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Lodge Grass man admits charges in large-scale drug investigation on Crow Reservation

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Apr 04, 2024

BILLINGS — A Lodge Grass man admitted Thursday to a methamphetamine trafficking crime for his role in a large-scale, multi-state narcotics investigation that was centered on the Crow Indian Reservation.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said in a press release that Morgan Luke Hugs, 33, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Hug faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. Hugs was detained pending further proceedings.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that federal law enforcement, in collaboration with local and tribal law enforcement, engaged in a large-scale, multiple-state narcotics trafficking investigation centered on multiple properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one referred to as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. Hugs is one of the individuals affiliated with the investigation, the press release states.

Prosutors alleged that from about January 2022 until March 2023, Hugs was receiving meth from Spear Siding and distributing it to others on the Crow Reservation. Hugs received meth from two main co-conspirators involved with the investigation. Hugs was fronted some drugs for sale and a source noted that Hugs was indebted to one of the conspirators. In addition, law enforcement obtained meth from Hugs in a controlled purchase in Hardin in November 2022.

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