GREAT FALLS — A Billings man who admitted distributing methamphetamine in Missoula and Great Falls was sentenced today to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
William Walton Hanson Jr., 41, also known as “JR,” pleaded guilty in June to possession with intent to distribute meth.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said that in December 2018, a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office detective received information that Hanson was traveling to Missoula from Washington with drugs. The detective was aware that Hanson was known to be involved in meth distribution and that Hanson had an active arrest warrant. Missoula police conducted a traffic stop and arrested Hanson on the warrant. Officers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found approximately 125 grams of meth. Through the investigation, officers learned that Hanson was involved in trafficking meth in Missoula and Great Falls from about December 2018 to February 2019.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassady Adams prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Missoula Police Department and Great Falls Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 to 2018. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.