetamine transactions and HEAVYRUNNER often had a large "AK-47" type rifle with him.
MDCI agents in the Kalispell area conducted five controlled methamphetamine purchases from CS 4 in 2009, purchasing a total of 11.5 grams of methamphetamine. CS 4 would have testified that the methamphetamine purchased by agents she had received either directly from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis, or from CS 5, who had received the methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis. CS 4 would have testified further that she purchased over eight ounces of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis between October 2009 and the spring of 2010, in the Kalispell area. The methamphetamine purchased from CS 4 during the controlled purchases was subsequently submitted to the Montana State Crime Lab for testing. The substances purchased from CS 4 tested positive for methamphetamine.
CS 5 would have testified that she first met HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis at the airport in Kalispell in the fall of 2009, when HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis had flown to Kalispell to sell methamphetamine. CS 5 purchased three-eighths of an ounce of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis during their first meeting. CS 5 would have testified that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis would often fly or drive to Kalispell, distribute methamphetamine there, then continue on to the Blackfeet Reservation to distribute more methamphetamine. CS 5 would have testified that she received a total of 16 ounces of methamphetamine from HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis.
HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis 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 HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis 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.
Lewis would have testified that she facilitated the trafficking of large amounts of methamphetamine from Washington to Montana via plane and automobile between the summer of 2009 and winter of 2011. She would have described how she sold methamphetamine - almost always along with HEAVYRUNNER - to CSs 1-5, and numerous others in Montana. Lewis would have testified that HEAVYRUNNER actively participated in all the drug transactions, handling either the money or the methamphetamine, and that HEAVYRUNNER always carried a firearm. Lewis would have corroborated CS testimony that often HEAVYRUNNER stayed behind in Montana to collect money owed when Lewis traveled to Washington for more methamphetamine. Lewis would have also corroborated that CS 1 purchased, and CS 3 delivered, firearms to Lewis and HEAVYRUNNER. The "AK-47" type rifle, a .223 XM-15 Bushmaster rifle, was the firearm purchased by CS 1, and confiscated by Idaho State Police when Lewis and HEAVYRUNNER were arrested on April 4, 2010.
On March 16, 2011, BSTTF officers received a phone call from a witness who stated that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis were currently on the Blackfeet Reservation selling methamphetamine. This witness would have testified that he personally observed HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis in possession of a large ziplock bag full of methamphetamine. The witness would have testified further that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis told him they were on the Blackfeet Reservation to sell methamphetamine. Officers confirmed the information provided by this witness, interviewing the management and staff at a motel in East Glacier who advised that HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis had rented a room but checked out on March 16, 2011. HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis were driving a white Dodge Durango with Washington license plates.
On March 20, 2011, BSTTF officers arrested HEAVYRUNNER and Lewis. The officers would have testified that pursuant to a valid consent search of the Lewis's white Dodge Durango incident to arrest, officers found in the vehicle live ammunition, two Glock 9mm magazines, $2,521 in cash, and two cellular telephones. Pursuant to a subsequent search warrant, officers would have testified to the contents and materials discovered on the cellular telephones. Information, data, text messages, and photos on the phones, corroborate HEAVYRUNNER's extensive involvement in this methamphetamine conspiracy.
Lewis pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.
HEAVYRUNNER 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 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.