Deer Lodge Man Sentenced in Drug Trafficking Case
HELENA—On Wednesday, January 3, 2018, United States District Court Judge Sam Haddon sentenced Chase Ryan Storlie, 33, of Deer Lodge, Montana, to 360 months in prison, 5 years’ supervised release, and a $100 surcharge for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Storlie was part of a conspiracy to distribute up to 20 pounds of methamphetamine through Deer Lodge, Montana, each month between January 2016 and January 2017. Members of the conspiracy, including Storlie, possessed firearms in connection with the drug trafficking crimes.
Other members of the conspiracy included Jeff Allen Trask, Hector Ricardo Gonzalez, and Christian Jesus Ruiz. The court previously sentenced Trask to 54 months imprisonment; Gonzalez to 260 months; and Ruiz to 60 months.
The conspiracy ended on January 24, 2017, when the authorities arrested Gonzalez and Ruiz in Mineral County, Montana, in possession of 20 pounds of methamphetamine and two handguns. The methamphetamine was destined for Storlie in Deer Lodge.
The charges against Storlie and his codefendants are the result of an investigation by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Helena Police Department, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, the Powell County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Montana Highway Patrol, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Bartleson prosecuted the case.
United States Attorney Kurt Alme explained, “This case is an important part of our Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is focused on reducing violent crime in Montana. Storlie and his co-defendants were distributing enormous amounts of drugs, enough to supply south central Montana with approximately 870,000 individual doses of methamphetamine. As with so many of our drug crimes, Storlie and his co-conspirators possessed firearms in connection with their drug trafficking. Anytime you combine such large amounts of drugs with guns, violence and addiction will result.” Alme also praised the collaborative work of the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in the case.