BILLINGS, Mont. — A U.S. judge has sentenced a Mexican citizen to almost five years in federal prison after prosecutors say he brought 34 pounds of methamphetamine from Arizona to Montana.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced 35-year-old Jorge Luis Mendez-Sanchez to 57 months at a court appearance in Billings. He pleaded guilty in January to possession of meth with intent to distribute the drug.

Montana law enforcement has struggled to contain a surge in violent crime over the past several years that officials say is being driven largely by methamphetamine trafficking and abuse.

Prosecutors say Mendez-Sanchez and alleged accomplice Aldo Pardini drove the drugs from Arizona to sell to a customer in Billings last July. They were arrested by authorities who had been alerted to the scheme through a confidential informant, according to court documents.

A conspiracy charge against Mendez-Sanchez was dismissed under a plea deal. Upon completion of his sentence, he will be turned over to immigration officials and likely deported, according to court documents and defense attorney Lance Lundvall.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.