A Billings man who had faced state charges in the shooting of his father in a drug debt dispute denied federal drug charges on Tuesday.
Brandon Jay Joseph White, 24, pleaded not guilty to a two-count indictment charging him with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The indictment, filed on Oct. 3, 2013, accuses White of conspiring with his father, Walter Jack White, to distribute meth from January 2012 to Feb. 26, 2013, in Billings.
In January 2013, Walter and Brandon White exchanged gunfire outside of the elder White’s business in Lockwood in an apparent fight over a $10,000 drug debt. Walter White was shot in the back; and Brandon White was charged in state District Court with assault in the shooting.
The state charges were dismissed on March 13. Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Ed Zink asked to dismiss the charges saying White “faces charges in another jurisdiction.”
Walter White, 53, was sentenced in December to more than 12 years in federal prison for his conviction on drug and firearms charges. He was among a number of defendants convicted in a large trafficking ring that brought the highly addictive drug to Billings and to the Bakken oil fields for distribution.
Brandon White faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine if convicted. Ostby ordered him to remain in custody pending a request for a detention hearing. Ostby also questioned why it took from March 13, when state charges were dismissed, until Tuesday for Brandon White to be arraigned.
Neither the prosecutor nor defense attorney knew the reason. “We will make further inquiry,” Ostby said.