GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Two Montana men were sentenced Tuesday to 10 years and three years in federal prison following their guilty pleas to distributing methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter, District of Montana.
This investigation was a cooperative effort between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.
Jesus Heriberto Ramirez-Soto, 44, and Stuart Morgan Pattie, 52, both from Troy, Mt., were sentenced Sept. 24 by Senior U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen to 120 months and 36 months in federal prison, respectively. Both men must also serve five years of supervised release.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, District of Montana, the government stated it would have proved the following at trial:
- Pattie, Ramirez-Soto, and Don Edward Lyle all lived in Troy, Mt. In early April 2013, undercover law enforcement agents and a confidential informant (CI) began to buy methamphetamine from Ramirez.
- During the evening of April 5, the CI was with Ramirez and Lyle at Ramirez's home in Troy. The CI mentioned to Ramirez and Lyle that he had a friend who wanted to purchase methamphetamine.
- The next day, Ramirez called the CI and said that Lyle would be traveling to Kalispell, Mt., with the methamphetamine. Later that evening, undercover agents met with Lyle in Kalispell. Pattie also accompanied Lyle on the methamphetamine deal. The agents paid Lyle $5,400 for three ounces of methamphetamine and received an additional ounce from Lyle with the understanding that the agents still owed Lyle for the last ounce.
- On April 11, 2013, the CI placed a call to Ramirez to set up another methamphetamine deal. Ramirez told the CI that he could provide the CI's friends with pounds of methamphetamine. The agents called Ramirez and agreed to meet April 13 in Havre, Mt., to buy methamphetamine. Ramirez agreed to sell the agents two pounds of methamphetamine for $50,000.
- That afternoon, Ramirez met an agent in a parking lot and said his friends would be there shortly. Ramirez then discussed possible future drug deals and left the parking lot. A half hour later, Lyle and Pattie pulled up next to the agent. Pattie got out of the car and got into the agent's car with the methamphetamine wrapped in a shirt. Agents then arrested Ramirez, Pattie, and Lyle. Agents recovered more than 500 grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
- Lyle pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that Paul will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Paul can earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction cannot exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.