Christopher Ryan Durbin Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July 12, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, CHRISTOPHER RYAN DURBIN, a 33-year-old resident of Oregon/Whitefish, appeared for sentencing. DURBIN was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 84 months
Special Assessment: $200
Supervised Release: 5 years
DURBIN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and structuring.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In approximately November 2009, and continuing through March 14, 2011, DURBIN and others were involved in marijuana-growing operations. DURBIN was the head of the distribution network. DURBIN owned and operated several businesses, including Four Seasons Gardening in the Flathead Valley, under the parent company of Salt Springs LLC. Two other business were located next to Four Seasons Gardening - Northern Lights Medical and Good Medicine Providers. Northern Lights Medical was a company where an individual could apply for a Montana medical marijuana patient card and Good Medicine was a medical marijuana dispensary.
The evidence would show that DURBIN was distributing large quantities of marijuana to individuals both inside and outside Montana. A confidential source would have testified to traveling to New York on two occasions and picking up approximately $50,000 in cash after marijuana was delivered there at DURBIN's request.
Additionally, between the dates of December 22, 2010, and January 12, 2011, investigating agents conducted a total of four undercover marijuana purchases from Good Medicine Providers Inc.
On March 14, 2011, search warrants were executed at warehouses located at 115 East Reserve Drive, Kalispell, Montana, and 6065 US Highway 93, Unit 4, Olney, Montana. Over 1,000 marijuana plants were recovered by members of law enforcement. Witnesses would have testified that DURBIN was the source of funding for both warehouses and that the plants were being grown at his request.
In support of the structuring violation the government would have introduced evidence, primarily by way of the testimony of Glacier Bank employees, that DURBIN structured deposits on November 12, 2009, in an attempt to cause the bank to avoid filing a Currency Transaction Report ("CTR"). Specifically, DURBIN deposited approximately $71,900 in 16 cash deposits, ranging from $4,000 to $6,000, none of which individually triggered Glacier Bank's reporting obligation but in a total amount that would have required the bank to file a CTR. The government would have also introduced evidence of statements that DURBIN made - on November 12, 2009, and on other occasions - indicating that he was aware of the bank's obligation to report deposits that exceeded certain monetary thresholds. Finally, the government would have shown that DURBIN's structuring activity occurred while he was conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that DURBIN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, DURBIN 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 Homeland Security Investigations, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.