Billings woman admits smuggling fentanyl on Rocky Boy Indian reservation | USAO-MT

GREAT FALLS — A Billings woman suspected of trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation admitted being charged today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Chantel Marie Azure, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. Azure faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of probation.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Justice Morris set the sentence for December 1. The court will determine a sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Azure has been detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that between approximately December 2020 and January 2021, in Le Havre and the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, Azure conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. In January 2021, an informant working with law enforcement made a controlled purchase of 10 alleged fentanyl pills for $800 from Azure. The transaction involved Azure driving, along with two male passengers, to a location and smuggling drugs in the informant’s car. Law enforcement continued surveillance of Azure and watched her engage in what appeared to be another transaction with a known local drug user. Law enforcement then stopped Azure’s vehicle and identified the other two passengers, who were eventually arrested. The money from the controlled purchase was found on the passengers. One passenger had methamphetamine and fentanyl pills, the other passenger had a small bag of meth. A search warrant for Azure’s Facebook accounts recovered evidence of Azure’s trafficking of both methamphetamine and pills.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Tri-Agency Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Le Havre Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for all. . On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy strengthening the NSP based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community organizations that help prevent violence, establishing targeted and strategic strategies implementation priorities and measurement of results.

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Nohemi M. Moore