HELENA, Mont. – A Billings, Mont., woman was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison August 30 following her guilty plea on methamphetamine distribution charges, announced U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter, District of Montana.
This case was jointly investigated by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, Billings High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, and Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.
Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull also sentenced Jeri Lynn Milheim, 32, to four years of supervised release, $1,934 in restitution, and a $200 special assessment fee. Milheim was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and uttering counterfeit obligations.
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:
- Between February 12 and May 16, 2011, a total of $2,637 in counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes were passed and/or seized ($1,590 passed, $1,047 seized) in and around Billings, Mont., involving 18 different serial numbers in denominations of $1, $5, $20 and $100 bills.
- During its investigation, law enforcement learned that two individuals linked to Milheim were responsible for manufacturing the counterfeit money that was passed in Billings. Additionally, law enforcement learned that Milheim was present when counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes were manufactured by others during a stay at a Billings motel in mid-February 2011. The cleaning staff at the motel confirmed for law enforcement that a printer/scanner was found in a room in February, along with a page of uncut counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes.
- On Feb. 22, 2011, Milheim wired money from Billings, Mont., to Las Vegas, Nev. She presented $340 in counterfeit $20 bills to Western Union to pay for the wire. Each of the $20 bills presented to Western Union were counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes. Four of the counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes presented to Western Union were marked with Serial No. II08725279A. Milheim knew the bills she presented were counterfeit.
- During the same period of time Milheim was involved with counterfeiting, summer 2009 to spring 2011, she was also obtaining methamphetamine from a source of supply in Las Vegas. The investigation discovered that Milheim personally transported quantities of methamphetamine for redistribution in Yellowstone County from Las Vegas, Nev., in vehicles and on her person. Once the methamphetamine was transported to Billings, Mont., Milheim conspired with others in Yellowstone County to redistribute the methamphetamine. The investigation uncovered that from summer 2009 to spring 2011, Milheim conspired with others to redistribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that Milheim will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Milheim has the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction cannot exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.