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Justice News

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Joshua Hampton Murphy Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Butte, on October 25, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOSHUA HAMPTON MURPHY, a 29-year-old resident of Flint, Michigan, was sentenced to a term of:

  • ison: 120 months
  • ecial Assessment: $100
  • pervised Release: 8 years

MURPHY was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin.

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

In August 2012, law enforcement officers received information that Blair Clymer was selling prescription pills in the Bozeman area.

In October 2012, they received information that she was selling heroin.

On December 2, 2012, an anonymous male advised the Bozeman Police Department that Clymer was selling heroin in Bozeman. The man misspelled Clymer's name, but provided a physical description and said that Clymer was originally from Michigan. The man said he was providing information because Clymer got his friend addicted to heroin.

During the week of December 10, 2012, a DEA agent in Flint, Michigan told a detective with the Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF) he had learned that Clymer had been receiving shipments of heroin in Montana from a man in Michigan named Joshua Hampton Murphy.

On January 4, 2013, the DEA agent located two USPS shipping labels from the post office in Flint, Michigan, which indicated packages were sent to Clymer on December 27, 2012.

On January 9, 2013, MRDTF made a controlled purchase of five "points" of heroin from Clymer for $350. The heroin received from Clymer was packaged in individual "jeweler's" style bags with batman symbols on them. The bags, including the heroin, weighed approximately one gram.

On January 17, 2013, the DEA in Flint, Michigan intercepted a package intended for Clymer. During a subsequent search, law enforcement officers discovered the package contained a bubble-wrapped jar of peanut butter and the seal on the peanut butter had been broken. Inside the jar they located three separate plastic bags. Two of the bags contained what the DEA listed as "pharmaceutical controlled substances" and one package contained 90 gross grams of heroin.

After reviewing surveillance video from the post office in Flint, Michigan, the DEA was able to see that the package had been shipped by a person believed to be MURPHY. The tracking number for the package was EH807537175US. Law enforcement eventually discovered a series of text messages between MURPHY and Clymer on January 19, 2013, during which MURPHY provided Clymer with that tracking number.

On January 25, 2013, Clymer contacted a U.S. Postal Inspector to inquire as to the whereabouts of the package that was intercepted by the DEA in Michigan on January 17.

On January 29, 2013, MRDTF agents made a controlled purchase of five points of heroin from Clymer for $350. The heroin received from Clymer was packaged in individual baggies. The baggies and the heroin had a combined weight of 0.8 grams.

On February 1, 2013, MRDTF agents made another controlled purchase of heroin from Clymer. During that transaction, a confidential informant paid Clymer $400 and received seven points of heroin in baggies that had a Nike "Swoosh" and Batman symbols on them. The total weight of the seven bags and the heroin was 1.1 grams. During this controlled purchase MURPHY was identified as being with Clymer.

On February 7, 2013, the DEA in Michigan informed the MRDTF that the U.S. Postal Inspector in Michigan had identified another package being sent to a salon in Bozeman, from a person believed to be MURPHY. The DEA and a postal inspector searched the package pursuant to a search warrant and found that it contained a peanut butter jar with approximately 45 grams of heroin, among other items. This package was sent to the Postal Inspector in Montana who assisted the MRDTF with a controlled delivery of the package on February 9, 2013. A search of Clymer's cell phone on February 27, 2013, included a text conversation between Clymer and MURPHY where Clymer provided MURPHY the "To" and "From" addresses to be used for the package. MURPHY later provided the tracking number for the package of EG937161986US, which was the same number on the package received by the Postal Inspector for the controlled delivery.

On February 9, 2013, the MRDTF performed a controlled delivery of the package sent by MURPHY to the salon. During the controlled delivery, both the addressee and Clymer were present in the business. Clymer was found to be in possession of 12 individual jewelry-style baggies containing heroin that weighed a total of 2.9 grams.

Additional investigation revealed that Clymer used Money Gram to send money to MURPHY. Records were subpoenaed and analyzed. From August 29, 2012 to January 30, 2013, Clymer sent approximately $9,700 from Montana to MURPHY in Michigan.

On May 23, 2013, law enforcement officers in Michigan arrested MURPHY for his involvement in the conspiracy in this case. After he was arrested, MURPHY admitted that he had been sending heroin to Clymer in Montana.

Clymer pled guilty to federal charges.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that MURPHY will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, MURPHY 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration in Michigan, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated January 14, 2015