Butte Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Methamphetamine and Firearm Offenses
BILLINGS – John William Wheeler, a 28-year-old resident of Butte, was sentenced today to 84 months in prison followed by 5 years supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm in October. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters handed down the sentence.
Wheeler and his associates possessed and sold methamphetamine from approximately January 2016 until June 2016. He also traded methamphetamine for stolen firearms. Wheeler received 10 to 15 stolen long guns for an ounce of methamphetamine. During a probation search of his residence, approximately 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine, a handgun, ammunition, marijuana, and $1900 in cash were seized.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Godfrey and Paulette Stewart and investigated by the Missouri River Drug Task Force, Montana Probation and Parole, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Park County Sheriff’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify those responsible for significant violent crime in Montana. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a recently reinvigorated Department of Justice program that has proven to be successful in reducing violent crime. Today’s sentencing is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.