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Press Release

Jury convicts man of methamphetamine trafficking, firearms crimes

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

BILLINGS – A jury today convicted a man on drug trafficking and firearms crimes after law enforcement arrested him in Billings and found more than a pound of meth and loaded guns in his vehicle, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

The jury found Julian Tyler Baughman, 36, guilty of all three crimes as charged, including possession with intent to distribute meth, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The two-day trial began on Dec. 9, with U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presiding. A sentencing date will be set later. Baughman was detained.

Baughman faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug count and a minimum mandatory consecutive five years to life, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release for conviction on having a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

“We are pleased with the guilty verdicts. Caught with more than a pound of meth and loaded handguns, Mr. Baughman posed a significant risk to community safety. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Godfrey and Karla Painter and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

The prosecution presented evidence at trial that Montana Violent Offender Task Force officers got a tip about Baughman’s location and arrested him in a vehicle in a Billings neighborhood on April 10. Baughman admitted he had a gun on him. While searching Baughman, officers found in a belly band holster a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with 15 live rounds and a second magazine containing 11 live rounds of ammunition. Baughman also had $1,086 and a cell phone on his person.

Officers found in the vehicle a meth pipe, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a loaded .357-caliber semi-automatic pistol, boxes of ammunition, an open U.S. Postal Service envelope containing about 1.6 pounds of meth and other items. The amount of meth found is the equivalent of about 5,800 doses.

A vehicle check by law enforcement determined that a person in Williston, N.D., had sold the vehicle to Baughman a few days earlier.

After getting a search warrant for Baughman’s phone, investigators found multiple photos of the 9mm pistol that Baughman has sent to people, conversations where Baughman had shot himself in the foot with a .357 pistol and multiple messages consistent with Baughman dealing drugs.

Baughman was convicted in 2016 of theft, criminal mischief and criminal endangerment, all felonies, in Roosevelt County, and therefore, was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Godfrey and Karla Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

 The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.





Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated December 10, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods