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Saturday, May 31, 2003

Meth possession charged An illegal alien from Mexico pleaded not guilty Thursday to a federal indictment charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Jose Bucio Bucio, 33, also known as Francisco Sabrina-Rodriguez, was previously charged by a complaint after being arrested on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Law enforcement officers investigating complaints of an illegally parked trailer arrested Bucio Bucio after finding 1.2 pounds of meth in the trailer and a vehicle parked nearby with Washington license plates. Another suspect fled.

If convicted, Bucio Bucio faces a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

U.S. Magistrate Richard Anderson continued his detention.

Man sentenced on firearms charge U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull on Thursday sentenced Joseph Dean Lira to four years and nine months in prison for a firearms conviction.

Lira pleaded guilty earlier to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Aug. 17, 2001, Yellowstone County sheriff's deputies stopped Lira and were given consent to search the truck he was driving. Lira told the deputies there was a gun under the driver's seat. Lira had taken the .44-caliber Magnum Ruger Super Blackhawk from a person's residence without permission, investigators learned.

Lira's attorney, Penny Strong, sought a sentence on the low end of the guidelines, which would have been less than four years, saying Lira is not highly educated, has a history of drug use and has three small children.

But the judge noted Lira's extensive criminal record and sentenced him at the high end of the guidelines.

Billings man charged with perjury A Billings man facing federal drug charges pleaded not guilty Thursday to perjury charges stemming from the drug case.

Jack Glendale Standley, 72, is accused in an indictment with lying under oath during an evidence suppression hearing April 18 involving the drug case. Standley allegedly lied about the possession of a vehicle in which he arrived at the place he was arrested.

If convicted, the maximum penalty is up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Magistrate Richard Anderson continued Standley's custody. The case will be heard by Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom.

Standley pleaded not guilty earlier to two counts of drug distribution and one count of attempted distribution involving the painkiller Oxycontin in Lockwood in 2001 and this year. If convicted on the drug charges, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine. U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull is hearing the drug case.

Man charged with meth possession A Mexican citizen accused of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment Thursday.

Manuel Antonio Salas-Meza faces a minimum mandatory 10 years in prison if convicted. The indictment alleges that on Feb. 12 in Billings, Salas-Meza possessed more than 500 grams of meth with intent to distribute.

U.S. Magistrate Richard Anderson ordered Salas-Meza detained. The case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.

Billings man admits meth charge A Billings man accused in a methamphetamine trafficking case pleaded guilty to federal charges this week.

Dustin Wolff, 19, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy to distribute meth. Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for Aug. 13. Wolff faces a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Laws said undercover agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration arranged to buy 2 ounces of meth through an associate of Wolff. The agents accompanied the co-conspirator to a residence in Billings on Jan. 15 where they were met by a third person and Wolff, who had been involved in delivery of the meth. The third person delivered 2 ounces of meth to an agent, Laws said.