Two Washington men sentenced to prison for trafficking heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills in Missoula area
MISSOULA — Two Washington men who admitted to drug trafficking charges after Montana law enforcement found heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills and a firearm in their vehicle during a traffic stop were sentenced today to prison, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Alex Stephen Schmidt, 50, of Colville, Washington, was sentenced to six and one half years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Schmidt pleaded guilty in September 2022 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Co-defendant Richmond James McKee, 52, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. McKee pleaded guilty in October 2022 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
In court documents, the government alleged that in October 2021, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle McKee was driving on Interstate 90 in Montana. The vehicle belonged to Schmidt. In a later search of the vehicle, officers found heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, a firearm and drug paraphernalia. The investigation determined that a confidential informant assisted Schmidt with selling drugs and that Schmidt was the individual who normally obtained the drugs.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, the Montana Highway Patrol and Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.
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 Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer