Meth bust follows Lockwood shooting

2013-04-23T13:08:00Z 2013-12-17T07:44:05Z Meth bust follows Lockwood shootingBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Lockwood man who authorities say was shot by his son in January over a disputed drug debt has been accused of having an estimated $10,000 worth of methamphetamine at his home.

Meanwhile, authorities say they have cracked a burglary ring that targeted storage units to raise money needed to pay off the alleged drug dealer.

Five people accused of breaking into numerous storage units over a three-month period have been identified. One of the suspects was arraigned Tuesday in District Court on eight felony burglary charges. 

The burglary cases involve Walter Jack White, the Lockwood man who authorities say was shot Jan. 29 by his son outside his business and residence on Lockwood Road.

White, 52, was hit in the back during the early-morning shooting. A woman in the vehicle with White escaped injury.

White appeared in U.S. District Court on Tuesday on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing meth for distribution and with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. He waived a preliminary hearing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby ordered him to remain in custody. The case will be presented to a grand jury for indictment.

White's son, 23-year-old Brandon Jay Joseph White, has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and other offenses. He is being held in the county jail on a $150,000 bond.

Prosecutors allege that Brandon White and another man, whose name has not been released, ambushed Walter White as he arrived at his residence.

Numerous .45-caliber shell casings were found at the scene.

Brandon White was angry at his father over a disputed $10,000 drug debt, authorities allege in court records.

According to charging documents filed recently, a SWAT team with the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office returned to the scene of the shooting on March 14 with a search warrant.

The officers arrived at 6 a.m. and found Walter White alone at the residence. During the search, about 4 ounces of methamphetamine was found, court records state. The drugs have an estimated street value of about $10,000.

Federal court records said the search also found two firearms and $15,291 at White's residence. White admitted to agents that since about October he had been distributing meth from his residence and had received about one to two pounds of meth on average once a week, the records said.

White was arrested Monday on a $250,000 warrant. He remains in the county jail on a possible charge of criminal possession of a dangerous drug with intent to deliver.

In the related burglary case, 28-year-old Jonathon Warren Walker is alleged to have told investigators that he and four others broke into numerous storage units in Billings to raise money they needed to pay a debt to Walter White.

Walker said he and his family had been threatened by Brandon White and another man, Alex Lee Honrud, and that his house had been shot at and burglarized.

To pay the debt, Walker said, he and others rented a storage unit on King Avenue East, then broke into other units and stole items to raise money.

Walker said he had a "dangerous drug habit," court records state, and "he was directed to do the crimes" by Walter White.

The burglaries happened between November and January, court documents state.

Court records identify four other people involved in the burglaries, including Honrud.

Honrud, 25, is being held in the county jail on eight felony burglary charges. Charges have yet to be filed against the other defendants.

Honrud has also been charged in another case with aggravated burglary.

Prosecutors allege that on March 23, Honrud kicked in the front door of a residence on Seventh Street West, demanded the return of a dog and then choked a pregnant woman.   

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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