Lewistown woman sentenced in methamphetamine case
GREAT FALLS—A Lewistown woman convicted of possessing methamphetamine for distribution was sentenced on Tuesday to 54 months in prison and five years supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme said.
Jahmel Halabi, 43, pleaded guilty to the charge in August.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided at sentencing.
On April 14, 2018 near Lewistown, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped a car in which Halabi was a passenger. The trooper arrested Halabi on an outstanding warrant and took her to jail. Additional information that Halabi and the driver were involved in drug activity led to officers getting a search warrant for the car. A search turned up about 99 grams, or 3.5 ounces, of actual meth and baggies that were hidden in the dome light.
That same day, the Fergus County Sheriff’s Office reviewed jail calls and identified Halabi as having called a person and requesting he “get the stuff out of the car” and “the stuff out of the house.” Halabi also indicated that drugs were located in a safe in the residence and provided the safe’s combination in the jail call.
Lewistown police officers got a search warrant for Halabi’s residence and seized about 14 ounces of actual meth, $4,000 cash and drug paraphernalia.
During an interview with law enforcement, Halabi admitted to dealing meth and said officers had missed meth and firearms during the search of her home. Officers returned to the residence and seized about 31 ounces, or 1.95 pounds of actual meth, which is the equivalent of about 7,072 individual doses. Also seized were various rounds of ammunition and bank receipts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley 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.