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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Livingston Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking Offense

HELENA – Ryan Frank Cervantes, a 27-year-old resident of Livingston, Montana, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison followed by 10 years supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  U.S. Senior District Judge Charles C. Lovell handed down the sentence.

From July 2016 to May 2017, Cervantes was involved in a large drug conspiracy operating in Gallatin and Broadwater Counties.  Cervantes worked for Ed Ellington who was considered to be the biggest drug supplier in the Bozeman and Belgrade area.

On December 7, 2016, the Missouri River Drug Task Force conducted a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Krystal Rego.  Investigators met with a Confidential Informant (“CI”) prior to the purchase.  The CI had arranged to buy about 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Rego.  The CI went to meet with Rego at the Super 8 Motel in Bozeman.  Rego met the CI in the parking lot and together they went into the hotel.  A short while later, investigators observed Rego come back outside the hotel where she met up with Cervantes to get the methamphetamine.  Rego then went back to the hotel room and gave the methamphetamine to the CI.  Shortly thereafter, the CI left and met back up with investigators. 

Just as Cervantes had been the drug supplier for Rego, the investigation showed that Cervantes was a supplier to at least 40-50 other people.  Cervantes source of supply was Ed Ellington.  During the scope of the drug conspiracy Cervantes was held responsible for distributing 226 grams of methamphetamine.  That converts to 1808 individual doses of the drug which reached drug users in Montana. 

Ed Ellington was also charged and has plead guilty in this case.  Mr. Ellington is scheduled to be sentenced on May 24, 2018.

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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker and investigated by the FBI and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
KERI LEGGETT Acting Public Information Officer (406) 761-7715
Updated April 12, 2018