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WA man sentenced for drug trafficking on Flathead Indian Reservation

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 16:50:59-04

MISSOULA — A Washington man who admitted to bringing methamphetamine to the Flathead Indian Reservation for redistribution has been sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Alberto Escareno-Sanchez, 27, of Sunnyside, Washington, pleaded guilty in March to possession with intent to distribute meth.

The government alleged in court documents that in January 2019, Flathead Tribal Police officers pulled over a vehicle in which Escareno-Sanchez was a passenger. During a later search of the vehicle pursuant to a warrant, investigators found meth, a firearm, and other drug paraphernalia.

Law enforcement served a search warrant on Escareno-Sanchez’s residence in July of 2020 and found meth, heroin, two handguns, and $14,286 in currency. The defendant told law enforcement that the drugs, a gun, and the money belonged to him.

Additionally, prosecutors say confidential informants assisted Escareno-Sanchez with distributing pounds of meth in Flathead and Lake Counties and indicated to law enforcement that the defendant made trips to Washington to get meth for distribution on the Flathead Reservation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Northwest Drug Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations.