Resident of Rocky Boy Indian Reservation Admits Trafficking in Fentanyl Pills | USAO-MT

GREAT FALLS – A resident of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation accused of helping a Michigan fentanyl supplier distribute pills from his Box Elder residence today admitted a felony trafficking offense, the acting U.S. attorney said Leif M. Johnson.

Larry Albert Bernard, 37, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Bernard faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and at least three years of probation.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Justice Morris set the sentence for January 20, 2022. Bernard was released pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that in the fall of 2020, the FBI received information that Bernard was harboring and assisting an out-of-state fentanyl supplier. Other FBI sources reported purchasing various illegal pills from Bernard’s residence. In December 2020, the FBI executed a search warrant at Bernard’s residence after receiving reports that a vendor was at the residence with pills. Bernard and an individual from Michigan were present and officers found a bag containing pills.

Bernard admitted to hosting at least one out-of-state fentanyl supplier in exchange for money and pills. He also admitted to helping this vendor connect with local fentanyl users and buyers and said the bag of pills at his residence belonged to the vendor.

In an analysis of the pill bag, the Drug Enforcement Administration identified several types of pills. The largest group contained two types of controlled substances: fentanyl and para-fluorofentanyl, which is an analog of fentanyl. Another group of pills contained two controlled substances: fentanyl and methamphetamine. The smallest group contained fentanyl and no other controlled substances.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which has been investigated by the FBI, the Tri-Agency Task Force, Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Nohemi M. Moore