Daniel Allan Wakeford and Michael Lee Wakeford Plead Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on January 26, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, DANIEL ALLAN WAKEFORD, age 47, and MICHAEL LEE WAKEFORD, age 48, residents of Great Falls, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles. Sentencing has been set for May 7, 2012. They are 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:
In approximately April 2010, officers of the Great Falls Police Department began to investigate a group of people, including DANIEL WAKEFORD and MICHAEL WAKEFORD, engaged in trafficking methamphetamine from Spokane, Washington, to Great Falls for distribution. In the summer of 2010, the officers learned that the group also was engaged in transporting motor vehicles stolen from Great Falls to Spokane as part of the drug trafficking operation. Some of the motor vehicles were sold to a "chop shop" in Spokane and the proceeds used to purchase methamphetamine.
On August 30, 2010, the following motor vehicles were stolen from Great Falls: (1) a 2000 Honda CR250 motorcycle; (2) a 2008 Yamaha YZ motorcycle; (3) a 2003 Kawasaki ZX6R motorcycle; and (4) a 1992 Yamaha YZ250 motorcycle.
On September 10, 2010, Witness Number 1, a member of the drug trafficking/stolen vehicle ring, was arrested in Spokane, Washington. Great Falls Police detectives went to Spokane and interviewed the witness on September 10 and 11, 2010. During the course of the interview, Witness Number 1 confessed to his/her involvement in drug trafficking and transporting stolen motor vehicles from Montana to Spokane.
Witness Number 1 stated that, beginning in approximately February 2010, he/she and various coconspirators made weekly trips from Great Falls to Spokane. Witness Number 1 stated he/she obtained four to eight ounces of methamphetamine during each trip to Spokane, then transported the drugs to Great Falls, where he/she distributed it to various people.
Witness Number 1 further stated that, during the course of the conspiracy, MICHAEL WAKEFORD, and his brother, DANIEL WAKEFORD, accompanied him/her from Great Falls to Spokane on several occasions, where they met with Witness Number 1's sources of supply for methamphetamine. Witness Number 1 stated that MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD obtained methamphetamine, which they then took back to Great Falls for distribution. Witness Number 1 said MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD told him/her they also obtained methamphetamine for distribution from a named, unindicted coconspirator when they were not getting it from Witness Number 1's sources of supply.
Witness Number 1 also stated that MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD participated in the theft of the four motorcycles stolen on August 30, 2010. Witness Number 1 said the motorcycles were transported from Montana to Spokane by MICHAEL WAKEFORD in furtherance of a scheme for Witness Number 1, MICHAEL WAKEFORD, and DANIEL WAKEFORD to sell or trade the motorcycles in order to obtain more methamphetamine. Witness Number 1 stated that two of the motorcycles "did not come back" from Spokane.
Subsequent to interviewing Witness Number 1, a detective interviewed Witness Number 2, an associated of Witness Number 1. Witness Number 2 stated that both MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD distributed methamphetamine to him/her in Great Falls during the time period alleged.
Subsequent to interviewing Witness Number 1, a detective interviewed Witness Number 3, an associate of Witness Number 1. Witness Number 3 stated that he/she received methamphetamine from MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD in Great Falls during the time period alleged in Count I of the superseding information.
Subsequent to interviewing Witness Number 1, the detective interviewed Witness Number 4, an associate of Witness Number 1. Witness Number 4 stated that he/she received methamphetamine from MICHAEL WAKEFORD and DANIEL WAKEFORD in Great Falls during the time period alleged.
They each face 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 Drug Enforcement Administration and the Great Falls Police Department.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.