BILLINGS- A 41-year-old Billings man has admitted in federal court to drug trafficking and gun charges in connection to a Denver-to-Billings meth ring, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said Friday.
Nathan Thomas Trufillo pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, according to Alme’s office.
He is in jail and sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 201. U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided over the plea and will recommend its acceptance by U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, who is assigned to the case.
Trujillo faces 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and five years of supervised release. He also faces an additional five years to life consecutive to other sentences on the gun charges.
Government prosecutors were preparing the following evidence for trial, according to Alme:
Drug task force agents began investigating Billings area meth dealer, who later turned out to be Trujillo, in August. He was living under a stolen identity. Agents bought about 13 ounces of meth in multiple drug buys from a co-conspirator.
Agents placed a court-authorized GPS tracking device on Trujillo’s vehicle after learning he traveled to Denver to replenish his meth supply for sales. He traveled to Denver Aug. 31 and returned to Montana Sept. 7. The Montana Highway Patrol arrested him at a Hardin gas station.
After obtaining search warrants, agents seized about 429 grams (15 oz.) of meth, a 9mm pistol, a digital scale and plastic baggies from Trujillo’s vehicle. The meth, nearly a pounds, was equivalent of 3,432 individual doses. Agents also seized additional illegal drugs, guns and paraphernalia from his vehicle and home.
The case is a part of the U.S. Department of Justice Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which seeks to reduce violent crime.