Charles Timothy Wells Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on December 20, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, CHARLES TIMOTHY WELLS, a 29-year-old resident of Browning, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Sentencing has been set for March 25, 2013. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received information from a confidential source that WELLS was transporting cocaine, on a regular basis, from Yakima, Washington, to Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. WELLS would pick up the cocaine in Washington, drive it to Browning, and then distribute it to others.
On July 12, 2012, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper stopped WELLS. The stop was conducted because WELLS had an outstanding warrant. WELLS was returning from Washington, where he had obtained the cocaine that was in his possession, and he expected to deliver the cocaine in Browning during the Native American Indian Days.
When interviewed, WELLS stated that he had a backpack in the vehicle that he was driving which contained six ounces of cocaine. WELLS stated that he began to distribute cocaine in the summer of 2009 until July of 2012. WELLS stated that he started by distributing one-ounce quantities per week, but then quickly increased to distributing two to three ounces of cocaine every few weeks. WELLS then admitted that he was moving six ounces of cocaine every week for the few months leading up to his arrest.
Law enforcement applied for and received a search warrant for the vehicle that WELLS was driving. Consistent with WELLS' statement, the search revealed six ounces of cocaine, a scale, numerous empty zip-lock baggies, false bottom containers, and other paraphernalia items consistent with concealment, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances. The cocaine was sent to a laboratory, which concluded that the substance was cocaine. The gross weight was 195.7 grams, and the actual amount of drug was 24.3 grams.
The DEA interviewed various other sources. These sources confirmed that WELLS had been distributing drugs in 2009 until 2012. The sources likewise confirmed WELLS' statements that more than 500 grams of cocaine were involved in the conspiracy.
WELLS faces 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 conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.