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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Missoula Man Sentenced in Meth Trafficking Case

MISSOULA—A Missoula man who admitted possessing methamphetamine for distribution in the community was sentenced today to 144 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.  The defendant was also ordered to forfeit $4,247 in U.S. Currency.  Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.

Matthew Curtis Olson, 36, pleaded guilty in July to possession with intent to distribute meth.

In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said the Missoula Police Department stopped a pickup truck occupied by Olson and another person, identified as Individual 1, in September 2017. Individual 1 told officers that Olson had spilled meth in the truck earlier. Police arrested Olson for driving with a suspended license and during a search of him, officers found a small amount of meth and a digital scale.

Missoula police officers later executed a search warrant on the truck and found about 420 grams of meth inside a hidden compartment. Individual 1 later claimed ownership of the truck and denied Olson knew of the presence of the large amount of meth that was seized.

From August 2018 to about June 2019, various law enforcement officers in Missoula interviewed a number of cooperating witnesses associated with Olson. The witnesses said that Olson had possessed with intent to distribute and had distributed more than 500 grams, which is about 1.1 pounds or a little more than 3,624 doses, of meth.

Law enforcement officers arrested Olson on February 1 on a federal drug trafficking warrant as he was leaving the home of an associate. Officers seized about one ounce of meth from Olson along with about $4,247 in U.S. currency. Officers also searched the associate’s home and found six ounces of meth and nearly $15,000 in U.S. currency.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Thaggard prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, FBI Violent Crimes Regional Task Force, Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, and the Missoula High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
CLAIR JOHNSON HOWARD Public Information Officer (406) 247-4623
Updated November 14, 2019