A Laurel man was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release for conviction on drug-trafficking crimes after law enforcement officers found methamphetamine in a motel room.
William Anthony Rogers, 30, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and to possession with intent to distribute meth.
The prosecution said in court records that Billings police officers were dispatched to the Boothill Inn in Billings on July 16, 2018 because two men were passed out in a motel room after check out.
One of the men woke up as officers entered the room and grabbed a meth pipe on a night stand. The second man, identified as Rogers, then woke up.
Although officers saw pills and paraphernalia in plain view, they released both men pending arrest warrants because the jail was too full to accept new inmates.
After the men left, the officers looked around the room, found a silver briefcase, opened it and saw what appeared to be a large amount of meth.
During the search, officers found about six ounces of meth in the briefcase and a 9mm handgun in a separate locked case.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 through 2018.