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November 7, 2019Missoula, MT, United StatesNarcotics

California man convicted of trafficking methamphetamine in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. — A California man was convicted of methamphetamine trafficking after he was accused of bringing the drug to the Kalispell, Montana, area for distribution.

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, District of Montana, announced this sentence. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Montana Division of Criminal Investigation; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Jeremy David Medbery, 34, of Riverside, California, faces a minimum mandatory five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of supervised release.

“Another distributor is behind bars and the flow of methamphetamine has been slowed,” said Steven Cagen special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “HSI continues to identify distributors to dismantle criminal organizations and stop the flow of dangerous drugs into our communities.”

“Mr. Medbery pushed this highly-addictive drug in our community for distribution. Drug traffickers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bartleson and the prosecution team, along with the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Homeland Security Investigations, for their work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

In January 2016, law enforcement agents in the Kalispell area began getting tips about two men, Medbery and co-defendant Christopher George Nomura, who had arrived from California to distribute meth. A confidential informant told agents that Medbery had stayed in a Lakeside home and had showed the informant a container with meth.

In February 2016, the informant made a controlled purchase of meth from Medbery at a casino in Kalispell. Medbery was under surveillance before the deal. After the transaction, police officers followed Medbery, made a traffic stop and arrested Medbery. Agents executed search warrants on Medbery’s truck and residence. In the truck was a plastic bag with meth residue. A safe in the bedroom where Medbery was staying contained a plastic bag with meth and another bag with residue.

Medbery told officers that there was meth in a safe in the room where he stayed. He also admitted he drove from California with Nomura and brought meth for his personal use. Several days later, Nomura was arrested. Nomura told officers that he and Medbery drove up from California with about a pound of meth to distribute. Medbery stranded Nomura and gave him money to return to California. Nomura got more meth in California and returned to Montana. A pound of meth is the equivalent of about 3,624 doses. Nomura was convicted in the case and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen presided and set sentencing for Feb. 20. Medbery was detained.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bartleson prosecuted this case.