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Press Release

Missoula fentanyl trafficker sentenced to more than four years in prison

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

MISSOULA — A Missoula woman who admitted to distributing fentanyl in the community was sentenced today to four years and two months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Janelle Ann Bergeson, 38, pleaded guilty in January to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

The government alleged in court documents that from at least September 2022 to January 2023, Bergeson distributed fentanyl in the Missoula community, and on at least one occasion, traveled with a co-conspirator to acquire the drug in Spokane, Washington. The government estimated that Bergeson is accountable for the distribution of from 2,400 fentanyl pills to 6,000 pills. During an investigation, federal agents intercepted a package addressed to co-defendant Nikolas Pellant and that contained several hundred fentanyl pills. The investigation determined Pellant and his girlfriend and co-defendant, Lynsi Barnes, had been selling the drug that they acquired through the mail and regular trips to Spokane. Bergeson was their primary customer and purchased between 40 and 100 pills every day. In a traffic stop in January 2023, the Montana Highway Patrol stopped Barnes as she was returning from a trip to Spokane, and Bergeson was in the front passenger seat. Law enforcement searched the vehicle and seized more than 450 fentanyl pills. Pellant, Barnes and a third co-defendant, Beau James Breneman, each were sentenced to five years and three months for their convictions in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case. The Missouri River Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Service, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Shoshone County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated May 21, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-135