A federal judge Thursday sentenced a Billings man to nearly nine years in prison for trafficking about 10 pounds of methamphetamine in the community.
The defendant, Jonathan Rodriguez, 24, faced from 12 years to about 15 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced him to eight years and nine months after a confidential meeting with the parties.
The judge also ordered five years of supervised release. Among the numerous conditions imposed while on release, Rodriguez is prohibited from having a medical marijuana card. The condition against having medical marijuana cards is now being imposed by judges, particularly in drug cases.
Prosecutor Jim Seykora said members of the FBI Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force executed a search warrant at Rodriguez’s house, 724 N. 24th St., after receiving information that Rodriguez had a large amount of meth. The search turned up more than a pound.
Rodriguez admitted he had been distributing meth since January 2009 and estimated he had distributed about 10 pounds of the drug. Rodriguez had other people, including juveniles, wire money to sources in Arizona as payment for drugs. The day he was arrested, July 29, he had received about 1 1/2 pounds of meth. He remains in custody.