Skip to main content
Press Release

Helena man sentenced to prison for meth trafficking

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

GREAT FALLS — A Helena man who admitted to a methamphetamine trafficking crime after law enforcement intercepted a package containing approximately three pounds of the drug was sentenced on Tuesday to four years and nine months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.

The defendant, Bret Russell Hamlin, 54, pleaded guilty in January to attempted possession with intent to distribute meth.

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

The government alleged in court documents that in August 2021, a postal inspector intercepted a suspicious package that was mailed from Fresno, California, to an address in Helena. After obtaining a warrant to search the package, investigators located approximately three pounds of meth inside. The package was addressed to Hamlin. Law enforcement officers served a search warrant on Hamlin’s residence and found additional quantities of meth, drug paraphernalia, digital scales, plastic baggies, more than $2,000 in cash and a pistol. The government alleged that Hamlin received meth in the mail from an individual in California for distribution to others in the Helena area.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey K. Starnes prosecuted the case. The Missouri River Drug Task Force, U.S. Postal Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 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 May 15, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 24-132