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Justice News

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

William Lawrence Barrow Pleads Guilty In U.S. Federal Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on July 2, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, WILLIAM LAWRENCE BARROW, a 40-year-old resident of Clearfield, Utah, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for October 7, 2013. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On January 10, 2013, a Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Trooper observed a vehicle on Interstate 94 near Glendive that failed to have visible registration tags. The Trooper approached the passenger side window of the vehicle and detected the odor of raw marijuana coming from within the suspect vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as R.B. The passenger of the vehicle was identified as M.C.

The Trooper was given permission to search the vehicle by the registered owner, M.C. During the search, the Trooper discovered a backpack inside the vehicle. M.C. advised the backpack did not belong to him. Likewise, R.B. also denied owning the backpack. In the backpack law enforcement found numerous items of drug paraphernalia such as tin foil, a torch, numerous small plastic baggies, and a locked box. Inside the locked box there were two bags containing powdery substances. One bag field tested positive for heroin and weighed approximately 2 ounces. The second bag field tested positive for methamphetamine and weighted approximately 1.5 ounces.

The investigation revealed that R.B. and M.C. drove from Dickinson, North Dakota, to Billings on January 9, 2013. They stayed at a local motel in Billings and while at the motel, R.B. went to another room and stayed for about 2 hours. R.B. was meeting with his source of supply for methamphetamine and heroin. It was believed the male source of supply was still staying at the motel in Billings. R.B. and M.C. had previously traveled to Billings just before New Year's Day, 2013, to pick up more drugs from the same source of supply.

Law enforcement returned to the motel in Billings and discovered the source of supply, BARROW, was still staying at the motel.

Agents obtained a search warrant for the motel room. Just prior to executing the search warrant agents noticed BARROW and the female with him were packing up their car and preparing to leave the motel. Agents detained BARROW and the female passenger until a K9 Officer was able to arrive and conduct an exterior sniff test of the vehicle BARROW was driving. The K9 alerted on the vehicle.

The car and the motel room were searched by law enforcement. Agents found syringes, plastic baggies, two computers, four cellular phones - which contained several text messages between BARROW and R.B. - a leather notebook with drug ledger, a flash drive, and a false bottom Arizona Iced tea can.

BARROW was detained at the Billings DEA Office. Agents seized $2,503.22 from BARROW's person along with approximately three (3) ounces of heroin wrapped in a plastic bag.

Further investigation revealed that BARROW was R.B.'s main drug connection out of Utah. BARROW had historical distributed at least 100 grams of methamphetamine and 100 grams of heroin to R.B. during the course of the conspiracy.

BARROW faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine, and 4 years supervised release.

The illegal activities described in this case were in part attributable to the demand currently being noted in the areas referred to as the "Bakken Boom." The change of plea in this case is a direct result of the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations in those communities directly affected by the population influx due to the Bakken.

Updated January 14, 2015