BILLINGS – An Ashland man who admitted to smuggling methamphetamine on the North Cheyenne Indian Reservation was sentenced to 10 years in prison today, followed by five years of supervised release, Acting US Attorney Leif said Mr. Johnson.
Robert Joseph Speelman, 48, pleaded guilty on January 27 to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
US District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on January 21, 2020, a canine officer from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, while patrolling the North Cheyenne Indian Reservation, saw Speelman, a user and known drug dealer on the reserve, sitting in his truck by the side of the road. Speelman had outstanding tribal mandates. A cursory search by the officer during a subsequent arrest yielded a small amount of methamphetamine. There was also a rifle mounted above the rear window. The truck was impounded and searched, recovering approximately 68 grams of methamphetamine, $ 179 in cash and two other firearms.
Assistant US Attorney Lori H. Suek continued the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a US Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through the PSN, federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement partners in Montana are focusing on violent crime caused by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, gun offenses, and crime. violent offenders with pending warrants.