Paul Michael Tizio Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on December 4, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, PAUL MICHAEL TIZIO, a 33-year-old resident of Phoenix, Arizona, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for March 15, 2013. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Since November 2010, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency have been investigating the distribution of methamphetamine in and around Butte by TIZIO and others, including Gary Sheffield, Julie White, Angella Parker, and Michael Young.
On January 5, 2011, based on information obtained during that investigation, law enforcement officers searched Sheffield's car and the Sheffield/White residence in Butte. From the house they seized baggies of meth, surveillance cameras, drug paraphernalia, and a Fed-Ex receipt with Parker's name on it. The officers found more meth in Sheffield's possession during a search of his person and his car outside a nearby casino.
Also on January 5, 2011, before the search of Sheffield's and White's residence, Parker was stopped for a traffic violation and admitted to having just purchased an "8-ball" of meth from Sheffield. She also admitted that during the course of the conspiracy she had received packages of methamphetamine from TIZIO in Arizona that were intended for Sheffield and had shipped money to Arizona as payment for the drugs.
Following the events of January 5, 2011, law enforcement officers conducted interviews of various witnesses and learned that TIZIO was obtaining methamphetamine in Arizona and shipping or otherwise arranging for the transportation of the drugs to Butte. In order to pay for the meth, money was either shipped back to TIZIO in Arizona, delivered to him in person, or deposited into his bank account.
Sheffield, White, Parker, and Young pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.
TIZIO faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $10,000,000 fine, and 5 years supervised release .
The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Homeland Security Investigations and the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency.