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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Moses Lake Methamphetamine Trafficker Given 51 Month In Prison

The United States Attorney's Office announced that ENRIQUE LOPEZ SOLANO, 40, from Moses Lake, Washington, was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release during a federal court session in Missoula on April 29, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy. Solano was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Thaggard told the Court that in early 2013, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI), Sidney, Montana Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began to investigate a drug trafficking organization that was distributing methamphetamine in the Sidney, Montana area. The investigation disclosed that a courier involved with the drug trafficking organization had met with "Jane Doe," another member of the organization, during a meeting in Livingston, Montana in mid-March 2013 wherein the courier distributed methamphetamine to Jane Doe. Jane Doe subsequently identified Solano as the drug courier she met in Livingston in mid-March 2013 and from whom she received methamphetamine. On June 15, 2013, the Montana Highway Patrol stopped a rental car Solano had rented and in which he was a passenger at the time of the stop. A search of the vehicle revealed more than 200 grams (roughly 7 ounces) of methamphetamine hidden in or near the air filter of the car.

The prosecution was part of Project Safe Bakken, a cooperative effort between federal and state prosecutors and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in Montana and North Dakota working together to stem the rising tide of drug trafficking in the oil boom region of the Bakken Fields.

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Updated January 14, 2015