Great Falls man federally charged with drug trafficking

A Great Falls man admitted in federal court June 20 to trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl after an investigation determined he was selling large quantities of the drug and found two pounds of meth under his truck, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.

John Mead Ogburn, 45, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Ogburn faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

Under a plea agreement, the parties agreed that a prison sentence of between 12 years and seven months and 15 years and eight months is an appropriate sentence to resolve the case, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

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The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 24, and Ogburn was held in custody pending further proceedings.

According to court documents, in September and October 2023, Great Falls drug agents learned that Ogburn was a supply source of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

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In November 2023, law enforcement intercepted a UPS package containing 1,757 fentanyl pills addressed to a Great Falls individual who admitted to knowing the package contained fentanyl and identified Ogburn as the sender, according to the office of the US Attorney.

In December, law enforcement was notified that the individual possessed a large quantity of fentanyl powder. Officers executed a search warrant at the person's home and found approximately one pound of methamphetamine and 55 grams of fentanyl powder, according to court documents.

Officers saw Ogburn at that home before and after the search and the individual later told officers the drugs were intended for Ogburn.

On Feb. 9, officers conducted an interdiction stop on Interstate 90 of two vehicles associated with Ogburn and found approximately two pounds of methamphetamine hooked up under one of them. In a recorded jail call, Ogburn admitted to placing meth under the truck, according to court documents.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.

The FBI; Russell Country Drug Task Force; Montana Division of Criminal Investigation; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Great Falls Police Department; The Cascade County Sheriff's Office and the Montana Highway Patrol conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening the PSN based on these principles: foster trust and legitimacy in communities, support community organizations that help prevent violence in the first place place, define targeted and strategic application priorities. , and measure the results.

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