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Man from Crow Agency convicted of five years in prison for involvement in a massive meth distribution network



Billings, Montana – According to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, a Crow Agency man was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison and five years of supervised release for the trafficking of methamphetamine. This happens after he acknowledged his involvement in an orchestrated, multi-state scheme to traffic methamphetamine off of the Crow Indian Reservation.

In September 2023, Jeffrey Prettypaint (30) entered a guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute meth. Under the direction of U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters, Prettypaint was permitted to turn herself into the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

In court documents, the government claimed that federal law enforcement, working in concert with local and tribal law enforcement, investigated a large-scale drug trafficking ring that operated across several states and was based on several properties on the Crow Indian Reservation.

From January 2022 until March 2023, the properties served as a meth supply point for the Billings town, the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations. Prettypaint, who is categorized as “mid-level” of the organized conspiracy, is one of about twenty defendants who are charged with participating in the conspiracy.

According to the government’s accusations, Prettypaint had direct contact with influential figures in the distribution ring who held positions of authority above him. He could go immediately to Spear Siding, one of the recognized sites the ring was focused around, as well as other properties, and get meth.

One of the primary suppliers and accomplices received the following text message from Prettypaint in February 2023:

“…we picked up 3oz this morning but we need 4oz, Hahaha, ask [co-conspirator] if he can tip me hahaha 3+3+4=10 zips in 5 days, and Tell [co-conspirator 2] may I please have a Xmas bonus or some crystal tips. Pretty sure [co-conspirator 3] n I clearing [sic] a quarter pound a day not. Everyone coming to us.”

Additionally, Prettypaint was aware of a co-conspirator’s “safe house” where they could obtain fentanyl and meth. In September 2022, Prettypaint informed someone that Spear Siding was selling meth for $6,000 per pound. After that, the person went to Spear Siding and paid $3000 for a half-pound of meth.

It was also implied that Prettypaint was a very skilled meth dealer. In his messages, he offered advice to fellow conspirators on how to increase sales.

A prominent accomplice talked to Prettypaint about growing their company and gave them instructions to identify a “few other peeps who might want to purchase or who can be great distributors” as well as potential distribution locations. Prettypaint responded by telling the co-conspirator that they needed to “expand to other locations and start using cash apps” to increase sales.

After conducting an investigation, law enforcement officials concluded that Prettypaint was in charge of spreading meth and that he had received meth from sources for Spear Siding.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office handled the prosecution. The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Indian Affairs all conducted investigations.

This case was started as a part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) project. PSN is a program that aims to lower violent crime and gun violence while enhancing public safety by bringing together law enforcement from all levels with the communities they serve.

On May 26, 2021, PSN launched a violent crime reduction strategy to strengthen its initiative behind these core principles: “fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results”.

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