Billings man convicted of meth distribution at bench trial
BILLINGS – A federal judge today convicted Billings resident Darrell Franklin Holliday on methamphetamine distribution charges after a two-day bench trial, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided and found Holliday, 48, guilty of all three counts in an indictment. Holliday was charged with possession with intent to distribute meth and two counts of distribution of meth. The trial began on Monday.
Holliday faces a minimum mandatory five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of supervised release. He remains in custody pending sentencing.
Judge Watters will set a sentencing date.
Prosecutors presented evidence, including three witnesses, that Holliday was distributing meth in the Billings area and Montana beginning in August 2017. Investigators worked with a confidential informant, who obtained gram quantities of meth from Holliday in two controlled buys. In April 2018, Holliday provided officers a recorded statement in which he admitted to using meth daily when he had the chance. After his arrest, Holliday made statements during recorded jail calls implicating himself.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno Baucus and Karla Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the FBI.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.