A Billings man with a previous federal drug record will go back to prison, this time for 14 years, for another drug trafficking conviction after law enforcement found more than two pounds of pure meth in a vehicle.
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Feb. 8 sentenced Pedro Carrasco Jr., 35, to the term for his conviction on conspiracy to distribute and conspiracy to launder money. She dismissed three other counts.
Watters also ordered the forfeiture of two semi-automatic pistols; almost 100 rounds of ammunition and $4,655 in currency.
Carrasco was indicted after a Montana Highway Patrol trooper in February 2016 pulled over a vehicle on Interstate 90 near Missoula for a traffic violation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper seized about 1,056 grams, or about 2.3 pounds, of pure meth that was hidden in a speaker box in the trunk. Agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration determined that the vehicle’s occupants intended to deliver the meth to Carrasco in Billings.
During a warranted search of Carrasco’s residence, agents recovered more meth, two firearms, drug paraphernalia, digital scales, body armor and $4,655 in currency, the prosecutors said. Carrasco also had surveillance cameras outside of his residence.
Carrasco admitted to agents he had been distributing meth in the Billings area from 2011 through February 2016.
Carrasco also was convicted in federal court in Montana in 2003 of conspiracy to distribute meth.
Multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies investigated the case, which was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. The recently rekindled Department of Justice program is designed to reduce violent crime.