Crow Agency meth trafficker sentenced to five years in prison for role in large conspiracy based on Crow Indian Reservation
BILLINGS — A Crow Agency man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine as part of a large, multiple-state conspiracy that was based on the Crow Indian Reservation was sentenced today to five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Jeffrey Prettypaint, 30, pleaded guilty in September 2023 to possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court allowed Prettypaint to self- surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
In court documents and in court, the government alleged that federal law enforcement, in a collaborative effort with local and tribal law enforcement, investigated a large-scale, multiple-state narcotics trafficking organization that was centered on multiple properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one known as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations and the Billings community from about January 2022 to March 2023. Prettypaint is one of approximately two dozen defendants charged in the conspiracy and was considered to be in the mid-level of the conspiracy.
The government alleged that Prettypaint was directly involved with major players above him in the drug distribution ring and could go to Spear Siding and other property to get meth. In February of 2023, Prettypaint sent the following text message to one of the main co-conspirators and suppliers:
“..we picked up 3oz this morning but we need 4oz, Hahaha, ask [co-conspirator] if he can tip me hahaha 3+3+4=10 zips in 5 days, and Tell [co-conspirator 2] may I please have an Xmas bonus or some crystal tips. Pretty sure [co-conspirator 3] n I clesring [sic] a quarter pound a day not. Everyone coming to us.”
Prettypaint also was aware of a co-conspirator having a “safe house” where they could get fentanyl and meth. In September 2022, Prettypaint told an individual that the person could buy a pound of meth from Spear Siding for $6,000. The individual went to Spear Siding and purchased a half a pound of meth for $3,000. Further, Prettypaint excelled at dealing meth and suggested in his own messages ways to make it better. In discussing expanding the business with Prettypaint, a top co-conspirator told Prettypaint to be thinking about a “few other peeps who might want to purchase or who can be great distributors,” as well other locations. Prettypaint responded that they needed to “expand to other locations and start using cash apps.” Throughout the investigation, law enforcement determined that Prettypaint was being supplied meth from sources for Spear Siding and was redistributing meth.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI 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 J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer