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Justice News

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christopher Wentlein Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on January 4, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CHRISTOPHER WENTLEIN, a 33-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. WENTLEIN was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 84 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 5 years

WENTLEIN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On November 4, 2011, the drug task force in Billings conducted a controlled buy of methamphetamine from WENTLEIN using a confidential informant (CI). The CI bought .6 grams of meth for $30. Later on that same day, WENTLEIN was stopped and consented to a search of his car and house. The searches netted cash ($1,887) and methamphetamine (8.4 grams), as well as a marijuana pipe, marijuana, a digital scale, a gun, and ammunition. After the search, WENTLEIN identified his source as X.X. and agreed to cooperate.

On November 8, 2011, the task force bought two ounces of meth from X.X. using WENTLEIN as a CI. In an interview of WENTLEIN after the purchase, WENTLEIN admitted that he had bought approximately 30 ounces from X.X. over a period of six months. He admitted that he got the gun that was seized during the search of his car by trading meth for it.

Again, on December 30, 2011, the task force used WENTLEIN to buy one ounce of meth from X.X. The transaction took place at X.X.'s house. After the transaction, the task force obtained a search warrant for the house.

On January 2, 2012, X.X. was stopped on the interstate. X.X. agreed to talk with law enforcement and admitted that he was selling meth in Billings for approximately a year, and that he had been traveling to Denver to pick up meth for about 7 months. He admitted to getting 20-30 pounds of meth from his Denver source and selling it in Billings. X.X. admitted that he had traveled to Denver the previous week and bought 5 pounds of meth, which was in his bedroom.

Law enforcement seized approximately 5 pounds of meth during the search of X.X.'s house, as well as some guns, scales, cash, and drug paraphernalia. X.X.'s truck was searched on January 4, 2012, and some meth, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia were found.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that WENTLEIN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, WENTLEIN does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.

Updated January 14, 2015