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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 9, 2019

Billings meth dealer sentenced to prison

BILLINGS—A Billings man who admitted selling meth from his house located near a school and having multiple firearms was sentenced today to eight years in prison and six years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Giovanni Rodrick Shawl, 32, pleaded guilty earlier 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 Watters presided.

In the summer of 2017, law enforcement learned that Shawl was distributing meth in Billings and worked with a confidential informant to make controlled buys from him at his residence, which was located within 1,000 feet of Riverside Middle School, the prosecution said in court records.

In September 2017, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Shawl’s residence and recovered, among other items, a 7.62 rifle, .40 caliber ammunition and magazines, along with a small amount of marijuana and a digital scale with residue. During a search of a pickup truck Shawl had been seen driving during a controlled buy, agents found a loaded .40 caliber pistol, a loaded 9mm pistol, ammunition and about 5.4 grams of meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI Task Force.

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.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated August 9, 2019