Lange Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison on Meth Charges
BILLINGS—Michael Lange, a 57-year old resident of Billings, Montana, was sentenced today to 216 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. United States District Judge Susan P. Watters issued the sentence.
In September 2016, agents began an investigation into a broad drug-trafficking organization selling large quantities of methamphetamine in the Billings area. Michael Lange was identified as a large distributor for the organization, so agents applied for and received search warrants for his cell phone content and ultimately his residence. His text messages indicated that he was selling methamphetamine along with cocaine to a number of individuals. On October 11, 2016, agents executed a search warrant on Lange’s residence in Billings. There, they discovered 1202 grams of methamphetamine, 442 grams of cocaine, and $27,400 in United States Currency. Lange was interviewed by agents on two occasions and admitted to participating in the conspiracy and to obtaining approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine for redistribution. Lange formerly served three terms in the Montana Legislature, including a term as majority leader during the 2007 Legislature.
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme stated: “AUSA John Sullivan’s good work makes clear that no one is above the law. If we are to improve the safety and quality of life of our communities, we must stop the trafficking and sale of methamphetamine.”
The case was investigated by the FBI Transnational Organized Crime Western Task Force and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify those responsible for significant violent crime in Montana. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a recently reinvigorated Department of Justice program that has proven to be successful in reducing violent crime. Today’s sentencing is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.