Billings man sentenced to prison for distributing meth, gun possession
BILLINGS—Billings resident Larry Benjamin Barnett, who admitted distributing methamphetamine and having a firearm, was sentenced today to seven years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Barnett, 40, pleaded guilty in April to possession with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
A drug investigation in February 2018 led to the arrest and conviction of Christopher Hurst of Kalispell on drug and firearms crimes. Agents learned that Hurst’s source of meth also supplied Barnett. Officers served a search warrant on Barnett’s residence and found about 187 grams of meth and a firearm. Barnett admitted to receiving multiple pounds of meth from the common source of supplier. Hurst was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the FBI and the Billings Police Department.
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.