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A St. Xavier man is facing 20 years in federal prison after admitting that he dealt methamphetamine in Big Horn County and on the Crow Reservation.

Jim Stone, 54, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Billings to distributing more than 500 grams of meth in 2007 and 2008.

Because Stone has a previous felony drug conviction in Yellowstone County, he faced a doubling of the possible penalty. The enhanced penalty is a minimum mandatory 20 years to life in prison and a maximum $8 million fine.

A plea agreement recommends Stone receive a 20-year sentence, a $20,000 fine and 10 years of supervision. If the judge does not follow the agreement, Stone can withdraw his guilty plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora said Stone distributed more than 2 kilos, or about 4.4 pounds, of meth. Several witness would have testified at trial that they bought meth from Stone for redistribution. One witness got meth from Stone almost daily for two years. 

Stone disputed the quantity of meth involved.

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Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for March 17. Stone remains in custody.

 

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