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Press Release

Edna Cuts The Rope Sentenced In U.S. District Court

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on October 24, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, EDNA CUTS THE ROPE, a 34-year-old resident of Billings, was sentenced to a term of:

  • ison: 76 months
  • ecial Assessment: $100
  • pervised Release: 5 years

CUTS THE ROPE was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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

In October of 2010, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (BSSSTF) received information about a large scale methamphetamine distribution organization operating in Yellowstone County.

In the spring of 2011, law enforcement began performing electronic surveillance on Carlos Menjivar, an individual living in Billings. Investigators discovered that Menjivar, Dawn Marie Menjivar, and Armando Hernandez-Vaca began supplying the larger methamphetamine organization in late 2010 with methamphetamine after the prior source of supply had a run in with law enforcement. During the investigation law enforcement learned that Armando Hernandez-Vaca delivered methamphetamine to Carlos Menjivar, his co-conspirator, Dawn Marie Menjivar, and several other individuals from approximately April 2011 to October 2011. Hernandez-Vaca regularly transported two to three pounds of methamphetamine per trip during his involvement in the conspiracy.

In approximately July of 2011, Carlos Menjivar was incarcerated on non-drug related charges. Dawn Marie Menjivar took over the distribution of methamphetamine and collection of money for the organization.

As the investigation developed, agents began purchasing methamphetamine from an individual in Billings. The individual introduced the undercover agents to his source of supply, CUTS THE ROPE. CUTS THE ROPE was known to investigators as a methamphetamine distributor who at one time received methamphetamine from Micah Waltenbaugh. Agents had also heard from individuals on the street, as well as informants, that Waltenbaugh was distributing methamphetamine, with his source of supply Carlos Menjivar. This same information was confirmed through jail house phone calls between the Menjivars. CUTS THE ROPE then began distributing methamphetamine directly to the individual in quantities ranging from "eight balls" to half-ounces at a time.

The individual in Billings was later signed up as an FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS), and continued to make methamphetamine purchases directly from CUTS THE ROPE. In all, the CHS purchased a total of 53.3 grams of methamphetamine from CUTS THE ROPE. CUTS THE ROPE also enlisted the CHS for rides to purchase plastic baggies, cutting agents, as well as to pay debts to her source of supply and to get more methamphetamine from her source.

In July of 2011, CUTS THE ROPE's source of supply for methamphetamine was identified as Armando Hernandez-Vaca. Agents watched CUTS THE ROPE meet with Hernandez-Vaca to obtain methamphetamine, which the agents then purchased from CUTS THE ROPE.

From July 2011, and continuing thereafter until late January 2012, CUTS THE ROPE possessed with the intent to distribute at least 500 grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, including the 53.3 grams she sold directly to the CHS.

Carlos and Dawn Menjivar, Hernandez-Vaca, and Waltenbaugh pled guilty to federal charges.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that CUTS THE ROPE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, CUTS THE ROPE 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 Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.

Updated January 14, 2015