WA man convicted of drug trafficking on Flathead Indian Reservation

MISSOULA — A Washington man who admitted bringing methamphetamine to the Flathead Indian Reservation for redistribution has been sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said. .

Alberto Escareno-Sanchez, 27, of Sunnyside, Wash., pleaded guilty in March to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The government alleged in court documents that in January 2019, Flathead Tribal Police officers pulled over a vehicle in which Escareno-Sanchez was a passenger. During a subsequent warrant search of the vehicle, investigators found methamphetamine, a firearm and other drug paraphernalia.

Law enforcement issued a search warrant at Escareno-Sanchez’s home in July 2020 and found methamphetamine, heroin, two handguns and $14,286 in currency. The accused told law enforcement that the drugs, a gun and the money belonged to him.

Additionally, prosecutors say confidential informants helped Escareno-Sanchez distribute books of methamphetamine in Flathead and Lake counties and told law enforcement that the defendant traveled to Washington to obtain methamphetamine to distribute in the Flathead reservation.

Assistant United States Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Northwest Drug Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations.

Nohemi M. Moore