From the Courts: From Federal District Court - Rocky Boy resident admits trafficking fentanyl pills
Last updated 9/24/2021 at 11:57am
From Office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana
GREAT FALLS — A Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation resident accused of helping a Michigan fentanyl supplier distribute pills from his residence admitted a trafficking crime Thursday, acting U.S Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Larry Albert Bernard, 37, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Bernard faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and at least three years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Morris set sentencing for Jan. 20. Bernard was released pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that in the fall of 2020, the FBI received reports that Bernard was housing and helping an out-of-state fentanyl supplier. Other FBI sources reported buying various illegal pills at Bernard’s residence. In December 2020, the FBI executed a search warrant on Bernard’s residence after receiving information that a supplier was at the residence with pills. Bernard and an individual from Michigan were present, and officers found a bag containing pills.
Bernard admitted to housing at least one out-of-state fentanyl supplier in exchange for cash and pills. He also admitted to helping that supplier connect with local users and buyers of fentanyl and said that the bag of pills located in his residence belonged to the supplier.
In an analysis of the bag of pills, the Drug Enforcement Administration identified multiple types of pills. The largest group contained two types of controlled substances: fentanyl and para-Fluorofentanyl, which is a fentanyl analogue. Another group of pills contained two controlled substances: fentanyl and methamphetamine. The smallest group contained fentanyl and no other controlled substances.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Tri-Agency Task Force, Chippewa Cree Law enforcement and Bureau of Indian Affairs.