Skip to main content
Press Release

Billings man sentenced to 18 years in prison for drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS  —  A Billings man who admitted to distributing pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl pills and heroin over three months while residing at a Billings pre-release center and to illegally possessing firearms was sentenced today to 18 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Rodney Trimble, 48, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.

The government alleged in court documents that in June 2022, Billings Police officers learned that Trimble was in possession of a large amount of meth, fentanyl and heroin and was on state probation.  Montana Probation and Parole authorized a search of Trimble following a traffic stop. Trimble told officers that he was recently released from a pre-release center where he was serving time for distributing illicit drugs within a corrections facility. Trimble admitted to recently buying a pound of meth, approximately 100 fentanyl pills and some heroin and had the drugs in his vehicle. He further admitted that he had firearms at his residence that he obtained from “a couple of tweakers on the street” because someone had recently broken into his residence. Officers located approximately 1.4 pounds of meth, 49 grams of heroin and 24 fentanyl pills in Trimble’s vehicle, and a semi-automatic rifle and .357-caliber revolver in his residence. Trimble further admitted to distributing approximately 12 pounds of meth, 600 fentanyl pills and three ounces of heroin over three months, all while he was residing at the pre-release center. Twelve pounds of meth is the equivalent of approximately 43,488 doses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie R. Patten prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and Billings Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.




Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated February 14, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 23-55