GREAT FALLS – A Spokane, Washington, woman who admitted trafficking methamphetamine on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation was sentenced today to 10 years and four months in prison followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Kristina Dawn Russette, 31, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24 to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris continued Russette’s detention.
According to court documents, the government alleged that in 2019 and 2020, law enforcement officers learned from multiple individuals that Russette was supplying meth from the Spokane area to individuals on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
The government alleged that in May 2020, Russette was driving a vehicle stopped in Washington for traffic violations. The vehicle was searched pursuant to a tribal search warrant and Russette’s consent and probation conditions. In a purse in the rear seating area were multiple bags containing about 1.5 pounds of meth. A passenger in the vehicle stated that he and Russette had picked up those drugs in Spokane. Investigators also obtained information from Facebook accounts in which Russette had used slang or code to communicate about drugs and to arrange for the distribution of drugs. In addition, individuals told investigators that Russette was a longtime supplier of large quantities of meth to persons on and around the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services, Tri-Agency Drug Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Kalispel Tribe Public Safety Department in Washington and the Airway Heights Police Department in Washington.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, 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.