Butte meth trafficker sentenced to five years in prison after law enforcement intercepts 10-pound package
MISSOULA — A Butte man who admitted to accepting packages of methamphetamine in the mail for redistribution after investigators seized a 10-pound shipment destined for his residence was sentenced today to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Steven Douglas Shipe, 52, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Shipe was allowed to self-surrender.
The government alleged in court documents that law enforcement learned Shipe was involved in drug trafficking in Montana and purchased about one ounce of meth from Shipe in June 2019. Law enforcement also learned that Shipe was receiving packages of meth in the mail. Investigators recovered a package containing approximately 10 pounds of meth that was addressed to Shipe’s residence in Butte. Ten pounds of meth is the equivalent of 36,240 doses. The drugs were intercepted in Bakersfield, California, and the shipping label indicated that the parcel was sent by another individual in that city. In addition, Shipe used local co-conspirators to help with meth deals. Local co-conspirators would bring prospective buyers to Shipe’s house to complete the transactions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Service.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, 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.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Montana