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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 15, 2019

Judge sentences Browning man to prison for sex abuse of minor

GREAT FALLS—A Browning man who admitted providing a minor methamphetamine in exchange for sexual favors was sentenced on Feb. 14 to 51 months in prison and six years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Richard “Bitsy” Smith, 37, pleaded guilty in November to sexual abuse of a minor and distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 21.

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

Prosecutors said an FBI investigation in 2017 into reports of individuals on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation providing meth to minors in exchange for sexual activity led to Smith and the victim. Search warrants served on Facebook accounts showed Smith and the victim were engaged in a sexual and drug relationship. The victim told investigators that Smith had provided her meth and that they had sex on multiple occasions. Smith admitted to investigators in August 2018 that he had been dealing meth for about two years to support his addiction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated February 15, 2019