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Press Release

Lodge Grass man admits meth trafficking charges in large-scale investigation centered on Crow Indian Reservation

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

BILLINGS — A Lodge Grass man today admitted to a methamphetamine trafficking crime for his role in a large-scale, multi-state narcotics investigation that was centered on the Crow Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Morgan Luke Hugs, 33, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Hug faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Hugs was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that federal law enforcement, in collaborative effort with local and tribal law enforcement, engaged in a large-scale, multiple-state narcotics trafficking investigation centered on multiple properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one referred to as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. Hugs is one of the individuals affiliated with the investigation.

The government further alleged that from about January 2022 until March 2023, Hugs was receiving meth from Spear Siding and distributing it to others on the Crow Reservation. Hugs received meth from two main co-conspirators involved with the investigation. Hugs was fronted some drugs for sale and a source noted that Hugs was indebted to one of the conspirators. In addition, law enforcement obtained meth from Hugs in a controlled purchase in Hardin in November 2022.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated April 4, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-86