Mar 12, 2013 10:49 PM by US Attorney's Office
During a federal court session in Great Falls on March 11, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Ann Joy Wetzel, age 55, Joseph Allen Wetzel, age 52, residents of Great Falls, and Louis Shane Kanyid, age 30, and Joelle Marie Jones, age 34, residents of Kennewick, Washington, appeared for sentencing.
Ann Wetzel was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine to a term of 52 months (4.3 years) in prison and four years of supervised release.
Joseph Wetzel was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine to a term of 66 months (5.5 years) in prison and four years of supervised release.
Jones was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to aiding and abetting the crime of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine to a term of 44 months (3.6 years) in prison and four years of supervised release.
Kanyid was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine to a term of 240 months (20 years) in prison and five years of supervised release.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In July 2012, detectives from the Great Falls Police Department were alerted to a potential methamphetamine distribution ring in Great Falls.
Detectives believed the methamphetamine was being brought to Montana from somewhere near Spokane, Washington.
On September 6, 2012, police received information from an anonymous caller, who stated Linda Reynolds was dealing methamphetamine out of her apartment in Great Falls. Based on this information, police executed a search warrant at Reynolds' apartment. Law enforcement learned Reynolds obtained methamphetamine from Joe and Ann Wetzel, as well as Mark Kness.
According to Reynolds, Kness brought his drug dealer, Kanyid, to Reynolds' apartment in the winter of 2012. Kanyid regularly went by "Washington" in Great Falls, because he traveled from the state of Washington. Reynolds observed methamphetamine deals between Kness and Kanyid, and Kness would brag about how the methamphetamine was of great quality.
Kness also introduced Joe and Ann Wetzel to Kanyid in the summer of 2012. Kness routinely met with Kanyid to obtain methamphetamine. He then sold the methamphetamine to Joe and Ann Wetzel, as well as other people throughout Great Falls.
Joe Wetzel stated he had only recently began dealing methamphetamine and had received three-and-a-half ounces of methamphetamine from Kanyid But Joe Wetzel also added he had received an average of three grams of methamphetamine a week since January 2012 from Kness. Joe Wetzel possessed over five grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine during this time.
On September 11, 2012, Kanyid and Kness met at the WetzelS' home. Kanyid provided Joe and Ann Wetzel with an ounce of methamphetamine for $1,700. Law enforcement arrested Kanyid shortly after this deal.
Law enforcement then found Kanyid was staying at a motel in Great Falls. Upon arrival at the motel, officers learned Kanyid was sharing a room with Jones and their 18-month-old son. The officers observed Jones, with her infant son, attempting to leave the motel while carrying two bags.
Law enforcement spoke with Jones and she stated she had received a call from a man approximately 15 minutes before officers arrived at the motel. The man told Jones to remove the bags from the motel room and place them in the trunk of the car, as well as erase all messages on her phone. Jones undertook these tasks until she was stopped by the officer in the motel lobby.
A search of Kanyid and Jones' motel room and these bags revealed cash, cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as a safe which contained a handgun and ammunition. Law enforcement seized over 50 grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine in their investigation.
Law enforcement contacted Ann Wetzel when she brought methamphetamine to Reynolds' house. At that time, Ann Wetzel had 26.7 grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine in her possession. She told police she purchased methamphetamine from Kness and Kanyid on numerous occasions and also sold methamphetamine.
Reynolds and Kness pled guilty to federal charges.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the Russell County Drug Task Force.
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