Former Blackfeet Tribal operations manager suspected of stealing tribal COVID-19 relief funding arraigned on charges
BILLINGS — A Garryowen man on Sept. 22 admitted to selling methamphetamine to others as part of a large-scale trafficking ring that was based on the Crow Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.
Zachary Douglas Bacon, 35, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Bacon faces a mandatory minimum of 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. The court set sentencing for Jan. 25, 2024. Bacon was released pending further proceedings.
In court documents, 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 operation centered on properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one known as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both Crow and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. Bacon is one of the individuals affiliated with the investigation.
The government further alleged that in October 2022, Bacon sold two ounces of meth to an individual and that the meth came from Spear Siding. Investigators also determined that Bacon sold meth that he regularly obtained from Spear Siding to others.
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 J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer