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Randy Martin Leibenguth and Stephanie Gibson Leibenguth Plead Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on August 8, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, RANDY MARTIN LEIBENGUTH, age 25, and STEPHANIE GIBSON LEIBENGUTH, age 38, residents of Belgrade, pled guilty to manufacture of marijuana and money laundering. Sentencing has been set for November 9, 2012. They are currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From approximately March 2009 until March 14, 2011, RANDY LEIBENGUTH, STEPHANIE LEIBENGUTH, and another individual identified here as "Z.Z.," manufactured and distributed marijuana in the Bozeman/Belgrade area. The LEIBENGUTHS owned and operated Montana Cannabis Ministry/Montanans Cultivating Medicine (MCM). "Z.Z." owned and operated Outlaw Hill Health Institute (OHHI). An additional grow operation was (prior to March 2011) Happy Acres that was operated by the LEIBENGUTHS and "Z.Z.".

On March 14, 2011, law enforcement seized 539 marijuana plants from LEIBENGUTHS at 32 Dollar Drive and 892 marijuana plants from "Z.Z." at 34 Dollar Drive. MCM also had products of all types: edibles, lotions, lipbalms, oils, soaps, etc.

According to a man who worked for "Z.Z." on March 14, 2011, "Z.Z." and RANDY LEIBENGUTH were "business partners" until February 2011. In February 2011, "Z.Z." and LEIBENGUTH were in a business dispute that ended their relationship.

J.S. advised that he purchased over $300,000 worth of marijuana from RANDY LEIBENGUTH. This is corroborated by bank records - the total was $319,579 paid from J.S. d/b/a Natural Medicine of Great Falls to LEIBENGUTH d/b/a Montana Cannabis Ministry. J.S. purchased most of the marijuana from RANDY LEIBENGUTH at his residence, but also made purchases from STEPHANIE LEIBENGUTH and "Z.Z.". Some purchases were at the storefront at 32 Dollar and a couple of purchases were from "Z.Z." at OHHI.

According to bank records, MCM supplied marijuana to other marijuana distributors, Sleeping Giant Caregivers and Zoo Mountain. Sleeping Giant paid a total of $732,242 for marijuana to MCM. Zoo Mountain paid $374,270 to MCM from May through October, 2010.

On March 14, 2011 - LEIBENGUTHS' bank accounts were seized. Law enforcement seized $29,380.02 from one bank account and $2430.61 from another bank account.

Further bank records analysis showed that RANDY and STEPHANIE LEIBENGUTH d/b/a MCM also purchased marijuana and provided simultaneous payments to "Z.Z." d/b/a OHHI in the following transactions:

DATE

CHECK NO.

AMOUNT

a

May 16, 2010

1061

$10,900.00

b

June 1, 2010

1079

$16,500.00

c

June 15, 2010

1100

$14,450.00

d

June 22, 2010

1110

$13,570.00

e

July 1, 2010

1126

$18,150.00

f

July 8, 2010

10012

$25,500.00

g

July 12, 2010

1143

$13,980.00

h

July 20, 2010

1152

$18,450.00

i

July 26, 2010

10025

$17,600.00

j

August 3, 2010

10037

$18,700.00

k

August 17, 2010

10052

$12,050.00

l

August 24, 2010

10070

$15,825.00

m

September 9, 2010

10081

$24,720.00

n

September 14, 2010

10040

$21,600.00

o

September 21, 2010

10106

$10,115.00

p

September 23, 2010

1207

$12,500.00

q

October 5, 2010

10129

$18,735.00

r

October 18, 2010

10147

$21,700.00

s

November 8, 2010

10194

$30,000.00

t

November 30, 2010

10238

$11,707.05

u

December 3, 2010

10243

$11,700.00

They each face possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine, and 4 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigation Division, and the Laurel Police Department.

 

 

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