BILLINGS – A Laurel man who estimated he sold nearly a pound a methamphetamine a week for the past year admitted drug trafficking and firearms crimes today after law enforcement found more than seven pounds of the drug in his residence, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Robert Earnest Frazier II, 45, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Frazier faces mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug crime and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison consecutive to any other sentence on the firearms crime.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided and ordered Frazier detained pending further proceedings.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said law enforcement agents used a confidential informant to make two controlled drug purchases of about two ounces of meth each time from Frazier. On Feb. 19, 2019, agents executed a search warrant on Frazier’s residence and vehicle. In the residence, agents found about seven pounds of meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and firearms. Two pistols were found in the same safe in which Frazier stored meth. In Frazier’s vehicle, agents found another large stash of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
In a recorded statement, Frazier admitted to being a meth distributer and estimated he had sold nearly one pound of meth a week for the last year. Frazier also said he received a 10-pound delivery of meth the last week and that what agents found was what was left. In all, Frazier estimated he had received three shipments of meth totaling 37 to 40 pounds. Forty pounds of meth is the equivalent of about 144,960 doses.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the USDOJ’s initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 48% from 2013 through 2019. Through these initiatives, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.