Indian reservation

Box Elder admits meth and fentanyl trafficking on Rocky Boy Indian Reservation | USAO-MT

GREAT FALLS – A Box Elder man charged with trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl pills on and around the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation today admitted to a drug-related crime, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Michael James Lamere, 39, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Lamere faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of probation.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Justice Morris set the sentence for June 8. The court will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Lamere was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that in late 2020 and early 2021, investigators received information that Lamere was sourcing methamphetamine and other drugs in Washington and distributing them on and around the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation. In August 2021, Hill County law enforcement stopped a vehicle in which Lamere was the only passenger and had an active warrant for his arrest. Based on the investigation and observations during the stop, officers suspected drugs were in the vehicle, had the vehicle towed and searched under a warrant. Law enforcement found methamphetamine, heroin and 369 pills that appeared to be fentanyl. One of the pills was tested and found to contain fentanyl. Lamere admitted in an interview to trafficking both methamphetamine and fentanyl and identified himself as one of the biggest drug distributors in that region.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which has been investigated by the FBI, the Tri-Agency Task Force and the Hill County Sheriff’s Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a US Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crimes motivated by meth trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses fire and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.