October 29, 2013 — The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on October 28, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, William Lawrence Barrow, a 40-year-old resident of Clearfield, Utah, was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 172 months
Special assessment: $100
Supervised release: Five years
Barrow was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On January 10, 2013, a Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) trooper observed a vehicle on Interstate 94 near Glendive that failed to have visible registration tags. The trooper approached the passenger side window of the vehicle and detected the odor of raw marijuana coming from within the suspect vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as R.B. The passenger of the vehicle was identified as M.C.
The trooper was given permission to search the vehicle by the registered owner, M.C. During the search, the trooper discovered a backpack inside the vehicle. M.C. advised the backpack did not belong to him. Likewise, R.B. also denied owning the backpack. In the backpack, law enforcement found numerous items of drug paraphernalia such as tin foil, a torch, numerous small plastic baggies, and a locked box. Inside the locked box, there were two bags containing powdery substances. One bag field tested positive for heroin and weighed approximately two ounces. The second bag field tested positive for methamphetamine and weighted approximately 1.5 ounces.
The investigation revealed that R.B. and M.C. drove from Dickinson, North Dakota, to Billings on January 9, 2013. They stayed at a local motel in Billings and while at the motel, R.B. went to another room and stayed for about two hours. R.B. was meeting with his source of supply for methamphetamine and heroin. It was believed the male source of supply was still staying at the motel in Billings. R.B. and M.C. had previously traveled to Billings just before New Years Day 2013 to pick up more drugs from the same source of supply.
Law enforcement returned to the motel in Billings and discovered the source of supply, Barrow, was still staying at the motel.
Agents obtained a search warrant for the motel room. Just prior to executing the search warrant, agents noticed Barrow and the female with him were packing up their car and preparing to leave the motel. Agents detained Barrow and the female passenger until a K9 officer was able to arrive and conduct an exterior sniff test of the vehicle Barrow was driving. The K9 alerted on the vehicle.
The car and the motel room were searched by law enforcement. Agents found syringes, plastic baggies, two computers, four cellular phones—which contained several text messages between Barrow and R.B.—a leather notebook with drug ledger, a flash drive, and a false-bottom Arizona Iced tea can.
Barrow was detained at the Billings DEA Office. Agents seized $2,503.22 from Barrow’s person, along with approximately three ounces of heroin wrapped in a plastic bag.
Further investigation revealed that Barrow was R.B.’s main drug connection out of Utah. Barrow had historical distributed at least 100 grams of methamphetamine and 100 grams of heroin to R.B. during the course of the conspiracy.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Barrow will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Barrow does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
“Today’s sentencing is a product of diligent work by the very dedicated agents who have been joined together under the banner of Project Safe Bakken. As the work of this team—which includes law enforcement professionals from all branches of local, state, and federal law enforcement—goes forward, the people of Montana and North Dakota can expect more cases from affected communities. That is the mission and commitment of Project Safe Bakken,” said U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter.
This investigation was a part of Project Safe Bakken, which is a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA); the U.S. Border Patrol; the U.S. Marshal’s Service; the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI); the Montana Highway Patrol; the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI); the Billings Police Department; the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office; and the Idaho State Police.