Thomas Randolph Bell and Brandon Kirk Torgenrud Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 11, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, THOMAS RANDOLPH BELL, a 45-year-old resident of Tacoma, Washington, and BRANDON KIRK TORGENRUD, a 29-year-old resident of Polson/Kalispell, appeared for sentencing.
BELL was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 200 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 10 years
TORGENRUD was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 84 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 5 years
They were sentenced in connection with their guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
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 August of 2011, the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations began conducting a joint investigation into the illegal methamphetamine distribution activities of BELL, TORGENRUD, and others.
On September 29, 2011, agents conducted an undercover purchase of methamphetamine from TORGENRUD. Using a confidential informant (CI), agents purchased one-eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine for $300.
On September 30, 2011, agents conducted another undercover purchase of methamphetamine from TORGENRUD. Using a CI, agents purchased one-eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine for $300.
On October 3, 2011, agents conducted a final undercover purchase of methamphetamine from TORGENRUD. Using a CI, agents purchased one-half of an ounce of methamphetamine for $900.
On October 12, 2011, TORGENRUD was interviewed and admitted to receiving 5-10 ounces per week from a source of supply (SOS-1) for two months prior to the interview. Prior to that, he received two pounds of methamphetamine, at least 5-6 times for SOS-2. TORGENRUD admitted that this methamphetamine was distributed in and around western Montana.
The government would have proven at trial that TORGENRUD was also receiving methamphetamine form BELL from approximately August through October of 2011. TORGENRUD received between 40-80 ounces of methamphetamine from BELL for distribution during this time period.
Finally, a controlled source would have testified that s/he received numerous pounds of methamphetamine from BELL during 2010 and 2011.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do 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 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Northwest Drug Task Force.