BILLINGS — A Billings man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in Montana, Idaho and Oregon and was arrested after leading law enforcement on high-speed chase before crashing near Laurel was sentenced today to 15 years and three months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Robert Allen Williams, 58, pleaded guilty in April to possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
“Williams was a regional drug dealer who not only trafficked this poison in Montana communities but also in Idaho and Oregon. Investigating and prosecuting drug traffickers who work across multiple states is a priority for this office, and this significant sentence holds Williams accountable for his conduct,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.
In court documents, the government alleged that in April 2021, Billings Drug Enforcement Administration agents received information from DEA agents in Oregon about Williams and co-defendant Yvonne Schlichting, who were suspected of trafficking methamphetamine in Oregon, Idaho and Montana and were traveling in a rental vehicle in Montana. Billings DEA agents, along with the Montana Highway Patrol, located the rental vehicle outside of Laurel. A MHP trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, but Williams, the driver, refused to stop and led troopers on a high-speed chase toward Red Lodge. The vehicle then made a U-turn in the median and headed back to Laurel. The vehicle ran over spike strips deployed by law enforcement and continued into Laurel where it went through a red light and struck another vehicle. Officers executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found $26,976 in cash and approximately 267 grams, which is about a half pound, of pure meth. Schlichting was convicted in the case and is pending sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie R. Patten prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the DEA, Montana Highway Patrol and Laurel 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.