A Billings man will spend six years in federal prison for selling three to four pounds of nearly pure meth in the community.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Friday sentenced Joshua Joseph Ostermiller, 33, to a term that was less than an adjusted guideline range of 87 months to 108 months.

Ostermiller originally faced a range of 135 months to 168 months, but Watters reduced it because of motions from the government and for other reasons.

Ostermiller is the last of three defendants indicted in a conspiracy to be convicted and sentenced. His co-defendants, Sherry Lynn Murphy and Douglas Steven Griggs, both of Billings, both were sentenced to five years in prison.

Watters rejected a request from Ostermiller’s attorney, Jeff Michael, for a similar five-year term. The judge said Ostermiller, who has a criminal record, was on state supervision at the time of his meth activity and he admitted to being responsible for more meth than Griggs.

Although Murphy supplied Ostermiller and Griggs, she had no criminal record, Watters said.

Ostermiller apologized and said he took responsibility for his actions.

Prosecutor John Sullivan requested a sentence of about nine to 10 years.

Ostermiller pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute in a deal in which other counts were dismissed. He admitted to selling meth he got from Murphy, whom he met in May 2016, for about six months. He also said he used some of the meth himself.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of Murphy’s house on Oct. 11, 2016, and found about 1.6 pounds of meth, ledgers and other information indicating that Ostermiller was dealing for Murphy, the prosecution said.

Ostermiller was arrested on a probation violation and discussed his activities with investigators, the prosecution said.

The investigation began in about September when and Eastern Montana drug task force, working with Wyoming law enforcement, got information about a group who were dealing meth in the Billings area.



Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.