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Press Release

Crow Agency woman accused in large-scale, drug investigation admits to trafficking meth

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

BILLINGS — A Crow Agency woman charged in a large-scale, multi-state drug investigation centered on the Crow Indian Reservation admitted today to trafficking methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Carly Joy James, 41, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. James faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life imprisonment, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 16. James was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that federal law enforcement, in a collaborative effort with local and tribal law enforcement, investigated a large-scale, multi-state narcotics trafficking operation 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 Indian Reservations. James is one of the individuals affiliated with the investigation. The government further alleged that James sold meth to individuals in August 2022 and in October 2022. In January, James was pulled over for a traffic violation, and a search of her vehicle revealed a firearm and approximately eight grams of meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys are prosecuting 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 Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer



Updated July 20, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-222