Billings woman admits meth trafficking charges

2013-03-20T11:29:00Z 2013-11-19T12:26:05Z Billings woman admits meth trafficking chargesGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

The investigation of a drug trafficking ring out of Nevada led to the conviction of a Billings woman on Wednesday.

Kerry Lynn VanHaele, 30, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a conspiracy count.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Francis said agents in January 2010 began investigating trafficking of high-quality meth in Billings by a Las Vegas drug ring. As investigators interviewed people involved in the ring, they learned that VanHaele was among those getting meth from Francisco Flores-Jorge and his organization and redistributing it.

VanHaele admitted to getting one to two pounds of meth from Flores-Jorge from about May to September in 2010, Francis said.

VanHaele disputed the quantity on Wednesday. She faces minimum mandatory five years to 40 years in prison and a possible $5 million fine.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for June 19. VanHaele remains in custody.



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