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Arizona woman pleads guilty to distributing ecstasy in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. – An Arizona woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute ecstasy, announced U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter, District of Montana.

Courtney Cal Gardenier, 25, from Scottsdale, Ariz., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen.  Sentencing has been set for April 4.

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

  • On Nov. 3, 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was notified by agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Chicago that two shipments of ecstasy were received at the mail facility.  The packages were sent from Canada and were bound for Bozeman, Mont.  One contained 22 grams and the other 23 grams of powder MDMA/ecstasy.
  • On Nov. 9, 2011, a Postal Inspector conducted controlled deliveries of both packages and law enforcement subsequently searched both residences and interviewed the recipients of the packages.  The recipients provided detailed information about their involvement in the conspiracy and identified Gardenier as their point of contact to obtain the drugs.  One recipient agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and eventually ordered about 1,000 tablets of suspected ecstasy from Gardenier.  Those pills were seized from Gardenier following a controlled delivery.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lab analyzed the pills and determined that they contained N-benzlypiperazine, or BZP, which is a Schedule I controlled substance.
  • Gardenier was interviewed by law enforcement Nov. 22, 2011, following the controlled delivery of the BZP pills.  She admitted that she had been involved in distributing both powdered MDMA and ecstasy pills and identified her sources of supply.  Based on her statements and the statements of other witnesses, law enforcement estimated that Gardenier distributed about nine ounces of MDMA during the life of the conspiracy, in addition to the BZP pills.

Gardenier faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years of supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between HSI and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.