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Press Release

Great Falls father, son sentenced for meth trafficking, firearms crimes

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

GREAT FALLS—A Great Falls father and son who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in the community and to illegally possessing firearms were sentenced today to prison terms, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Gary Girard Sheehan, 68, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison and five years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in November to possession with intent to distribute meth and to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Justin Leonard Sheehan, 44, the son of Gary Sheehan, was sentenced to eight years and 10 months in prison and five years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in November to possession with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said law enforcement received information that the Sheehans had been distributing meth in the Great Falls community since at least 2016. The father and son would routinely travel to Salt Lake City to pick up large quantities of meth from a supplier for redistribution in Great Falls.

In November 2018, law enforcement received information that the Sheehans were planning a trip to Salt Lake City to buy meth and officers monitored the trip. On Nov. 19, 2018, agents stopped Gary Sheehan’s vehicle on Interstate 15 south of Butte. Gary Sheehan was the driver and Justin Sheehan was in the rear passenger seat. In a search of the vehicle, agents found in the trunk a backpack with two bundles of meth, $9,050 cash and a loaded .45-caliber handgun. Each bundle had about a pound of meth. A second backpack found in the backseat of the car contained a loaded .22-caliber handgun and a plastic bag with white residue. A pound of meth is the equivalent of about 3,634 doses.

Gary Sheehan was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a prior felony conviction in Utah. Agents interviewed individuals who acknowledged getting meth from Justin Sheehan and that he typically carried firearms for his protection in the drug trade.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the USDOJ’s initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 through 2018. Through these initiatives, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.



Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Office

Updated March 19, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods