Ronald Leon Leeson Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on May 7, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, RONALD LEON LEESON, a 53-year-old resident of Great Falls, was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 46 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 4 years
LEESON was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
During January 2012, law enforcement originally became alerted to a methamphetamine distribution ring from Washington state to Great Falls.
In June 2012, law enforcement learned of an individual, X.X., who made repeated trips from Great Falls to Washington to obtain methamphetamine to re-sell in Great Falls.
On June 29, 2012, a CI (confidential informant) informed the drug task force that X.X. was returning to Great Falls from Washington with methamphetamine. The task force arranged for a controlled drug buy from X.X. near the University of Great Falls. The CI purchased methamphetamine. The CI then continued to make numerous controlled drug buys from X.X. over the next few days.
Law enforcement located X.X.'s car in early July 2012, and the task force tracked this car from Great Falls to Spokane, Washington. The car stayed in Spokane for less than two hours before returning to Great Falls. Law enforcement initiated a traffic stop of the car just outside of Great Falls and they obtained two ounces of methamphetamine. X.X., the driver of the car, told law enforcement he had traveled to Spokane to buy methamphetamine from "Bert." He had been supplied by Bert, who was identified as Robert Boucher, since February or March 2012. In total, X.X. believed he had obtained and distributed approximately ten ounces of methamphetamine that he received from Boucher.
X.X. told law enforcement that Boucher provided him with a GPS system in order for X.X. to find Boucher's house in Spokane. Once X.X. obtained the methamphetamine from Boucher, X.X. would sell the methamphetamine by the gram for $100 around Great Falls. Boucher sold the methamphetamine to X.X. for $1,400 an ounce.
X.X. and Boucher also dealt methamphetamine with LEESON and Tammy Lapie in Great Falls. The methamphetamine dealing continued into the fall of 2012. During the end of October 2012, detectives interviewed additional witnesses. One witness stated that Lapie was heavily involved in using and dealing methamphetamine. Lapie obtained her methamphetamine from Boucher, and Boucher delivered methamphetamine to Lapie approximately once a week.
The witness further provided that Boucher stored the methamphetamine in the hood and trunk of his car. He then divided the methamphetamine between the sellers who obtained the methamphetamine on credit. Boucher stayed in town at Lapie's house until the money was collected. Lapie would then repackage the methamphetamine into eight-ball baggies and distribute it to other sellers.
On November 13, 2012, a witness contacted the drug task force and stated LEESON was selling methamphetamine. Law enforcement then arranged controlled drug purchases from LEESON in Great Falls. The following evening, detectives saw LEESON drive to Lapie's house, where he stayed for a half hour before again returning to his motel room. A little while later, LEESON and a woman drove to a gas station. LEESON conducted a drug deal in the parking lot. Officers conducted a traffic stop on LEESON's car shortly thereafter.
After ordering LEESON out of the car, officers found a glass container of methamphetamine in LEESON's pocket. He spoke with law enforcement and said he had been dealing methamphetamine with Lapie. LEESON regularly purchased two eight balls of methamphetamine per week from Lapie. LEESON also identified Boucher as one of Lapie's suppliers and said he delivered methamphetamine to Lapie once per week.
From December 2011 until November 2012, LEESON possessed over five grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the methamphetamine to another person.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LEESON will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LEESON 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 the Russell County Drug Task Force.