Billings man admits cocaine, ecstasy trafficking and firearm brandishing crimes
BILLINGS—A Billings man indicted in a sex and drug trafficking investigation today admitted to conspiracy and firearms crimes stemming from an ecstasy transaction that went bad, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.
Djavon Lamont King, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and ecstasy and to possession of and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Pursuant to a plea agreement, King pleaded guilty to charges in a superseding information. King initially was indicted on multiple counts stemming from an investigation into sex trafficking, drug trafficking and firearms crimes. King faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and three years of supervised release on the drug count, and a mandatory minimum consecutive seven years in prison on the firearms count.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Judge Watters set sentencing for June 28 and continued King’s detention.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said that in 2019, King, a co-defendant, Mario Drake, and others engaged in a conspiracy to distribute illegal narcotics, including cocaine and ecstasy. Multiple witness interviews and social media messages involved King, Drake, and others in this conspiracy. Drake has pleaded not guilty to charges.
On April 24, 2019, two individuals attempted to distribute some of the ecstasy related to the conspiracy. The transaction, which involved a buyer, was set to occur at a motel in Billings. However, at the meeting a struggle ensued, and the buyer assaulted one of the individuals and left the scene. Following this incident, the individual informed King and Drake what had occurred at the motel. In response, on April 29, 2019, King, Drake, and others, arranged a meeting with the buyer, during which they assaulted that individual while holding firearms.
Multiple witness informed law enforcement of this confrontation, including the buyer, who stated that this confrontation related to the sale of illegal narcotics. In the weeks following the April 29, 2019, incident, King and others informed the two individuals who had gone to the drug deal, that they retaliated against the buyer in response to the failed drug transaction at the motel.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno Baucus and Bryan Dake are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the USDOJ’s initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 48% from 2013 through 2019. Through these initiatives, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.