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Press Release

California meth trafficker sentenced to more than eight years in prison

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

BILLINGS  — A man who admitted to bringing pounds of methamphetamine to the Billings area community for distribution was sentenced today to eight years and six months years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Alex Valladares, 25, of Fresno, California, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to possession with intent to distribute meth.

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

In court documents, the government alleged that between July 2021 and March 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned that Valladares was a source of supply for meth in Billings area and acted as a go between for local Montana distributors and larger suppliers in Mexico. Valladares also was identified as being the supplier of approximately 5.8 pounds of meth seized in a March 2021 traffic stop. The government alleged that Valladares was bringing large quantities of meth to Montana as part of a larger criminal conspiracy, and Valladares described receiving pound quantities for distribution. In addition, the government alleged Valladares possessed firearms and described transporting guns to California to eventually make their way to Mexico.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas K. Godfrey prosecuted the case. The Drug Enforcement Administration and ATF conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated May 25, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 23-171