Billings meth trafficker sentenced to 10 years in prison
BILLINGS—A Billings man who admitted trafficking methamphetamine he received through the mail was sentenced today to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Jose Antonio Escobedo, 48, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said drug task force agents developed information that Escobedo was wiring large sums of money to McAllen, Texas, a border city known for drugs. Agents suspected he was receiving drugs through the mail.
In August 2019, the U.S. Postal Inspector contacted law enforcement regarding a suspicious package sent to Escobedo from McAllen, Texas. A search warrant served on the package found that it contained a vacuum sealed package of meth. The package was delivered to Escobedo's residence. After Escobedo retrieved the package, law enforcement officers served a search warrant for the residence. Agents located the package in the bedroom. The package contained 163.8 grams of meth. Escobedo also had $9,574 on his person. In addition, agents located wire transfers dating to May 2019. The transfers corresponded with packages Escobedo received from Texas.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Patten prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI Transnational Organized Crime West Task Force and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 to 2018. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.