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July 13, 2021Missoula, MT, United StatesNarcotics

HSI investigates Montana meth trafficker

MISSOULA — A Montana man who admitted trafficking drugs, including methamphetamine, in Montana and receiving meth through the mail in Butte was sentenced to prison July 13.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson.

Charles Joshua Petty, 31, pleaded guilty March 15, to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Petty also was ordered to forfeit $8,500 seized in the case.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.

The government alleged in court documents that Petty received meth from individuals in California and elsewhere, including through the mail in Butte, for distribution. The investigation determined that Petty and others would wire money back to California and to Sinaloa, Mexico, to pay for the meth. The government further alleged that investigators learned from cooperators that Petty received approximately 10 pounds of meth in January 2019. Ten pounds of meth is the equivalent of approximately 36,240 doses. A co-defendant, Shawn Miller, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and the Butte Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

HSI is a directorate of ICE, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196) or visit the ICE Tip Line.

Updated: 07/19/2021