By Patrick Winderl
A San Diego man arrested outside Havre after a Montana Highway Patrol officer found about two pounds of marijuana in a vehicle he was in has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.
Keith Scott, 21, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls to 10 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and four months for failure to appear, to run consecutively, according to a press release from the U.S Attorney's Office.
According to the release, Scott was a passenger in a gold, mid-size rental car driven by Harold Shipley, 31, also known as Kaseem Alim Shipley, during an incident in June of 2001. The two were traveling east between Havre and Chinook on U.S. Highway 2 at speeds close to 100 mph when they were stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol. The traffic stop was videotaped, according to the release.
Highway Patrol officer Stephen Baiamonte searched the two men for weapons and discovered $2,390 in cash hidden in Scott's clothing, the release said. Baiamonte was then given permission by the two men to conduct a search of the vehicle, according to the release. He discovered marijuana residue inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle, the release said. As the two men were detained by deputies from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Baiamonte then searched the trunk of the vehicle, where he discovered a loaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, the release said. Two pounds of marijuana, wrapped in clear plastic, were also found in the trunk inside luggage belonging to Shipley, the release said.
The two men were placed under arrest and transported to the Hill County Detention Center. Later that day, they were interviewed by FBI agents, who determined the they were responsible for selling marijuana on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the press release said.
Scott pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on Feb. 6, 2002, and was scheduled to be sentenced last June. Scott "absconded from the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office," the press release said, resulting in the charge of failure to appear.
Shipley has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on April 24. He is being held without bond in the Cascade County Regional Detention Center.
A Fort Belknap woman was convicted of a federal drug conspiracy charge for aiding the two men in distributing marijuana on the reservation. Glenda Has Eagle, 47, pleaded guilty in November 2001 to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to six months in federal prison.