Federal jury convicts Washington man of meth and fentanyl trafficking in Hill County, Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation
MISSOULA — A Kalispell man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in the Flathead community after he led law enforcement on a high-speed chase before getting caught was sentenced today to 14 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Kenneth Martin Chandler, 43, pleaded guilty in July to possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
The government alleged in court documents that in April 2021, the Flathead County Street Crimes Unit attempted a traffic stop of Chandler’s vehicle. Chandler then led officers on a high-speed chase through Kalispell before eventually crashing into another vehicle. Chandler fled the scene on foot but was soon arrested. In a later search of Chandler’s vehicle, officers located meth, heroin, drug paraphernalia, more than $9,000 in U.S. currency, and two assault-style rifles. Law enforcement also learned that Chandler was distributing meth in the Flathead area.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case. The Northwest Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force 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