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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jennifer Michael Swanson Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on September 16, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JENNIFER MICHAEL SWANSON, a 41-year-old resident of Billings, was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 48 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 4 years

SWANSON was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. Thaggard and Brendan P. McCarthy, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On March 11, 2013, an Idaho State Police officer stopped a vehicle driven by an adult male in Power County, Idaho. SWANSON was a passenger in the vehicle. The male driver said he and SWANSON had driven from Billings to Nevada the previous day and were returning to Billings.

SWANSON and the male driver each admitted that cocaine and methamphetamine were in the car. A search of the vehicle ensued. The authorities found three bulk pounds of methamphetamine and a pound of cocaine in the vehicle. The officers also searched a purse located on the front passenger seat. The purse contained a syringe with liquid methamphetamine, a small amount of methamphetamine in several small plastic baggies, drug paraphernalia, and a .40 caliber handgun. The packaging of methamphetamine in several baggies is consistent with the intent to distribute the drug.

The male driver was interviewed by the Drug Enforcement Administration following his entry of a guilty plea in this matter. The male driver stated that, on March 10, 2013, he and SWANSON left Billings and went to Nevada. The male driver stated that he went on the trip to deliver money from another drug dealer in Billings to an associate drug dealer in Nevada. The male driver said that he did not expect that they would pick up any drugs in Nevada, but were provided the bulk quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine in Nevada and instructed to deliver the drugs to Billings. Those bulk quantities were among the drugs seized in Nevada.

The male driver said that the drug dealer in Billings requested that SWANSON go on the trip to Nevada with the male driver. The male driver said the drug dealer in Billings gave SWANSON two ounces of methamphetamine to go on the trip with the male driver. SWANSON possessed those ounces of methamphetamine at the time she and the male driver left Billings on March 10, 2013.

A DEA chemist analyzed the methamphetamine and cocaine seized by the authorities in Idaho. The bulk quantity of cocaine contained a detectable amount of cocaine and the bulk quantity of methamphetamine contained a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SWANSON will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SWANSON 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 a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015