A traffic stop in February ended up as a serious drug charge that will send Timothy Robert Nava of Billings to federal prison for at least 10 years.
Nava, 22, pleaded guilty Thursday to possession with intent to distribute 21 ounces of methamphetamine. The minimum mandatory term is 10 years; the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora said Nava was arrested Feb. 18 after law enforcement officers made a traffic stop near the McDonald's restaurant at 4902 Southgate Drive near South Billings Boulevard. Nava bolted from the car and ran with officers in pursuit. Nava crawled under a fence and continued running across the intersection, throwing something as he fled.
Officers caught Nava and retraced their steps. Seykora said officers found a digital scale in the intersection and 683 grams, or almost one and a half pounds, of meth hidden under some cardboard by the fence. Digital scales go "hand in hand" with drug dealing, he said.
U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull set sentencing for Nov. 13 and continued Nava's detention.
Nava was convicted at age 15 of mitigated deliberate homicide for the fatal shooting of Maurice Rollins. Rollins was driving a car when Nava fired several shots at it. Nava said he feared a passenger who'd had a feud with the Nava family.
Nava was sentenced to a youth correctional program and was placed on probation until his 25th birthday. He had numerous probation violations in 1999 and 2000, Seykora said.
Nava's father, Victor Robert Nava, 55, was sentenced earlier this year to two life terms in federal prison on drug trafficking convictions.