Washington man admits smuggling meth and fentanyl on Rocky Boy Indian Reservation | USAO-MT

GREAT FALLS — A Washington man suspected of bringing methamphetamine and fentanyl pills to the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation for distribution admitted to a felony trafficking offense today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Hugo Gutierrez Rodriguez, aka Victor aka Juice, 42, of Yakima, Washington, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Rodriguez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of probation.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for January 26, 2023. Rodriguez has been detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that in May 2021, a resident of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation was found in possession of fentanyl pills. An investigation determined that a group of men in Yakima, Washington were selling methamphetamine and fentanyl on the reservation and that Rodriguez was identified as one of those men. In February, investigators made a controlled purchase of fentanyl and methamphetamine pills from Rodriguez in Yakima. The drugs in the controlled purchase included approximately 73 grams of methamphetamine and 400 pills of fentanyl. Investigators further learned that Rodriguez was bringing more drugs to Montana. Idaho State Police located and arrested Rodriguez, who was driving with a passenger. The passenger said he and Rodriguez were bringing drugs to someone at Box Elder, located on Rocky Boy’s. Officers found approximately 149 grams of methamphetamine and more than 300 fentanyl pills during a search of the vehicle.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which has been investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Tri-Agency Task Force, Department of Rocky Boy Police and the Idaho State Police.

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