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Press Release

Crow Agency woman sentenced to seven years in prison for role in large-scale, meth trafficking investigation

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

BILLINGS — A Crow Agency woman who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in a large-scale, multi-state drug operation that was centered on the Crow Indian Reservation was sentenced today to seven years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Carly Joy James, 42, pleaded guilty in July to possession with intent to distribute meth.

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

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 drug trafficking operation centered on the distribution of meth involving 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 was one of the individuals affiliated with the investigation. The government further alleged that James was involved in selling meth obtained from Spear Siding and distributing it in the Billings area in 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.

 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


Updated November 16, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-430