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Press Release

Billings meth dealer sentenced to prison

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

BILLINGS—A Billings man who admitted possessing methamphetamine for distribution and to having a firearm was sentenced today to six years in prison and five years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.

Gary Hollister Ainsworth, 34, pleaded guilty in October 2018 to possession with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said that in April 2018, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a suspicious activity report at a storage facility in Billings. The person who made the report told deputies he had watched a man driving a Suzuki, later identified as Ainsworth, attempt to steal a vehicle off of a nearby lot and had followed Ainsworth to the storage facility. When deputies approached, Ainsworth tried to flee, but stopped and surrendered.

Deputies noted that Ainsworth had several active arrest warrants, was acting erratic and nervous and was wearing latex gloves. Deputies also saw a marijuana pipe, a handgun and a blow torch in plain view in the Suzuki. Deputies detained Ainsworth and impounded the vehicle.

An initial search of the vehicle, based on a warrant, by officers with the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force found only the handgun and drug paraphernalia. Information from an anonymous source led to a second search of the vehicle, which resulted in agents finding about 54 grams of pure meth. Ainsworth subsequently admitted to law enforcement that he was dealing meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the EMHIDTA Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office.

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.






Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated December 5, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods