GREAT FALLS – A woman from Spokane, Wash., Suspected of being a long-time methamphetamine trafficker in and around the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation today admitted trafficking charges, prosecutor said Acting American Leif Johnson.
Kristina Dawn Russette, 30, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Russette faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a fine of $ 10 million and at least five years of supervised release.
Chief Justice of the United States, Brian M. Morris, presided. Chief Justice Morris set the sentence for June 2 and upheld Russette’s detention.
According to court documents filed by the government, law enforcement officers in 2019 and 2020 learned from several people that Russette was supplying methamphetamine from the Spokane area to people on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation.
The documents allege that in May 2020, Russette was driving a vehicle stopped in Washington for traffic violations. The vehicle was searched pursuant to a tribal search warrant and Russette’s consent and probation terms. In a purse in the back seat area were several bags containing suspected methamphetamine. A passenger in the vehicle said he and Russette collected these drugs from Spokane. The DEA determined that the drugs in this seizure contained about 746.8 grams, or about 1.6 pounds, of actual methamphetamine.
FBI investigators also obtained information from several Facebook accounts in which Russette had used slang or code to communicate about drugs and organize drug distribution.
Other people interviewed by the FBI identified Russette as a long-time supplier of large amounts of methamphetamine to people on and around the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Plaut is pursuing the case, which has been investigated by the FBI, Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services, Tri-Agency Drug Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs , the Kalispel Tribe Public Safety Department in Washington, and the Airway Heights Police Department in Washington.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a US Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased 48% between 2013 and 2019. Thanks to the PSN, Montana’s federal, tribal, state and local partners are focusing on violent crime caused by trafficking methamphetamine, armed robbers and firearms offenses. and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.