Belgrade man charged in meth conspiracy

2014-03-20T16:42:00Z 2014-03-20T21:58:06Z Belgrade man charged in meth conspiracyBy CLAIR JOHNSON cjohnson@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Belgrade man accused of trafficking methamphetamine in a drug conspiracy that brought the drug to the Bakken oil fields and Montana communities has denied federal charges.

Appearing for arraignment Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby, James Edward “Jed” Dempster, 34, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and possession charges in a two-count indictment.

The indictment accuses Dempster of conspiring with Robert Armstrong and Kera Evans, of Three Forks, and others to distribute meth in the Big Timber area from January 2013 until April 18, 2013.

Armstrong, of Moses Lake, Wash., also known as “Dr. Bob,” and others brought nearly pure meth from Washington to Montana and the Bakken oil fields for distribution. Armstrong and Evans are awaiting sentencing and are among about a dozen others charged in the investigation.

If convicted, Dempster faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a possible $1 million fine on both counts. He remains in custody. The case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters.

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