Lucas John Brager Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 12, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, LUCAS JOHN BRAGER, a 30-year-old resident of Columbia Falls, appeared for sentencing. BRAGER was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 135 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 7 years
BRAGER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea 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:
On or about March 2011, agents received reliable information that B.B. and LUCAS BRAGER of Kalispell, Montana were trafficking pound quantities of methamphetamine from the state of California to Flathead County, Montana.
In August of 2011, Northwest Montana Drug Task Force (NWDTF), Montana DOJ Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) began conducting a joint investigation into the illegal methamphetamine distribution activities of LUCAS JOHN BRAGER, B.B., and others.
On August 17, 2011, agents received a search warrant for a Ford truck that was registered to Brandon Torgenrud. The vehicle was seized by Flathead County Deputies during a burglary investigation. LUCAS BRAGER, B.B., and J.G. were suspects in the burglary and were located in the vehicle when the truck was stopped by deputies. During the search of the vehicle, agents located methamphetamine and suspected heroine. Three firearms were also located in the vehicle.
On August 22, 2011, agents conducted a recorded interview with B.B. B.B. advised that she and another individual had made several trips to California and secured pound quantities of methamphetamine from K.C. and brought it back to Flathead County, Montana, for distribution. B.B. said she was originally dealing methamphetamine to Derek Heft, but now, she receives methamphetamine from Heft.
B.B. admitted that she received and distributed approximately 2 pounds of methamphetamine every other week in and around Flathead County, Montana. B.B. traveled to Casper, Wyoming once a week and received 20 ounces of methamphetamine per week for approximately 2 years.
On October 31, 2011, Agents conducted a recorded interview with LUCAS BRAGER at the Flathead County Sheriff's Office. BRAGER stated that he was employed by K.C., Derek Heft and Brandon Torgenrud as muscle to assist in collecting drug debts from methamphetamine distributors and customers. BRAGER met K.C. through B.B. BRAGER admitted receiving quantities of methamphetamine from K.C. BRAGER often worked for K.C. to collect the drug debt from Heft for the previously fronted methamphetamine. BRAGER stated that often Heft would deposit large sums of U.S. currency into Wells Fargo bank accounts in the state of Montana at the direction of K.C. BRAGER said he was paid approximately 35-50 percent of what he was able to collect for the methamphetamine traffickers. BRAGER was paid in methamphetamine, U.S. currency or merchandise.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BRAGER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BRAGER 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 conducted by cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations and the Northwest Drug Task Force.