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Russell Young Piapot Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 01, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on December 1, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, RUSSELL YOUNG PIAPOT, pled guilty to distribution of methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for March 22, 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:

In the spring of 2009, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, along with local law enforcement who are members of the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force, began investigating PIAPOT for suspected distribution of methamphetamine in Havre and on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.

On July 18, 2009, Task Force agents, with the assistance of a confidential informant (CI) and witness 1, drove onto the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation to PIAPOT's residence. Witness 1 would have testified that she knew PIAPOT, and had purchased methamphetamine from him before, so she accompanied the CI to PIAPOT's residence. Witness 1 went into the residence and purchased .63 grams of methamphetamine from PIAPOT and gave it to the CI.

Later that same day, Task Force agents, along with Witness 1 and the CI, again drove to PIAPOT's residence. Witness 1 would have testified that she again went inside the residence and came back out with .62 grams of methamphetamine purchased from PIAPOT and gave it to the CI.

On July 21, 2009, Task Force agents, along with the assistance of the CI, drove onto the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation and picked up Witness 2 who told the CI that she knew PIAPOT and could go to his house and buy methamphetamine. Witness 2 drove to PIAPOT's residence with the CI and purchased 1.5 grams of methamphetamine from PIAPOT.

On August 24, 2009, an undercover Task Force officer accompanied the CI on a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from PIAPOT. The undercover officer and the CI drove to PIAPOT's home, entered, and purchased .31 grams of methamphetamine from PIAPOT.

All the methamphetamine purchased from PIAPOT was submitted to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) laboratory where it tested positive for methamphetamine. The purity levels of the methamphetamine purchased from PIAPOT were also tested and reported as 98% to 99% pure (actual) methamphetamine.

PIAPOT faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

 

 

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