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Press Release

Meth trafficking and firearms crimes send Billings man to prison for 20 years

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

BILLINGS—A Billings man convicted of drug trafficking and firearms crimes after law enforcement found more than a pound of methamphetamine and loaded guns in his vehicle was sentenced today to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

After a two-day trial in December, a jury found Julian Tyler Baughman, 37, 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.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

At trial, the prosecution presented evidence 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, 2019. 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.

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

Baughman had prior felony convictions in 2016 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.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the USDOJ’s initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 through 2018. Through these initiatives, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.




Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated June 5, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods