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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 17, 2020

California trafficker sentenced to prison for providing meth sent in piñata, peanut butter jar to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

GREAT FALLS – A California man who admitted to trafficking meth for supplying almost two pounds of the drug, which was hidden in a peanut butter jar and a piñata and mailed to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, was sentenced today to six years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Don Fred Baldwin, 47, of Merced, CA, pleaded guilty in May to distribution of meth.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided.

The prosecution said in court documents that Baldwin, through another person, mailed a package on Nov. 7, 2019 from California to Brockton, located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Law enforcement officers intercepted the package, obtained a search warrant and found meth hidden inside a jar of peanut butter and a piñata. The amount of meth totaled about 776 grams, which is 1.7 pounds and the equivalent of approximately 6,208 doses. Baldwin provided the meth to the other individual, who mailed the drug.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassady Adams prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Fort Peck Tribal Criminal Investigators and the Merced, CA, Police Department.

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.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated September 18, 2020