Coordinated Operation Results in Ten Arrests on Indian Reservations throughout Montana
BILLINGS, Mt. — Ten people were arrested on allegations of trafficking methamphetamine on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations and in Yellowstone, Big Horn and Rosebud counties earlier this month.
Seven defendants face charges in a multi-count indictment alleging meth trafficking, firearms and money laundering crimes. Four additional defendants, including one previously in custody, face charges of trafficking methamphetamine in three companion indictments.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Rocky Mountain Field Division and Spokane, Washington District Office teamed up with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI to coordinate the takedown on April 19 at various locations on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations and in Yellowstone, Big Horn and Rosebud counties.
A 13-count indictment alleges that multiple defendants conspired to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine from January 2022 through March 2023 in Billings, in Yellowstone County; Hardin, in Big Horn County; Crow Agency, Wyola and Lodge Grass, in Big Horn County and on the Crow Indian Reservation; and at Lame Deer, in Rosebud County and on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The indictment further alleges possession and distribution trafficking crimes, firearms crimes and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The meth conspiracy count carries a penalty of a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
Seven of the defendants named in the indictment pleaded not guilty to various counts. The defendants include Wendell Lefthand, 54, of Lodge Grass; Melanie Rose Bloodman, 54, a transient; Jeffrey Prettypaint, 30, of Crow Agency; Keilee Shambrae Diaz, 35, of Crow Agency; Zachary Douglas Bacon, 35, of Garryowen; Morgan Luke Hugs, 34, of Lodge Grass; and Anthony Springfield, 23, of Hardin.
In a companion indictment, defendants Hailey James, 43, of Lame Deer, and John Littlehead, 37, of Laurel, pleaded not guilty to three charges of methamphetamine trafficking. The indictment alleges that from about January 2022 until March 2023, James and Littlehead conspired to possess and distribute meth at Billings, in Yellowstone County; at Hardin, Crow Agency, Wyola and Lodge Grass, in Big Horn County and on the Crow Indian Reservation; and at Lame Deer in Rosebud County, and on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The conspiracy count carries a penalty of a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
In a second companion indictment, Jacklyn Marcel Garcia-Littlebird, 58, of Lame Deer, pleaded not guilty to three methamphetamine trafficking crimes. The indictment alleges that from January 2022 until October 2022, at Lame Deer, in Rosebud County; and at Crow Agency, in Big Horn County; Garcia-Littlebird conspired with others to traffic meth. If convicted of the most serious crime, Garcia-Littlebird faces a mandatory minimum of five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at last 4 years of supervised release.
In a third companion case, Geofredo James Littlebird, Jr., 39, of Lame Deer, who was previously in custody, pleaded not guilty on April 20 to trafficking methamphetamine and firearms offenses charged in a superseding indictment.
The indictments are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.